Following a consultation performed by the UK Government, a legal notice has been issued to 35 UK operators to ensure that all Huawei technology must be removed from the UK’s 5G public networks by the end of 2027.
The document issued is known as a designated vendor direction, this document imposes requirements on public communications providers to remove all Huawei equipment from their networks by the end of 2027.
This has come following the research performed by NCSC. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is the UK Government’s cyber security team.
Whilst this is not the first time that Huawei equipment has been flagged as a threat, it is the first time that any UK law has enforced the removal of it. This was triggered in 2020 by the US Government when they restricted Huawei from accessing American semiconductor technology, which it had relied on previously due to security concerns.
As well as issuing the designated vendor direction, the UK Government have also issued Huawei a separate designation notice, which sets out why their equipment is considered a threat to national security.
The law sets out that:
- There is an immediate ban on the installation of Huawei equipment in 5G networks,
- All existing Huawei equipment must be removed from 5G networks by the end of 2027,
- All existing Huawei equipment must be removed from the network core by the 31st of December 2023,
- Huawei equipment must not make up more than 35% of the full fibre access network by October 31st
- All existing Huawei equipment must be removed from sites significant to national security by the 28th of January 2023.
The UK Government have assured us that this ruling will not affect the deadline for the 5G rollout in the UK.
You may be asking, what does this mean for me and my business?
Whilst this law is unlikely to affect your business, it is important to understand that the hardware that underpins your network, could be its biggest vulnerability. The best way to protect yourself is to ensure that all your equipment is purchased from a reputable vendor. Once it has been purchased and installed into your network it is equally important to ensure that it is maintained and regularly updated.
Another way you can protect yourself is to remove equipment from untrusted vendors, such as Huawei, from your network. This includes networking devices, like hubs and switches but also end user devices, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Cyber Wise can offer assistance with this or any other security you or your business has. Please get in touch here to speak with one of the team.