Ofcom becomes overseer over UK network security

Ofcom is now responsible for ensuring telco providers comply with new rules to boost the security and resilience of the UK’s communications networks.

This follows the Telecoms Security Act becoming law, requiring telecoms providers to identify and reduce the risks of security compromises and act after a security compromise has occurred.

If a provider doesn’t comply with their security duties Ofcom can impose a fine of up to a maximum of ten percent of their relevant turnover, or in the case of a continuing failure to comply, £100,000 per day.

If a provider fails to provide information or refuses to explain a failure to follow a code of practice, the body can impose a fine of up to a maximum of £10m, or in the case of a continuing failure to do this, £50,000 per day.

The Act introduces new powers for the government to manage the risks posed by ‘high risk vendors’.

This means the Government can control the extent to which equipment provided by these companies is used in telecoms networks and can require telecoms networks to remove existing equipment that has been sourced from these companies.

“With our new duties now in place, we’re continuing to build our capability and skills in this area, and we’re actively recruiting more specialists to join our team in London and our new tech hub in Manchester, to help us carry out this vital role,” said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's Group Director for Networks and Communications

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