The Defense Department is developing a secure 5G mobile telecommunication network strategy, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment said during a Pentagon news conference today.
Ellen M. Lord addressed a range of topics, including advanced wireless systems, such as 5G.
Discussions are ongoing with the nation's allies and partners regarding the critical importance of secure networks to national security and military-to-military interoperability.
Malicious activities by China are a serious and growing concern. For example, China is attempting to erase research and development gains by the U.S. in cybersecurity and other areas critical to national security. One way they do this is by investing in U.S. companies with defense-critical technologies in order to extract information.
The other concern regarding China is its employment of 5G through companies that answer to the Chinese government, such as ZTE and Huawei. While DOD proscribes procurement from these companies, allies and partners who choose to do so are likely to end up with vulnerable systems.
DOD is tightening its requirements that the supply chain — including subcontractors — maintain cybersecurity and produce systems that are hardened against cyber attacks.
The department is particularly interested in small- to medium-sized companies that are incubators of innovations. Many of these companies do not have the resources to stand up robust cybersecurity safeguards. DOD will work with these companies by offering them a secure cloud environment in which to work.
DOD will also soon stand up an organization called the Trusted Capital Marketplace, a public-private partnership that pairs private capital with small and medium innovative companies that promise to deliver critical emerging technologies.