Despite challenges, the growth curve of the telecom industry has always trended upwards; it is expected that the sector will grow at a CAGR of 5% from 2020 to 2027. The promise of advancements in 5G technology and the opportunities that smart devices, factories, and cities create for Telcos seems set to drive the next big jump.
The need for high speed, reduced latency, and enormous bandwidths has telecom operators working around the clock to prepare their infrastructure and innovate to revolutionize how communication happens in the digital world. But in the race to enable better speed, bandwidth, and customer experience, security could take a backseat, causing potential new threats to emerge or be overlooked.
The need to proactively deal with security threats
Security challenges are not new to the telecommunication sector. The network infrastructure that provides the necessary backbone for the exchange of information across voice, video, data, and the Internet has always been the target of various forms of attacks.
In a post-COVID era, where economic headwinds are putting revenues under pressure and customer expectations are constantly rising, the impact of these attacks can be extremely far-reaching: from denial of service to poor integrity, loss of customer trust, and more.
Protecting these networks from attacks is an important aspect that cannot be ignored – especially at a time when even the smallest mistake can cause operator revenues to plummet. This is not an overstatement when you consider just how much rides on the stability of telecom networks today.
- As telecom becomes an ever more integral aspect of the day-to-day life of all consumers, a single attack has the capability to disrupt critical service for thousands of customers, cripple businesses, and shut down government operations.
- IP theft, data loss, or misuse would require operators to spend critical time and resources trying to recover the data while experiencing inevitable reputational damage, system disruptions, and disgruntled customers.
- Data breaches, phishing attacks, and fraud schemes can lead to rising insurance premiums, hefty fines, and lawsuits – along with loss of market share and plummeting customer trust.
- System or service disruption due to power outage, malicious action, or human error can lead to financial damage as well as the loss of loyal customers. Government regulators are also closely monitoring service levels and any deviations from laid out standards can prove extremely expensive and tedious to justify.
- For highly regulated sectors that depend on telecom networks for daily operations, security incidents can lead to extensive non-compliance repercussions and, even, blacklisting from future opportunities.
Role of security solutions
For telecom operators looking to overcome important security challenges to their current telecommunication networks, security solutions have a huge role to play in mitigating infrastructural insecurity as well as the risk from cyberattacks.
- SMS firewalls: Mobile Operators that face immense traffic often experience revenue loss and unwelcomed congestion due to spamming, spoofing, phishing, and flooding. Such traffic negatively impacts the quality of service while blocking crucial network bandwidth. SMS firewalls can help telecom and mobile operators protect their networks while blocking illegal SMS traffic. Mobile Operators can upsurge their revenues on SMPP Bulk Messaging while reducing operational costs and enhancing customer experience.
- Identity and access management: As telecom penetrates more and more into daily lives, it also gets more vulnerable to illegal access. Identity and access management solutions help to authenticate and authorize individuals and devices accessing Telecom services every day. These solutions pave the way for trustworthy user authentication, authorization, and consent management, avoiding unauthorized control of devices and illegal use of data – thus protecting operator revenues.
- Voice firewalls: With telecom users largely depending on voice calls for personal and business reasons, voice infrastructure is prone to massive attacks across a broad spectrum of threats. Voice firewalls aim to monitor voice networks in real-time, control inbound and outbound network activity, and generate alerts when undesired events occur. It carries out constant behavioral analysis to record metrics such as call duration, the time gap between two calls, failed call attempts, and more – helping operators circumvent call frauds and protecting revenue, maintaining customer experience, and ensuring regulatory compliance.
- Network security: As security threats and attacks on end-to-end networks constantly evolve, network security solutions can safeguard against illegal location tracking, spoofing, man-in-the-middle, and DoS or DDoS attacks. Through features like intrusion detection and prevention, content filtering, and perimeter protection, they can ensure key network assets, services, and data in transit are protected 24×7.
As the scope, variety, and complexity of threats increase exponentially and the volume of data transmissions swell, telecom frauds have become commonplace. As a mobile or telecom operator, if you want to protect your revenues and prevent your reputation from being tarnished, you need to take security threats seriously. This means partnering with an experienced telecom solution provider and embracing modern security solutions such as SMS and voice firewalls, network security solutions, and identity and access management solutions to easily detect threats and make your communication networks extremely resilient. This will become crucial to protecting revenues as the digital world marches onward on the back of telecom networks.