As phone and internet access have merged into one service, forming the pillar of just about every enterprise, telco security has come under attack.
The telecommunications industry is rapidly evolving and struggling to maintain strong security practices. A single cyberattack on a telecommunications provider can easily result in a chain reaction that knocks out systems in hospitals, businesses, government agencies and individual homes alike. Additionally, attackers can use providers’ vast networks against them, as a distribution method for their attacks to circumvent telco security controls.
Top telco security threats
These factors make telecommunications providers hot targets for a variety of malicious behavior. That includes DDoS attacks, which employ a networks of infected machines called botnets.
A breach of a UK telecommunications provider exposed user account information, which attackers then used against the customer base in social engineering attacks attempting to extort money.
Telecommunications providers are also highly susceptible to eavesdropping attacks, in which a threat actor is able to listen in on phone calls and scrape data transmitted between parties. This practice has been used in both corporate and government espionage to spy on competitors and adversaries.
How to secure telecommunications
The gravity of these telco security risks has left government agencies scrambling for broad regulatory solutions, but companies shouldn’t wait for politicians — most of whom are unfamiliar with the many nuances and diverse ecosystem of the cybersecurity landscape — to save the day.
It is imperative for telecommunications providers to not experience any downtime or breaches. Customers who depend on their services expect it. Managed security services that include a web application firewall, DDoS protection and proactive threat intelligence can secure telecommunications from any angle of attack.