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U.K. Huawei Leak Exposes Major Post-Brexit Security Problems

Posted May 21st @ 8:43 am by Kame

Concerns and questions have swarmed around Brexit since it was first announced. Consumers, business owners and industry experts alike have been incredibly nervous over what a post-Brexit might look like. The recent Huawei leak now has many of those who were already worried wondering if this is what the U.K. has to look forward to.

At the close of April, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson was fired after the government found that he had leaked a National Security Council decision to allow Huawei to build “non-core” parts of the U.K.’s 5G mobile network – an allegation Williamson denies. This decision, which had not yet been formalized, found its way into the Daily Telegraph.

This incident has placed the U.K. in a rocky situation with Russia and China. The Chinese have even gone as far as cancelling plans to receive Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond. Most of all, Britain’s relationship with the U.S. has become strained over the exposed issue – a strain that is not expected to go away on its own.

As per Chinese law, companies are compelled to cooperate on intelligence matters if asked; this is a requirement that the U.S. has argued makes collaboration with Huawei and unacceptable security risk. The U.K. has resisted pressure for a ban, saying that its cybersecurity evaluation center can efficiently deal with any threats that emerge. However, in light of the recent leak, that claim is looking dubious.

The center’s 2018 report identified technical issues in Huawei’s engineering processes. These issues have the potential to lead “to new risks in the U.K. telecommunications networks.” Experts have also warned that the distinction between core and non-core infrastructure is unclear. Why does this matter? U.K.-based Vodafone discovered hidden backdoors in Huawei equipment back in 2011 and 2012 – backdoors that the company falsely claimed to have fixed.

The bottom line: no one who voted for Brexit did so with the intent for Britain to be weaker or less secure. However, the recent Huawei leak and Williamson’s firing has been a huge reminder of just how complex it will be to balance commercial and security interests in a post-Brexit world.

As the U.K. continues to sort through the details and obstacles of Brexit, merchants should take steps to protect their business and keep customers’ information secure. Browse the countless reviews on providers – like securetrading – to find the payment processor that fits your business’ unique needs. Keep your business and customers’ information safe and secure, while also offering the best merchant services available.

Author Bio: Payment industry expert Taylor Cole is a passionate merchant account expert who understands the complicated world of accepting credit and debit cards at your business. His understanding of the industry and secure trading has helped thousands of business owners save money and time.

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