Security in Telecom: Common Cyber ​​Threats and Their Solutions

The telecom industry is the target of cybercriminals as it stores a large amount of company data in digital space to ensure the flow of information. All digital communication, from e-mail and messaging to phone and video calls, takes place thanks to telecommunication technologies.

This advanced industry manages many networks and sensitive data to meet market needs. For companies providing services in the field of telecom, protecting and managing user data is as important as the service they provide.

Providing Cyber ​​Security in the Field of Telecom

Ensuring cyber security in the telecom field is as challenging as it is important. The most important reason for this is that telecom companies with a large number of users continuously store new data streams.

For this reason, the telecom industry needs to act proactively and take cyber security measures before a threat occurs.

So, how is telecom in the fight against cybercrime? According to a 2018 report by EfficientIP, a network security and automation company, the telecom industry is struggling with cybercrime.

  • 43% of telecommunications organizations were attacked by DNS-based malware.
  • These companies took an average of 18 hours to respond to the cyberattack, while 81% took three days or longer to apply a security patch.

These statistics confirm that the telecom industry needs to improve itself and take precautions in the field of cyber security.

First of all, you can take advantage of our data security consultancy services to prevent data breaches in accordance with GDPR conditions.

You may also be interested in this article: Why Do You Need Data Security Services to Protect Your Company?

What Are the Current Vulnerabilities in Telecom?

According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), your telecommunications company has to take many measures to protect data against cybercrime.

Understanding existing vulnerabilities prepares you for threats.

SS7 and Diameter Signaling Threats

The SS7 (No. 7 Signaling System) or Diameter protocols used by many core telecommunications services are flawed. Newer protocols such as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) are vulnerable to threats without proper controls. Hackers, who can easily obtain 2FA authentication codes, can access users’ accounts.

DNS Attacks

DNS (Domain Name Security) attacks are a major problem for telecommunications companies. The cost of such attacks is increasing every year. He explained to the Global DNS Threat Report that in 2020, about 79% of telecom organizations were exposed to DNS attacks. The average cost of these attacks is $924,000.

DDoS attack

DDoS attacks interrupt the services of the Internet-connected host temporarily or indefinitely. We can say that DDoS attacks are one of the most common types of cybercrime. The 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report reveals that the telecom industry has suffered more DDoS attacks than any other industry.

These attacks can result in data breaches and identity theft, as well as increasing traffic costs, disrupting service availability, compromising internet access by targeting ISPs.

What are the steps to take when you are attacked?

Let’s say as a telecom company, you are faced with a data breach and identity theft. You need to act quickly to secure your systems and fix any security vulnerabilities that could lead to a breach.

These are the first steps you can take:

  • Establish a breach response team to prevent additional data loss.
  • Change access to credentials, passwords, and breach-related codes.
  • Contact people who discovered the violation.
  • Identify a data forensics team and legal counsel.
  • Disable all affected equipment immediately.
  • Use clean machines instead of affected machines.

Unfortunately, all this is not enough. In addition to following and directing the legal processes, it is a necessity to both prevent other possible data breaches and make a media plan that will protect your company’s reputation.

Cyber ​​Security in Telecom: Challenges and Solutions

As a telecom company, there are some challenges you will face in dealing with cyber attacks. Chief among these: lack of knowledge, incorrect use of technology, and an incompetent team.

So how can you deal with these challenges?

The ways of providing cyber security in the telecom sector can be summarized under these 3 main headings:

Making difference

Awareness is the first step of telecom companies in the fight against cybercrime. The lack of technical knowledge of company employees and managers is one of the biggest challenges. Failure to take the necessary technical precautions regarding password and data sharing often leads to data breaches.

Creating cybersecurity awareness among customers and employees reduces risks to a certain extent. You should inform personnel about how they can be targeted and what the protocol is in the event of an attack. By raising awareness, you can protect your budget and your reputation.

Using the Right Technology

All your information technology infrastructure, from servers to mobile phones, should be protected with appropriate security solutions. First of all, adequate security measures reduce the risk of infiltration. This also allows you to quickly detect any attack.

The longer hackers have access to your system and information, the more damage they can do to your company. The cost of a major security breach exceeds your budget for data protection in the short and long term. For example, if customers are convinced that their data is not safe at your company, they may choose competing companies.

Building the Right Team

Cybersecurity requires the right team as well as the right technology. Having a competent and reliable team in the field is very important in terms of cyber security and data protection.

Your team should take on responsibilities such as following best practices, arranging training for staff, arranging the technical side of things. The cybercrime team is just as indispensable as your marketing team or finance department.

