Building digital trust all about standards and verifiable facts

A woman visits the Huawei Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels, Belgium March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Huawei opened its Cyber Security Transparency Center in Brussels on March 5, 2019, with over 200 representatives from regulatory bodies, telecom carriers, enterprises, and the media attending the event. Representatives from the European Union, the GSMA, and the World Economic Forum spoke at the opening ceremony.

In his opening remarks, Ken Hu, Huawei’s Deputy Chairman said, “Trust in cyber security is one of the major challenges that we face as a global community. Trust needs to be based on facts. Facts must be verifiable, and verification must be based on common standards. We believe that this is an effective model for building trust in the digital era.”

Huawei, in the spotlight over US claims regarding the security risks of its telecom equipment gear, urged governments, the telecoms industry and regulators on Tuesday to work together to create a common set of cybersecurity standards.

Hu highlighted the centre would allow for customers and governments to test Huawei’s source code, software and product solutions. The company has similar facilities in Britain, Bonn, Dubai, Toronto and Shenzhen. 

“The fact is that both the public and private sectors lack a basic common understanding of this issue. As a result, different stakeholders have different expectations and there is no alignment of responsibilities,” Hu told a news conference. 

“As a whole, the industry lacks a unified set of technical standards for security, as well as systems for verification. This is complicated by globalisation of the value chain,” he said.

Hu said a common standard, verified legally and technically, would help create trust in the industry. 

Hu, who met with European Commission digital chief Andrus Ansip on Monday, said they had discussed the possibility of setting up a cybersecurity standard along the lines of the GDPR, the landmark EU data protection law adopted last year which gives Europeans more control over their online information and applies to all companies that do business with Europeans.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee and Jan Strupczewski, editing by Louise Heavens)

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