News Item

1st Meeting of ENISA’s electronic communications reference group in Rome

The first meeting of ENISA’s electronic communications reference group, with experts from Telecom providers, took place at the Telecom Italia premises in Rome, on 20-21 November 2013.

Published on November 21, 2013

The group’s goal is to provide telecom providers with the opportunity to give feedback on ENISA’s work and on telecom regulation in general. The highlights from the meeting include:

  • The experts from Telecom providers stressed the importance of keeping security and resilience legislation and leaving the specific technical details about security measures up to providers. Providers should be responsible for choosing the measures to meet the security and resilience objectives of governments.
  • A major topic of debate was the impact of power cuts on electronic communications. Telecom providers are often kept in the dark about the quality and resilience of power supply and they are also often unaware about where outages are likely to occur. Providers should be better informed about on-going outages and what is the forecasted restoration time via priority channels. Telecoms are a critical sector and cannot be treated as normal domestic users. During the meeting it was also stressed that these issues cannot be left entirely to the market, as in many countries market mechanisms in the energy sector are hardly mature. Energy regulators or civil protection agencies should discuss with telecom regulators and telecom providers to address the critical dependency between the two sectors.
  • Experts stressed the importance of using digital structured formats (XML, private RSS feeds, etc) for exchanging information about vulnerabilities and threats to prepare the ground for easier sharing of information with other providers and government authorities, nationally and across border.
  • An additional concern for telecom providers is the increased dependency on ICT products and the fact that many security incidents are caused by failures and vulnerabilities in ICT products and services. Providers encouraged ENISA to develop a set of requirements for ICT vendors supplying products to the telecom sector.

ENISA will continue to build up this group and work on specific security and resilience issues which affect providers across the European Union, acting as a bridge between the EU telecom market, telecom regulators and regulators in other sectors.


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