Over the recent years, the continuous rapid advancement in communications technology has seen a rise in the need for equally intensive cybersecurity mechanisms in place.
This is to match the increasing expectations and demands of both the customers and organizations implementing digital growth amidst challenges around security and privacy. When it comes to communications, security is always a shared responsibility.
All stakeholders, including Governments, operators, suppliers, and standards organizations need to collaborate to continuously improve cyber security assurance and transparency.
Why? Because – when implemented efficiently – cybersecurity standards raise confidence and trust in mobile network service providers, while increasing transparency and comparability of security levels.
Additionally, the implementation lowers any duplication of work and security testing needs for the equipment vendors. This is through highlighting the vendor’s ability to achieve and maintain security levels, as well as encouraging a security-by-design culture across the entire community.
Also, employing cybersecurity standards reduces the workload involved in responding to operator procurement processes and helps avoid security requirement fragmentation.
In August 2020, the GSMA announced that Huawei, among other leading mobile network equipment vendors, had successfully completed an assessment of its product development and lifecycle management processes using the Association’s Network Equipment Security Assurance Scheme (NESAS).
The NESAS scheme is a collaboration, jointly led by 3GPP and the GSMA, that is open to all vendors of network equipment products that support 3GPP defined functions and specifically designed for mobile communication systems.
It is focused on the vendor aspects of the supply chain, providing a security assurance framework to improve security levels across the mobile industry. NESAS was designed with cybersecurity standards like NESAS in place, the mobile industry can be sure of an improvement in the security assurance methodology, threats analysis, critical assets definition, and the general security assurance requirements.
Allan Kyobe is Huawei Uganda Cybersecurity expert