Stakeholder News

New position paper: the need for industry-driven telecom supply chain security standards and programs

Sheronda Jeffries

undefinedThe Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), a 400+ member trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks, recently released a new position paper outlining the critical need for supply chain security standards throughout global telecom networks. Information Communications Technology (ICT) networks have grown in complexity over the last decade and have subsequently been exposed to higher risk of data breaches, cyber-attacks and counterfeit components.

“Our economy demands safe, secure and reliable devices, equipment and networks for businesses and consumers. With the unprecedented connectivity that 5G promises, network and supply chain security have become the most critical global telecom issues of our time,” said TIA CEO David Stehlin. “Industry-driven standards are the only way to build a trusted and secure global network. As the leading industry association for the connected world, TIA is uniquely poised to lead the way.”

The new TIA position paper entitled, “Trust in ICT Supply Chain Security Can Only Come from Global Industry-Driven Standards and Programs” outlines the economic imperative for creating industry-driven standards which will strengthen trust among businesses and consumers. The paper describes how the ICT supply chain is more vulnerable than ever to global threats that can disrupt economic activity and devastate consumer confidence.

TIA details how ensuring trust and integrity in the ICT supply chain can only be achieved by collecting input from industry experts to build the necessary standards, measurements, and benchmarking that form a consistent, common, and globally accepted set of requirements. The paper argues that an industry-led approach, as opposed to government-led, can respond and adapt quickly to keep up with evolving technology, market needs, and new threats while maintaining innovation, competition and economic growth.  With conformity assessment as its base, this industry-led approach will help increase confidence in a trusted and secure network.

TIA has a proven track record and experience to take the lead globally on ICT supply chain security. Together with its members, TIA has developed and maintained more than 3,600 telecommunications industry standards. The QuEST Forum TL 9000 Quality Management System has been successfully meeting global supply chain quality requirements of the worldwide ICT industry for over 20 years, and provides an adaptable foundation to address security risks.

Under the umbrella of the globally trusted QuEST Forum, TIA has established a working group of industry leaders and security experts to assess the current landscape and initiate an expedited development of global, industry-driven standards and assessments that will ensure integrity throughout the ICT supply chain. The issue of Supply Chain Security has to be addressed now and with new technologies for 5G, IoT, sensors, and more set to storm the market, TIA is in the unique position to lead the way to a secure connected future.

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