The GSMA has announced that global mobile network equipment vendors – Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and ZTE – have successfully completed an assessment of their product development and lifecycle management processes using the GSMA’s Network Equipment Security Assurance Scheme (NESAS).
The NESAS scheme is a collaboration and jointly led by 3GPP and the GSMA, and is open to all vendors of network equipment products that support 3GPP defined functions. NESAS, which is focused on the vendor aspects of the supply chain, provides a security assurance framework to improve security levels across the mobile industry. NESAS has been developed following established practices and schemes that provide security assurance.
“The GSMA recognises the support and participation of Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and ZTE who have satisfied the scheme’s security requirements via an independent security audit and we congratulate them on achieving this important first step,” said Alex Sinclair, the CTO at GSMA. “By committing to NESAS, vendors are helping network operators, and other stakeholders make informed decisions about secure product development. 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.”
During the second stage of NESAS, vendors will submit network equipment products to qualified test laboratories for evaluation. This stage involves laboratories running security tests, defined by 3GPP, and checking that the products undergoing evaluation have been developed under the assessed development and lifecycle management processes. The evaluation concludes with the production, by the test laboratory, of a valuation report that records the test results. The report is provided to the vendor who can make it available to its customers and other stakeholders at its discretion.
The GSMA is actively supporting the latest developments and the efforts being made within the industry to increase network infrastructure security levels. NESAS represents a critical industry initiative that increases transparency and incentivises vendors to develop and support network equipment in a way that protects operators and their customers and can underpin national security requirements. The GSMA looks forward to the participation and support of the mobile industry and other stakeholders.
Test laboratories need to be ISO/IEC 17025 accredited, and the GSMA accepts requests from qualified laboratories to be listed as a NESAS security test laboratory. Expressions of interest in being recognised by the GSMA as being competent to undertake security evaluations of network products against 3GPP defined Security Assurance Specification documents can be submitted via email.