Cyberattacks have moved on from traditional techniques and have become more targeted and sector-specific. Attackers are operating in stealth mode, making attribution of attacks more difficult. Digital transformation has taken center stage and new technologies like cloud and IoT are increasing the attack surface of an organization’s digital assets. As a result, attackers around the world are arming themselves with innovative tool sets. In order to provide resistance to impending attacks, it is crucial for organizations to heighten their level of preparedness and strive to achieve proactive resilience.
What makes the communications industry so vulnerable?
Communications carriers are in the middle of a technological evolution. Software Defined Networks (SDNs) are transforming network management and cloud computing is helping telcos scale for growth.
But with these opportunities come risks. Telcos often open themselves up to cyber threats since they are responsible for the construction and operation of crucial infrastructure needed to communicate and store sensitive data. Skilled hackers and government agencies employ advanced persistent threats that can operate undetected. Communication channel components like edge devices, core network elements, and end user services that run on them are often targeted.
Customer data and leased infrastructure equipment are other common targets. Telcos store personal, highly sensitive customer information like names, addresses and financial data. Cybercriminals also target house routers from internet service providers to steal or store data. Telcos are restructuring their security governance processes, functions and structures to address these new threats.
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The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risk Report 2019 has rated cyberattacks amongst the top four global risks, only behind climate change, extreme weather events and natural disasters.
Adopting a cyber-resilience framework that can propel the maturity of security processes and technology in the new-age communications enterprise will help mitigate new emerging risks. User security awareness, consumer identity management, third-party risk management, and good patch management is expected to aid in reducing cybersecurity risks across both the carrier network and organizations attached to it.