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Risk Management

Critical Infrastructure Organizations Urged to Identify Risky Communications Equipment 

CISA urges organizations to review FCC’s Covered List of risky communications equipment and incorporate it in their supply chain risk management efforts.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Monday issued an alert to urge critical infrastructure organizations to scope their environments for communications equipment deemed to pose high risk.

Per the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 (PDF), federal agencies are prohibited from purchasing communications equipment and services that pose national security risks, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maintains a list of such products, the Covered List.

Available on the FCC’s website and last updated in September 2022, the list mentions telecommunications devices and services from Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, Dahua, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, and Pacific Network Corp.

These products, the FCC says, “are deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons”.

Now, CISA urges organizations to review the FCC’s Covered List and take steps to identify potentially risky equipment and improve the security of their networks where necessary.

“CISA reminds all critical infrastructure owners and operators to take necessary steps in securing the nation’s most critical supply chains. CISA urges organizations to incorporate the Covered List into their supply chain risk management efforts,” CISA notes.

The agency also recommends that organizations review CISA and NIST-issued guidance on software supply chain risks and NIST’s C-SCRM framework on identifying and mitigating cybersecurity risks associated with the supply chain.

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Other CISA resources that organizations can use to improve the security of their networks include pre-ransomware notifications, a ransomware vulnerability warning, and a vulnerability scanning service.

“All critical infrastructure organizations are also urged to enroll in CISA’s free Vulnerability Scanning service for assistance in identifying vulnerable or otherwise high-risk devices such as those on FCC’s Covered List,” CISA notes.

Related: CISA Introduces Secure-by-design and Secure-by-default Development Principles

Related: CISA Updates Infrastructure Resilience Planning Framework

Related: Huawei and Supply Chain Security – The Great Geopolitical Debate

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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