The stuff of spooks

11/09/2015 16:07

There’s been much rumour and speculation about the safety and security of the world’s largest telecoms company’s networking kit, Huawei. In the US Huawei are banned from bidding for any government contracts but on what basis? Well it’s difficult to tell as US authorities haven’t gone into much detail at all. What we do know is that US security services have established that Huawei was established by a former member of the Chinese army, hardly a secret and guilty by association? One should also consider the rather embarrassing situation in which a range of American government and military institutions were in fact using counterfeit Cisco within their network infrastructures, potentially allowing vulnerabilities to creep into the network. When it comes to national security it would be fair to presume that most national security agencies take technological vulnerabilities seriously, so why the differential judgement and treatment depending on what country you look at? Currently there are perhaps a few countries that have taken the same or similar view as the US such as Australia and to some extent India but that certainly isn’t the majority. Huawei’s business is growing rather nicely and rather globally, around 65% of Huawei’s income comes from outside China and they’re operating in around 150 countries.

So what’s the view on this side of the pond? Well according to the UK’s listening station GCHQ, it’s all good! In 2014 on the advice of the UK’s National Security Advisor Huawei established the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC), its purpose? To enable the National Security Advisor to provide reassurances to ministers, Parliament and to the general public that any security risks were being appropriately mitigated. So what does that mean? Well in short, Huawei network components have been given the green light to operate in the UK’s national critical networks according to a cabinet office spokesman. So, don't be afraid and consider giving Huawei enterprise networks a go!

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