Reps. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., introduced legislation June 18 to bolster 5G infrastructure security at the Department of Defense (DoD).

“As the U.S. continues to invest in disruptive new technologies, such as 5G, it is critical the Department of Defense identify risks and vulnerabilities in its telecommunications infrastructure,” Larsen said. “The DoD 5G Act ensures the DoD assesses and mitigates these risks as the department moves forward with implementation of 5G technology.”

The DoD 5G Act directs the secretary of defense to “develop, secure, and effectively implement” 5G technologies within the department. The secretary would provide a report to Congress with a comprehensive assessment of DoD’s 5G security, recommendations on how to mitigate vulnerabilities, and an explanation of how to implement the recommendations.

Under a new 5G security program, the secretary would be responsible for: developing a capability to communicate about 5G threats by foreign actors; conducting red-team analysis of DoD 5G; verifying the integrity of personnel working with DoD 5G; verifying the physical security of DoD 5G; directing the CIO to use FedRAMP moderate or high cloud standards; and directing the Defense Information Systems Agency and Cyber Command to develop a capability for continuous monitoring 5G data.

“With the promise of 5G also comes greater risk,” Gallagher said. “As the Pentagon develops advanced telecommunications capabilities, it should set a clear standard and expectation across the federal government for security and resiliency, from the supply chain on up.”

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.