Security Challenges for the Telecom Industry 2022
Telecom Industry under COVID-19
Over the past few decades, the telecommunications industry has made tremendous technological advancements, and the capabilities and reach of mobility, broadband, and Internet services have all grown globally.
According to estimates by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), by the end of 2019, there were more than 4 billion Internet users, of which more than 3 billion were in developing countries. And it is estimated that by 2022, Internet users will likely reach 6 billion. However, despite progress in accessing the internet and mobile services, many people and businesses are still not connected to the internet. Globally, 3 billion citizens are still offline. In Africa, only 294 million people out of a population of more than 1 billion have access to the Internet. This also means that telecommunications services will have greater development prospects in the future.
The telecom industry includes digital infrastructure (such as fiber optics, telecom towers, active networks, and data centers), operators (mobile and fixed broadband, data centers, and cloud computing), and applications (broadband connectivity, telephony, video, etc.).
Many telecom operators, from broadband to mobile to data center operators, are benefiting from the surge in traffic from data and voice. In stark contrast to many other industries, the telecommunications industry has not been subject to major restrictions related to COVID-19, such as working from home. A short-term surge in data traffic at some telcos and increased broadband usage has reinforced demand for services as more people work from home and rely on videoconferencing to hold meetings.
In order to enable network signals to cover more areas and provide users with faster network access speeds, telecommunications companies are constantly increasing the number of telecommunications infrastructures.
What is Telecom Infrastructure?
Telecommunication infrastructure connects villages, cities, countries and overseas continents through networks. These network connections can be hardwired or wireless, and depend on rural areas, urban areas, or remote areas. Telecommunications infrastructure assets include “mobile technologies such as telephone wires, satellites, cables (including submarine cables), microwaves and fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks, etc.”.
- Carrier fiber routing
- Fiber Lit Buildings
- Telecom tower
- Data Centers
- Wire Center Data Boundaries
- Carrier Network Maps
- Submarine Cables & Landings
- Broadband Optical Fiber
- Broadband wireless
- Broadband Terrestrial
- Cable MSOs
- Central Office
- Area code boundaries
These assets form the most important part of the telecommunications infrastructure.
Rising Security Concerns in the Telecom Industry
Cybersecurity Issues in the Telecommunications Industry
Unlike other industries, telecommunications companies face unique cybersecurity issues due to their diverse business ecosystems and complex interconnected infrastructures. Many telcos have spent decades adapting to the changing communications environment to accommodate changes in the organization. For telecommunications, vulnerabilities exist at multiple levels: hardware, software, and people, and attacks come from multiple angles. As the telecom market is transitioning to 5G, telecom security needs to cover the multidimensional aspects of forecasting, preventing, responding, and investigating.
The most important security issues are:
Cloud Security Threats
Some of the most common cloud security threats are misconfigurations, data breaches, insider threats, lack of cloud security architecture and policies, and inadequate key management.
It is critical to monitor employee cloud usage and implement safeguards to prevent cloud data loss. Additionally, managing mobile devices and defining permissions for enterprise- and user-owned endpoints, including workstations, laptops, and smartphones, can effectively reduce risk.
While some attacks are retaliatory, the problem in the telecom industry is that many employees or insiders are completely unaware that they are a threat. In addition, very few people are trained in telecommunications security measures. Up to 30% of telecom industry workers are working remotely, and connections to unsecured networks are at their peak.
Consistent with this, empirical evidence shows that people still connect to unsecured Wi-Fi networks despite knowing that the risks are mainly from practice. Unfortunately, many applications do not encrypt the data sent by their users. The solution to this threat is cloud-based authentication, which includes biometric security. It protects your data no matter where your users or employees connect.
Bad actors can limit physical barriers affecting critical infrastructure and manipulate outcomes through remote penetration. They can gain valuable intelligence on intellectual property, trade agreements and personal data. To combat threats from terrorists and bad actors, always be on the lookout for identity fraud.
The most important factor in any enterprise security strategy is a comprehensive solution that provides a high level of business process and data protection along with a broad range of security capabilities to combat advanced threats. You need dedicated security solutions that provide the best level of security for all components.
Kaspersky is a pioneer in helping companies adjust their security policies. Help organizations reduce cyber risk with unique technologies and services, detect different types of attacks at an early stage, respond to real-time attacks and improve overall protection.
Physical Security Issues in the Telecommunications Industry
Site Sharing Complicates Access Management
A clear trend in telecommunications is so-called infrastructure or site sharing. Many government regulators today require network operators to share telecom site. This means that there are many people who need access not only to the main portal of the shared site, but also to the separate assets owned by the various operators within the shared site. However, since telecom operators do not own but rent space in an infrastructure environment, site access is controlled by a third party. This makes access management more complex. In these cases, access management based only on traditional mechanical keys can be quite difficult for manager.
Headache often include vandalism and theft when managing an unattended, siloed site. Containing expensive copper wiring, imported components, and other valuable resources, these infrastructures are prime targets for thieves, and valuable equipment is even being sold illegally across borders, a typical threat to telecom and tower companies. While fences, locks, and sirens provide an essential layer of security, the easiest way for thieves to gain access to these resources is through brute force, key duplication, and negligence by insiders. Once this kind of theft occurs, it will not only affect the security of the site but also seriously affect the user’s online experience and bring different degrees of economic losses to the company.
Not only do telcos need to build infrastructure, but they also need to maintain this equipment. Many employees or insiders copy the keys in their hands due to coercion or intentional violations, opening an unobstructed door for bad actors.
For telecommunications companies, the “bad thing” of these employees will be difficult to detect, but once theft occurs, the telecommunications company will face a direct shutdown, which will bring direct economic losses to surrounding users and the operation of the city. However, the telecommunications company has to find the person responsible for the accident for a super long time, and even no results.
Vanma solutions give you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your telecommunications facility from harm. Vanma allows administrators to the same site to easily grant access to their respective technical maintenance staff and field service engineers, and the Vanma Solution requires only one electronic key to achieve access to multiple locations. Additionally, lost or stolen electronic keys can be disabled to prevent any unwanted access.
For flexible control of on-site activities, remote authorization can be achieved by communicating with the VanmaLock APP using an electronic key. The reporting function in the Vanma Smart Access software keeps a record of every user’s action, helping telcos trace liability for incidents.
For more information about Vanma, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org