On 11 February 2021, the Finnish Government set up an Advisory Board for Network Security to assess and develop the security of domestic communications networks and to support decision-making by the authorities. The Advisory Board was appointed for the period from 15 February 2021 to 30 June 2022.

The Board is tasked with monitoring the development of communications networks and technology and making proposals for improving network security. It may also discuss other cyber security issues identified by the Government.

“The Advisory Board strengthens the broad social importance of cyber security and cooperation in the sector. The prerequisite for economic success is national security. Finland's advanced approach has already attracted widespread international interest,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

European Union 5G guidelines in the background

The setting up of the Advisory Board responds to the EU’s joint risk assessment on the security of 5G networks carried out during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU as well as to the EU toolbox for 5G security issued in January 2020 that includes recommendations on how to improve 5G security. The Advisory Board is based on the new provisions of the Act on Electronic Communications Services that entered into force at the beginning of 2021. They are part of the implementation of the EU guidelines and toolbox in Finland.

The Board will be chaired by Laura Vilkkonen, Director General at the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The vice-chair will be Janne Taalas, Ambassador for Cyber Security, from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The Board has representatives from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Ministry of Finance. Other participants represent the Transport and Communications Agency, Finnish Security and Intelligence Service, Defence Forces and State Security Networks Ltd. In addition, the telecommunications companies Elisa Corporation, Telia Finland Oyj and DNA, as well as the Finnish Federation for Communications and Teleinformatics, are represented.

Source: Ministry of Transport and Communications