Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 23 July 2020 06:20

Huawei welcomes government panel's cyber security strategy advice

Huawei welcomes government panel's cyber security strategy advice Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies has welcomed the steps outlined by the Federal Government's Industry Advisory Panel on the country's next cyber security strategy, saying the IAP chief Andrew Penn agreed with Huawei's submission that the best approach to cyber security was to secure the supply chain and build an independent testing regime for all vendor equipment.

A Huawei statement pointed out that on the critical issue of securing the digital supply chain, the IAP had noted that threats to critical infrastructure, digital supply chains and systems of national significance should be dealt with on a priority basis.

The company said that it had always argued that the most important issue facing local industry was not the blocking of individual vendors based on their flag of origin but rather by properly securing the supply chain.

It added that this position was backed by two UK parliamentary panels and also had been proposed and implemented by the European Union.

"All three 5G telecom operators in Australia use 5G technology that is manufactured in China by joint-ventures between international vendors and state-owned enterprises," the statement said.

"We hope that by recognising the importance of securing the supply chain on a universally applied basis - and in a non-discriminatory way - that the Industry Advisory Panel's recommendations will help move the cyber security 2020 strategy towards a fully secure and consistent position across the industry."

Huawei said it was heartened by the suggestion from the IAP that "strongly encourages major vendors to sign-up to a voluntary 'secure by design' charter to leverage international best practice" in delivering a program that guaranteed the safety of network equipment.

The company said it had always held the view that all telecom network vendors should have their gear tested and approved by an independent body and had advocated this position within local industry bodies for quite a while.

"Unfortunately Huawei continues to be the only major vendor in Australia prepared to support and participate in such an independent testing program," Huawei noted

"Sadly, any progress towards achieving this has been openly blocked by other international vendors despite the fact that they have been arguing for such a program to be adopted in other parts of the world including the EU."

Huawei was banned from supplying equipment for Australia's 5G networks in AUgust 2018, with Canberra claiming that the company posed a security risk, an accusation the Shenzhen-based firm has strongly denied.

The world's top 5G vendor expressed disappointment that, unlike the recent Federal Parliamentary committee report into the future of 5G in Australia, led by the Dr David Gillespie, the IAP did not make recommendations on the importance of developing local manufacturing in securing the supply chain.

It noted that Dr Gillespie's committee had recommended the Australian Government investigate ways to encourage the manufacture of 5G infrastructure within Australia to examine how Australia could actively participate in the manufacture of components and equipment for use in the rollout of 5G networks given international vendors are importing all their 5G kit from China.

The company said it had always backed the promotion of Australian innovation in its global supply chain, pointing out that it had $60 million to set up a global software development facility in Australia that exported technology globally across its product range, while at the time creating about 90 high-tech jobs.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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