When it comes to cybersecurity, telcos are faced with a wide range of diversity and complexity, including distributed and cloud RAN, Edge and Cloud Core, enterprise and subscriber devices, gateways, hubs, set-top boxes, multi-capacity routers, switches, base transceiver stations, femtocells, and 5G edge gateways. Hacker groups, APT groups and clusters, and malware creators frequently target telcos. A hacker can use two methods to attack telcos. Large-scale attacks on unaffiliated parties can be launched using their infrastructure. Telecoms themselves might be the target, along with their infrastructure. The rapid expansion of threat surfaces and digital infrastructure connected to telecoms has brought a quick rise in the number of danger vectors that are increasing in complexity, scale, and sophistication. The need for more intricate telecommunications and network security is at its peak.
There Will Always Be an Achilles Tendon
If there is anything that the recent events have shown us, it is that no one is safe. There is a target on everyone’s back. And the bigger the name, the bigger the target. Yet it does not mean that small names are safe either. They remain a target, nonetheless. The Optus hack can be a clear reminder that even the strongest, supposedly, can fall. And the telco world needs to watch closely. Telecommunications and network security awareness should be a topic of discussion now more than ever.
Moreover, if big names in the MENA region want to reach a point where they are considered security household names, the game needs to be stepped up. Ooredoo, for example, has been a genuinely bright example in the services aspect. Especially when considering the Ooredoo business internet plans or the Ooredoo Qatar broadband plans. Yet to replicate this level security-wise, a lot has to be considered. The idea that there is no such thing as prepared enough should be front and center. Telcos all over the world, and especially in the MENA region, need to get ready.
Finally, it is all a symbolic domino queue. Once a rock falls, it will slowly start a chain reaction of continuous downfall. This year alone saw the fall of many pieces. The telco world needs to catch up and level its security preparation to stop this trend. Luckily some of the region’s telcos are paying attention. Be it Ooredo Qatar or du UAE, with its du cybersecurity conference.
5G Remains a Threat Source
The bar for service accessibility and security is high since 5G was anticipated to be a driving force behind digitization and modernization for the commercial world. The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the primary organization creating technical specifications for 5G networks, has outlined vital security procedures and best practices CSPs are encouraged to use in their deployments to deliver on such goals. Although many features are optional, telecom providers may choose to forgo security to save time, money, or resources, which leaves their systems open to attack.
Additionally, since 5G is intrinsically different. Operators can anticipate encountering risks and assaults they may not be prepared to address. As a result, a thorough and well-equipped security architecture is crucial for assuring enterprise-grade cybersecurity. When we keep in mind the modest rollout of 5G and its current state, we can see the cracks in the big picture. These cracks can quickly leave telcos vulnerable, even the most prominent names out there, which can pose telecommunications and network security issues.
The deployment of the 5G network is a complicated, multi-layered transition, and security should be the top priority. The best approach for a telecom operator to assure the impregnability and the safety of their customers and B2B partners is to implement appropriate safeguards and protection mechanisms while establishing a network. Although the 5G security criteria are strict, telcos can tap into new addressable markets and improve their current service offerings by meeting them, making all these efforts profitable.
Telecommunications and network security issues will forever be the shadowy figure in the back of the telco’s heads. A constant worry, the more the technology advances, the more sophisticated the hacks are getting. Hackers adapt to the newest trends and await the perfect moment to slip through the cracks and steal or expose critical data. Telcos around the world should remain diligent. The question or the goal should not be to be the most secure in the world. It should be as prepared as possible regardless of the competition and their preparation. It is the duty of operators to be ahead of the game when it comes to security technology to limit uncertainty. Maintaining a secure network is a full-time time job, and customers will make sure that telcos staying ahead is non-negotiable.
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