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Huawei 5G kit passes first round of the GSMA's NESAS security audit

Huawei HQ.
(Image credit: Huawei)

The GSMA, the industry organisation that represents the interests of 750 mobile operators around the world, has reviewed Huawei's 5G wireless and core network equipment, and has announced that all of Huawei’s products have passed the first round of its Network Equipment Security Assurance Scheme (NESAS). 

“By committing to NESAS, vendors are helping network operators, and other stakeholders make informed decisions about secure product development."

Alex Sinclair, GSMA.

“By committing to NESAS, vendors are helping network operators, and other stakeholders make informed decisions about secure product development,” explained GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair. “We look forward to others participating in the scheme, evidencing their commitment to good security practice by promoting a security-by-design culture within the industry.”

However, given that Huawei is a prominent member of the GSMA, it seems unlikely that the news will shift political thinking in the UK and beyond; although network operators will likely reference it when asking for further clarification over why they must remove Huawei kit, at the cost of billions to the industry.

What is NESAS?

NESAS is a standardized cybersecurity assessment mechanism, jointly defined by GSMA and 3GPP, together with major global operators, vendors, industry partners and regulators. It provides an industry-wide security assurance framework to facilitate improvements in security levels across the mobile industry. 

Huawei’s 5G products – as well as those from  ZTE, Ericsson and Nokia – have passed the first audit round, which focuses on product development and lifecycle management processes. And now the companies have met the first round of approval, they will submit specific pieces of equipment to approved labs for evaluation.

"The Assessment is also a valuable reference for stakeholders, such as operators, equipment vendors, government regulators, and application service providers."

Devin Duan, Huawei.

“GSMA NESAS is the latest approach in assessing the network security of mobile communications,” said Devin Duan, head of 5G E2E cybersecurity marketing at Huawei. “In the 5G era, NESAS provides a standardized and effective cyber security assessment, which allows the communications industry to ensure fairness. 

“The Assessment is also a valuable reference for stakeholders, such as operators, equipment vendors, government regulators, and application service providers. Huawei has always focused on technology-driven cyber security. We welcome NESAS with full support and collaboration. We also invite the entire industry to jointly promote the development of a more aligned mobile communications market.”

The summary independent audit reports of the NESAS assessment can be found here

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.