DoT asks telcos to name nodal officer to liase with NCSC on trusted sources, products

The telecom department has asked operators – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi) – to appoint a nodal officer who will interact with the National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC) and share information on a designated portal about the company, the network equipment they use to ensure their equipments and associated products fall under the “Trusted Product” category.

“TSPs need to appoint a nodal officer as well who will be provided access to the portal and also be providing inputs to the DA, both offline and online,” said Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in a statement on Tuesday. NSCC here is the designated authority (DA).

The fresh set of rules from the DoT is a clear indication that the government will be watching any company that is in business with the license holders but may not have made it to the “Trusted Product ‘ list. The rules come into effect from June 15.

For the telcos , this may lead to more scrutiny from the DoT since some of them use Chinese vendors. Besides China’s Huawei and ZTE,Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson are supplying gear to Bharti Airtel and Vi,while Korea’s Samsung is Jio’s supplier.

DoT has said that the DA will be coming up with a portal and all operators will have to share information about the company, the products they intend to connect to the network, details of the original equipment manufacturer amongst others. These details will help DA to evaluate if the manufacturer falls under the ‘Trusted Product’ category.

“The nodal officer, so designated needs to be appropriately authorized by the TSP, the authorization letter is to be signed by a signatory, who has been empowered by a resolution passed by the Board of Directors,” DoT added.

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The department in its Tuesday statement added, “The licensee shall provide any information, as and when sought by the DA. The licensee shall only connect trusted products in its network, and also seek permission from DA for upgradation of existing network, utilizing the Telecommunications Equipment, not designated as Trusted Products”.



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