To effectively combat cybercrime, telecommunications companies need to raise awareness, organize employee training, and turn to appropriate technological solutions. But the first step is to set up the right work team.

At this point, Omreon, an experienced and competent institution in its field, is with you while taking the steps you need.

Why should your company have an Incident Response plan?

Incident Response Plan for Companies

According to a 2018 IBM report, 77% of organizations do not have an effective incident response plan that they put in place when a security breach occurs. Incident response plans, which every company needs, allow you to keep your company’s data security, reputation and budget under control.

What is Incident Response (IR)?

Incident response (IR) encompasses a set of procedures, tools, and resources that companies use to recognize, respond to, and recover data after cybersecurity attacks.

Let’s say your company detects a data breach. If you go directly to damage control, this can cause disruption and even chaos in the long run. An incident response plan (IRP) prevents chaos.

Incident response plans are not vague and tentative ideas of what your company will do in the event of an attack. Rather, it contains step-by-step instructions on how the company should continue to work and operate, and who to contact. Thus, your company can take strategic steps against a data breach.

Types of Security Incidents You May Encounter

Companies often face the following 4 common security incidents. Knowing about these possibilities guides you in creating an incident response plan.

DDos Attack

A DDoS attack is when a hacker bombards incoming traffic to any application with high-volume requests. This attack can cause unseen results and slow speed in internet and application operation.

Malware and Ransomware

Malware is software created to damage, disrupt, or gain illegal access to a client, computer, server, or computer network. Ransomware, on the other hand, is a specific type of malware. It demands ransom, threatening to delete or keep files that are accessed without permission.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a form of fraud, usually via email, to obtain the information of individuals and companies. This security incident is a method that is frequently encountered in work environments and puts companies at risk in terms of GDPR.

Internal Threats

Internal threats are intentional or unintentional attacks by highly authorized individuals who have access to a company’s assets or data. The fact that employees and managers who have access to data in the remote working system do not have sufficient knowledge about cyber security increases this risk.

For more information, check out the top cyberthreats in 2021.

Why Do Companies Need an Incident Response Plan?

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a regulation created for the protection of personal data. This regulation also obliges to establish a procedure for how to manage the incident when there is a violation. For this reason, incident response plans are also legally required.

A cyberattack or data breach can wreak havoc on customers, partners, and your company. For example, when personal data of customers and information about your company are captured, it is used for malicious purposes. On the other hand, such cyber threats also mean loss of time, money and reputation for your company.

An incident response plan will help you minimize these losses. With this plan, you can recover your data as soon as possible. At the same time, having a good incident response plan is an important criterion in your relationship of trust with investors, business partners, customers and employees.

In the advanced technology age we live in, many companies from different sectors may encounter data breaches or cybercrime. That’s why the best way to protect your company is to develop a well thought out, repeatable and consistent incident response plan.

Contact us to prepare your incident response plan together with Omreon’s expert team.

What Should You Include in Your Incident Response Plan?

Incident response plans vary according to the structure of the company, the technologies it uses and the data it stores.

However, there are steps that must be taken when devising a plan to protect companies.

Tip: First, summarize the plan’s goals, scope, and guiding principles. Emphasizing the purpose guides the rest of the plan.

Identify Violation and Identify First Steps.

In this section, ask yourself the following questions and incorporate the answers into the plan:

  • Under what conditions should you activate the plan?
  • Who will have the authority to apply for and initiate the plan?
  • Where and how does the incident response team meet?
  • Who should be contacted in the first step?

Create a Requirement List.

Incident response teams must decide in advance what items and information they will need in the event of a breach. For example, spare cables, chargers, notepad etc. Keep tools close by.

Identify Roles and Responsibilities.

Incident response team should be identified. You should also clarify what roles and responsibilities these members have. Note also the backup contacts to be reached if any of these members is unavailable.

Detection and Analysis: Build Scenarios.

All your documentation on how a security breach was identified and detected is in this section. This section usually consists of scenarios. You can seek professional help from people who have experienced similar attacks before and produce practical solutions.

Explain Technical Procedures.

Technical procedures list methods of containment. It also outlines procedures for recovering affected systems and eliminating the threat.

Determine Communication Method and Tool.

Decide in advance what methods and tools you will use when communicating with parties such as cybersecurity consultants, law enforcement, and customers.

Increase Security by Evaluating the Incident.

After the violation is resolved, it is time for the evaluation process. It is necessary to take steps regarding how the violation took place and how to prevent similar violations in the future. Evaluate the event and update your plan to include the necessary changes.

In the event of a cybercrime or data breach, you should predetermine the steps you need to take. Only when you create a regular and systematic incident response plan can you ensure data security.