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Cyber Security: Challenges That ICT Multinationals Face


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On September 7, 2012, Ms. Chen Lifang, Huawei's Senior Vice President, delivered a keynote speech "Cyber Security: Challenges That Huawei Faces as an ICT Multinational" at the Handelsblatt Cyber Security Conference. This conference is a very important strategic forum in Germany's political, business, and military circles. The first cyber security conference held in 2011 became the most influential and the highest-level cyber security event in Germany. The organizer of this conference was Handelsblatt, the largest commercial newspaper in Germany. Altogether, 100 participants from Germany and other countries attended this conference.

  Ms. Chen Lifang delivers a speech at the Handelsblatt Cyber Security Conference

In her speech, Ms. Chen Lifang said that discovering the root causes and the backgrounds behind cyber security threats is of key importance. The ICT landscape today is the result of long-term development and cannot be determined by one single organization or individual.

The biggest challenge lies in the complexity of cyberspace. Traditionally, professional equipment provided isolated solutions. Products today are more open and integrated and more universally applicable.

Similar to product integration, the global industry chain of information technologies is also moving towards integration. This is a result of natural evolution. All parties, including the US, Europe, and Asia, will play important roles in the integration. Ms. Chen Lifang used figures to illustrate Huawei's manufacturing capacity around the world, emphasizing that Huawei's current development momentum is attributed to highly effective resource allocation. This situation has generated tremendous positive results, such as cost efficiency and high performance, and has created additional risks too.

As pointed out by Ms. Chen Lifang, ICT technologies are vital to the global economy. As the scope of broadband connections expands, GDP growth is accelerating. Therefore, we should restore our confidence in information technologies. To achieve this, it is important that governments of all countries across the world cooperate with each other.

Huawei has business operations in 150 countries, which adopt different approaches to cyber security protection. Ms. Chen Lifang said that the international community has yet to reach consensus about the definition of cyber security. She emphasized that this issue requires open international cooperation and that best practices in handling risks should be established.

Technologies develop at an incredible speed; therefore, there can be no absolute security. To protect social and economic stability, a country needs to attain cyber security goals, and at the same time, allow the coexistence of multiple measures. Digital integration is a commonly used means to enhance a country's competitiveness. However, a country can only protect their key infrastructure within a reasonable scope, because the government needs to balance cyber security, economic development, and costs.

From a technical perspective, we face great challenges when providing carriers and enterprises with stable networks and protecting end consumers. One challenge is that the legislation procedures and judiciary systems of various countries differ with regard to cyber security and data protection. Huawei hopes that the international community can further cooperation to establish a universal regulatory framework and an effective, transparent, and fair monitoring system.

Huawei launched its security transformation strategy as early as 1999. As indicated by Ms. Chen Lifang, Huawei CEO Mr. Ren Zhengfei approved a statement about cyber security protection in 2011. Ms. Chen also said that Huawei respects the laws of all countries. Through cooperation with political circles, customers, and enterprises, Huawei ensures that an end-to-end communications security system is provided. Huawei's security system can be sustained because it integrates all necessary elements.

Organizations: Huawei's Global Cyber Security Committee (GCSC) decides on conventional security strategies. Huawei's Global Cyber Security Officer (GCSO) plans, manages, and monitors the implementation of its security systems in R&D, supply chain, marketing, sales, project delivery, and technical services. In addition, the GCSO proactively communicates with political circles, customers, partners, as well as Huawei employees.

Processes: Huawei ensures cyber security through quality management and technical standards.

Staffing: All employees, partners, and external advisors strictly follow the required regulations.

Huawei has conducted open and transparent talks and cooperation with governments, customers, and partners while proactively participating in standards organizations.

Ms. Chen Lifang made a solemn commitment at the conference that Huawei will continue to support international standards and best practices and at the same time strengthen cyber security protection.

Finally, Ms. Chen Lifang said that the cyber security strategy of Germany is exactly the initiative to protect its key infrastructure. Huawei supports the German government in implementing this strategy.

Ms. Chen thinks that a smart grid is vital to Germany. However, using security standards to review the security of products is a standard procedure. For example, Huawei has over 150,000 employees, many of whom perform security tests in its R&D and innovation centers worldwide. Huawei constantly reviews the entire supply chain. Ms. Chen Lifang feels that Huawei's security standards are very high and Huawei's products comply with all security standards.

Ms. Chen Lifang also said that Deutsche Telekom is Huawei's partner in Germany. Two years ago, Deutsche Telekom held a cyber security conference together with other suppliers. Such cooperation is significant to Huawei. Huawei executives often attend such conferences. However, Ms. Chen Lifang called for more cooperative initiatives, especially in defining universal security standards for ICT technologies.

Huawei believes that R&D departments of companies in the industry should take the initiative to conduct research in this regard. Huawei provides technologies that comply with the security standards required by customers and will strive to quickly and effectively respond to malware and other issues in the systems. Nevertheless, 90% of insecurity can be avoided through personal protection measures, for example, keeping one's password safe.

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