Huawei plugs tech gap

08:57 | 24/12/2012
Amid growing challenges and threats to network security, Huawei Technologies is improving its security protection of devices by allowing all independent organisations to verify its products. John Suffolk, Huawei’s global cyber security officer and senior vice president, discussed the company’s initiative with VIR’s Duc Hai.

How do you view the protection of network security in Vietnam?
All the smart end-devices such as smart phones and tablets that people are using bring new challenges in security. The biggest challenges is that we can download any application from any website but we cannot know exactly how its quality is and how it will impact on our data. Many people download applications that could automatically send all their telephone numbers and messages to another host computer. Therefore, in the future there will be legal regulations guiding how to download applications from the internet and also regulate responsibility of application providers.  

Huawei is has introduced many smart phone models in Vietnam, so will Huawei plan to cooperate with a partner to protect Vietnamese users from security challenges?
We apply all optimal standards and policies for security in the world. I think the more we apply optimal standards, the more choices customers will have.
When thinking about network security for devices, Android devices for example, customers should have their own choice. We always find the way to answer how to know the best choice. And that’s why we always allow our partners and other companies to verify our security protection solutions. We believe that this approach, allowing partners and other companies to examine our solutions, will help Huawei complete products in the best way. We have been closely working with many verifying organisations and we wish to work with individual experts who could verify our products.
However, it will make no sense when Huawei keeps improving security protection in our products but the rest of IT industry still does things the old way, because all products made by various companies will operate in a common network. Hackers will find the weakness points in this network, so every network provider has to upgrade their security standards.  

You said that Huawei are willing to cooperate with other organisations to verify its products, so who will cover the cost for verification works?
We would be very happy if the government covers this cost. But I think that will not happen. This could be strange, but we like the verification, because it helps us improve our products. Let’s look into future, in one year or five years, if only one or two companies pass the verification for security protection like us, we will not settle challenges of network security in the world.
At this time, we are willing to cover all the cost for verification in every market, including Vietnam. However, what I want to say here is about the government. This means when we verified a product in France, this product should be used in Vietnam without verification, we just have to share the verification report. We have to work together because each product has it own security risk.
We will not verify mobile devices, end-devices in the same way we verify national important infrastructures. We also need to work together to discuss which areas we should focus on to invest.  

Have you seen any mobile service providers request verification?
We have many products in Vietnam, most of them are working well. Therefore, no service provider requests specific verifications. However, before all devices are used by operators, they have already met standards and requirements of operators. Huawei products, of course, are no exception.  

How many organisations have been involved in verification of Huawei products?
Our products are used by 45 among 50 world’s biggest network service providers. The products were strictly verified by those providers and we did not know how they verified, we just knew the verification results. Basically, they did not find mistakes in our products. We also use some independent organisations to verify our products, based on international standards. We have a centre in UK, and we use one company in the United States and one in Canada to do this work. All of them could find something wrong and then we could improve our products.

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