Huawei opens cyber security transparency centre following claims to innocence

The opening shows a commitment to cyber security from the firm accused of spying for the Chinese government

huawei logo at a conference

Huawei has faced much flak recently, but following a confident speech claiming innocence at MWC 2019, the firm built on its commitment to transparency in security by opening a centre in Brussels dedicated to the task.

Opened at the event held in the Belgian capital, Ken Hu, Huawei's deputy chairman professed his and the company's understanding of the role trust plays in the ever-heightening threat that cyber security presents.

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"Trust needs to be based on facts, facts must be verifiable, and verification must be based on common standards," he said. "We believe that this is an effective model to build trust for the digital era."

Huawei outlined the challenges it sees in the cyber security landscape that the centre aims to address and rectify.

The lack of consensus on cyber security, technical standards, verification systems, and legislative support further exacerbate the challenges presented by cloud and software-defined everything on security and IT infrastructure.

The Cyber Security and Transparency Centre aims to bring together government agencies technical experts, industry associations, and standards organisations a platform, where they can communicate and collaborate on modern security issues.

The centre has three major functions:

  • The centre will showcase Huawei's end-to-end cyber security practices which allows visitors to gain a better understanding of the thinking and methodologies Huawei applies to its 5G, IoT and cloud technology
  • The centre will provide a platform for the tech company to communicate with key stakeholders about its security strategies
  • Provide a security testing and verification platform for Huawei customers
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Huawei's centre is open to customers and independent third-party testing organisations to come and perform industry-recognised tests on Huawei equipment in dedicated testing environments.

"We fully understand cyber security concerns that people have in this digital world," said Hu. "I believe that good solutions to issues start with mutual understanding, which is the purpose we set up the transparency centre here today."

"We welcome all regulators, standards organizations, and customers to fully use this platform to collaborate more closely on security standards, verification mechanisms, and security technology innovation. Together, we can improve security across the entire value chain and help build trust through verification."

The opening of the centre could be a good PR move from Huawei, but it won't silence the damning reports that are expected to be released from its British Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC).

According to the Telegraph, the NCSC-overseen centre is planning to reveal that the company has failed to address the UK's security concerns surrounding its 5G infrastructure, the tech that countries such as the US, Australia and New Zealand have boycotted.

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Other European countries are less keen on totally boycotting the firm's technology. The UK's GCHQ said the risks posed by Huawei's infrastructure are manageable and Germany also seems reluctant to ban it totally.

Vodafone CEO Nick Read has called on the US to detail what it has on Huawei in relation to its alleged cyber espionage cooperation with the Chinese government.

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