Cyber security risk a shared responsibility

We need to set shared goals, align responsibilities and form tighter coalitions to build a trustworthy digital environment, says expert


GOVERNMENTS, standard organisations and technology providers from different countries should work closer to develop a unified understanding of cyber security challenges.

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd rotating chairman Ken Hu (picture) said as an industry, they need to work together, share best practices and build collective capabilities in governance, standards, technology and verification.

He added that countries need to give both the general public and regulators a reason to trust in the security of the products and services they use on a daily basis.

“We need to set shared goals, align responsibilities and form tighter coalitions to build a trustworthy digital environment that meets the challenges of today and tomorrow.

“Together, we can strike the right balance between security and development in an increasingly digital world,” he said in his virtual keynote address at the opening ceremony of Huawei’s seventh Global Cyber Security and Privacy Protection Transparency Centre in Dongguan, China, recently.

Hu also pointed out that in some places, unfortunately, there is still a misconception that country of origin affects the security of network equipment and technology.

He stressed that this is simply not true, and it does not solve the real challenges and prevents countries from forming a unified approach.

“The idea is that both trust and distrust should be based on facts, not feelings, not speculation and not baseless rumours.

“Cyber security is a complex, evolving challenge requiring close collaboration and information sharing. We need to build capabilities together. No organisation can tackle them all, from standards to governance to verification,” he stressed.

With countries facing increasing threats to cyber security, Hu said all industries are taking cyber security more seriously, adding that new cyber laws have been passed in 151 countries.

In Malaysia, a total of 838 cyber security incidents were reported to CyberSecurity Malaysia between March 18 and April 7, 2020, when the government invoked the first Movement Control Order which heavily restricted movements around the country.

The number of reported incidents increased to a staggering 82.5% compared to the same time frame the previous year, with the majority of cases involving some form of cyber bullying, fraud or intruding into an unauthorised system.

Up to October 2020, 9,042 reports of crimes, fraud and malicious codes were lodged, compared to only 8,770 cases in 2019.

Meanwhile, Huawei opened its largest Global Cyber Security and Privacy Protection Transparency Centre in Dongguan, China, on Wednesday, with representatives from GSMA, SUSE, the British Standards Institution and regulators from the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia speaking at the opening ceremony.

According to Huawei, the opening of its new facility in China is important to address cyber security issues, providing a platform for industry stakeholders to share expertise in cyber governance and work on technical solutions together.

The centre is designed to demonstrate solutions and share experience, facilitate communication and joint innovation, and support security testing and verification.

It will be open to regulators, independent third-party testing organisations and standards organisations, as well as Huawei customers, partners and suppliers.

Along with the opening of the new centre, Huawei also released its product security baseline, marking the first time the company has made its product security baseline framework and management practices available to the industry as a whole.

Huawei said these actions are part of the company’s broader efforts to engage customers, suppliers, standards organisations and other stakeholders to jointly strengthen cyber security across the industry.

The baseline, together with the firm’s other governance mechanisms, helps ensure the quality, security and trustworthiness of the company’s products.

Over the years, Huawei has built over 1,500 networks that connect more than three billion people across 170 countries and regions.

The company noted that none of these networks have ever experienced a major security incident thus far.