Huawei called on the industry to collaborate and compile a single, codified set of security standards for 5G, as it opened its new Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels today

The international telecoms community needs a single, clear, codified set of technical standards to govern 5G network security, according to Huawei’s rotating chairman, Ken Hu.

Speaking at the opening of Huawei’s new Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels on Tuesday, Hu said that the industry desperately needed to standardise its security certification process, to make it easier for operators to rollout their 5G networks.

"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. Digital products include components from many different countries, with many different standards, or no standards at all. There is an urgent need to invest in security standards and verification systems at the national level, as well as professional resources and skills,” Hu said.

Hu stressed that Huawei remains committed to working with European regulators and industry bodies to ensure the highest standards of network security.

“These are all real challenges, and we fully understand the cyber security concerns that people have in an increasingly digital world. Cyber security is a challenge we all share. To address these challenges, I believe that mutual understanding is the starting point. To build a trustworthy environment, we need to work together,” he explained.

Hu stressed that the newly opened Cyber Security Transparency Centre would act as a conduit for dialogue and collaboration between Huawei and its partners in the mobile telecommunications sector.

Hu reiterated that allegations against his company should be based on fact and should be corroborated by hard evidence, rebuffing the allegations from the US government over the security of the company’s networks

“At Huawei, we have the ABC principle for security: Assume nothing. Believe nobody. Check everything," Hu said.

“Both trust and distrust should be based on facts, not feelings, not speculation, and not baseless rumour. We believe that facts must be verifiable, and verification must be based on standards.

“So, to start, we need to work together on unified standards. Based on a common set of standards, technical verification and legal verification can lay the foundation for building trust.

“This must be a collaborative effort, because no single vendor, government, or telco operator can do it alone.

“Second, we need to work together to clarify and align our responsibilities. This includes all stakeholders: regulators, standards organizations, telcos, and technology providers,” he said. 

Hu urged Europe to lead on 5G security, just as it has led on the implementation of GDPR, citing it as a key opportunity to safeguard the data of hundreds of millions of people.   

"A prosperous Digital Europe requires an open and future-oriented cyber security environment. Europe has released the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is an open, transparent, and globally leading data and privacy protection standard. We believe that European regulators are on track to lead the international community in terms of cyber security standards and regulatory mechanisms. We commit to working more closely with all stakeholders in Europe, including regulators, carriers, and standards organizations, to build a system of trust based on facts and verification," he said.