What is Data Security?

The telecommunications industry is what keeps the world connected, from establishing communications between people and businesses to establishing location tracking to securing payments around the world, the telco industry has revolutionized what it means to be connected. Such an interconnect global landscape means that data use has expanded massively with businesses accessing and storing vast amounts on private data on their users. Data security refers to the practice of protecting digital information from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft within a network. As enterprises invest in more ways to improve data security, hackers continue to build innovative methods to bypass data security laws and protection methods to gain access to their desired data bundles.

Given that the telco industry controls a vast amount of complex and critical information, the negative impact of a successful attack is not only significant, but also extensive.


Size of Cyber Crime Activity

The global cyber security market is expected o grow at an annual rate of 10.9% between 2021 and 2028 representing the growing need for more robust cyber security in the future due to the projected growth of cyber threats.

McAfee estimates that cybercrime will cost the world economy more than $1 trillion, with a noticeable growth in the rate of ransomware attacks. At the end of 2016, a business was targeted with ransomware attacks every 40 seconds and is expected to rise to every 11 seconds by 2021.


Why is data security important?

An organization’s data can include transaction data, databases, communication history and a lot more, but their most important asset is the customer data. Security and customer data go hand in hand. The more customer data a business handles, the more security they need to assure their customers are safe both online and offline.

Keeping your data safe means:

  • Sensitive data is not in the hands of competition
  • Data integrity can be retained
  • Enabling easy access to data at any given time

Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and telcos need to ensure that their data security protocols adhere to industry best standards, due to the volume of payment and personal information they hold.


Common security breaches for telcos

Research by SpyCloud and CPO Magazine highlight that telcos have invested heavily in security measures to protect their own networks and customers. Here are some potential breach points telcos should consider as part of their data security policy:


The use of Internet of Things (IoT) to automate business processes in telcos is increasing, with investments in IoT doubling to a total of $63 billion. Using IoT results in a lot of entry points for threats to enter a network because of the number of external devices or “things” connected. Security measures need to be taken with every device connected across the network to prevent security breaches from taking place.

Implementing such processes can be an added cost to the telco. However, is mandatory when managing numerous devices connected over a shared network in order to secure customer data.

Most vulnerable devices connected can include security cameras, smart hubs and network attached storage devices.

Insider Threats

This refers to the security breaches that can take place from within a telco, knowingly or unknowingly, by employees. With over 30 per cent of employees now adopting to remote and hybrid work models, the possibility for insider threats is a becoming a reality.

Telcos need to be a step ahead in terms of network security as employees can be connecting from a variety of means as they work from home. This can open up the possibility of external threats entering a private network.

Third-party Risk

A critical and decisive thinking point for all businesses. Allowing third parties to access a network or a section of the network gives attackers a variety of options and motives to infiltrate the network. Possible scenarios can include the use of poor passwords and security measures. Simple measures such as frequent log-in changes play a critical role in ensuring the security of customer data within a business. This avoids the likelihood of ex-employees, third parties from being able to access company data and reduces the chances of external businesses snooping within a network.

A popular method of breaching security among the telco community as selected services will be needed externally to handle the volume of big data running through the network.

Impact on business of security breach's

Reference: Embroker Insurance Services, ‘2021 Must-Know Cyber Attack Statistics and Trends’, <https://www.embroker.com/blog/cyber-attack-statistics/>


Data Security Spending

Global spending on data and cyber security measures are projected to increase drastically. The New variants of threats in the market have forced businesses to increase investments not only in emerging technology to provide users with a unique UI / UX, but also in information and data security.

Cost of data security

Reference: Embroker Insurance Services, ‘2021 Must-Know Cyber Attack Statistics and Trends’, <https://www.embroker.com/blog/cyber-attack-statistics/>


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