Quad - a grouping of Australia, India, Japan and the United States - have asserted that telecom security is a core function of national security, and said that the grouping would work to ensure "security-by-design and best practices of cyber security" are incorporated in next gen mobile telephony technologies.
In a joint statement after the meeting of the Quad Senior Cyber Group in New Delhi on 30 and 31 January, the group said that it was working on identifying best security practices for software services and products and minimum critical infrastructure cyber security requirements.
The group said that it has "committed in the near term to: drive more secure software services and products by common Quad government security practices; establish common cyber security requirements for our nations’ critical infrastructure; conduct a Quad Cyber Challenge (a campaign to raise awareness among our populations and drive action to improve cyber security); collaborating on capacity-building activities and information sharing in the Indo-Pacific region under the Quad Cybersecurity Partnership".
The group also discussed the importance of utilising "trusted vendors" in telecommunications infrastructure.
The move is as part of the group's shared commitment to promote safe, resilient networks and technologies, including through exploration of open and interoperable network solutions which are occurring in each of and among our countries, according to the statement.
"These efforts demonstrate the Quad’s commitment to building regional capacity and ensuring the delivery of an open and secure telecommunications infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific," it said.
Further, the group said that telecom security is a core function of National security.
"Working in conjunction with Quad CET Working Group, the Group will strive to ensure security-by-design and best practices of cyber security are incorporated in ORAN and 6G technologies," it said.
The Group's announcement comes amid concerns that China is ramping up efforts on 6G research and development to seize the high ground in the field and cultivate an industrial base.
Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has been under heavy scrutiny worldwide since US imposed sanctions on the company on the national security grounds during Trump administration, started work on 6G technology in 2019.
China also has the most 6G patents in the world, according to a survey of 20,000 applications by Nikkei and the Cyber Create Institute.
China had 40.3 per cent of the 6G filings, mainly focused on 6G infrastructure and primarily filed by Huawei and state-run companies such as State Grid Corporation of China and China Aerospace Science and Technology.
Huawei is the dominant player in the global telecom equipment market and is the leading provider of fifth generation mobile technology.
US and several other countries have banned use of Huawei's equipment in their telecom networks in recent years on national security grounds, saying the company violated international sanctions and stolen intellectual property, and that it could commit cyber espionage on behalf of Chinese Communist Party, the sole ruling party of China.
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