Crossing the ditch to talk cyber security

Dr David Soldani; Chief Technology Officer and Cyber Security Officer at Huawei Technologies Australia Dr David Soldani; Chief Technology Officer and Cyber Security Officer at Huawei Technologies Australia

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David Soldani is Chief Technology and Cyber Security Officer at Huawei Australia shares an update on the International Telecom Networks and Applications Conference (ITNAC) in Auckland.

If there is one thing that we should have all learned over the last couple of years as we have all grappled with the new issues and challenges being presented by 5G, it is that we must face these challenges together – no country can hope to succeed if they work alone.

We have seen this in Europe in recent days with both President Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany both making the point that Europe needs a unified approach to dealing with the Cyber-Security challenges it faces in the years ahead.

It is a similar story here in the Oceania region and that’s why I was so pleased to have the opportunity to visit New Zealand this week to speak at the International Telecom Networks and Applications Conference (ITNAC) in Auckland.

The ITNAC event, of which Huawei was happy to come on board as a sponsor, brought experts from around the world to New Zealand’s largest city to present and discuss topics related to advanced computing and data communication network technologies, services and applications – with cyber security a key focus.

Experts from countries including Australia, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States came together at the event to exchange ideas and opinions about how we should be coming together to work on the key challenges that we all face.

From an Australian perspective we are one of a handful of countries that have looked to ban any one vendor simply because of their country of origin and there was much interest from other speakers about what had happened with Huawei in Australia.

It was great to have the opportunity to answer many of their questions in my presentation at the event in which I emphasized the key points Huawei Australia made in its recent submission to the Department of Home Affairs Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy review.

We believe countries should…

  1. Adopt global standards and introduce a new set of network security and resilience requirements on 5G and fibre networks for telecoms operators.
  2. Engage with the industry to understand telecoms supply chain risks and the arrangements adopted by operators to mitigate them, and gain regular updates on operators’ major supplier arrangements.
  3. Encourage providers to participate in threat intelligence-led penetration testing schemes and, subject to third party contract arrangements, test operators’ vendor specific arrangements.
  4. Operators should be required to work closely with vendors, supported by Government, to ensure effective assurance testing for equipment, systems and software and compliance.
  5. Network operators should develop a targeted diversification strategy in order to reduce the over-dependence from any one vendor, and ensure there is a more competitive, sustainable and diverse telecoms supply chain.
  6. Incentivise entry and growth, including market design and R&D support, cybersecurity evaluation and innovation centres; promoting interoperability and demand stimulation.
  7. Support market expansion in 5G – including improving access to spectrum, removing barriers to roll-out and promoting new infrastructure models.
  8. There should be more investment on 5G Testbeds and Trial Programs, in partnership with the industry, looking at end-to-end cybersecurity assurance and compliance to law, standards and regulations.
  9. Explore the need for a new national telecommunications labs, with the support of industry and academia. The lab should bring together operators, vendors, industry ‘verticals’ (e.g. manufacturing, healthcare and logistics) and universities, to explore new applications and business models for 5G and beyond.

The fact around cyber security are clearer than ever, we are struggling with the same problems and simply banning vendors because of their country of origin will get us nowhere, we need to work together on a unified approach or we are doomed to failure.

Please see link to David’s full ITNAC presentation here.

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