It’s been widely reported that the telecom industry is at a higher risk for cybersecurity attacks than any other industry. We often hear about breaches in healthcare and banking, but the reality is that the telecom industry is far more susceptible to cybersecurity threats. For those in the industry, it’s important to understand the risks and take measures to guard against them.
Telecom providers host a wealth of sensitive data, such as credit card and personal information. This makes them an excellent target for hackers and an easy one because they often apply lighter security measures than other industries. According to a 2019 article in Security Boulevard, 43% of telecommunications companies experienced a DNS-malware-based attack in that year. Not only that, but companies were lax in applying critical patches necessary to thwart known threats.
2020 saw an unprecedented rise in cybercrime as hackers found opportunities with new work-from-home environments. They also exploited trends in politics and healthcare to level a large number of phishing attacks. For the telecom industry, this is especially dangerous because login information from employees can garner access to sensitive data.
Because the telecom industry uses a variety of network technologies that are rapidly changing and stores a large amount of sensitive data, it has become a major target for hackers. According to some data, telecommunication companies can lose as much as $886,560.00 from one DNS attack.
There are several types of attacks that telecom companies need to be aware of. DDoS are the most common. This is when attackers overwhelm the service with bots to cause a disruption and lag in uptime. Data breach is another attack that’s happening more frequently. Telecom companies have access to a wide amount of sensitive data. Often, malicious actors are only after the client information, which still compromises the company and can make victims of the client base.
One of the most common ways for hackers to infiltrate your system is through your employees. This may be a malicious act by a current or past employee. This is one reason that it’s imperative for companies to discontinue employee access to sensitive databases as soon as they’re no longer employed with the company. It’s also optimal to put in place security features that allow you to grant authority to employees and log their activity within your system.
Often employee-based breaches occur through error, rather than malicious activity. Employees may be fooled into downloading malware or clicking on phishing links. This can happen far more easily than most people realize, as the attacks are aimed at employees in this industry and are fairly sophisticated.
For telecom companies, it’s important to put plans in place to mitigate risks and maintain business continuity in the event of an attack. This strategy should include training for employees and an assessment of all security software and tools to make improvements, as needed. CNS’s CPNI training can help with this. If you’re ready to get your team up to speed on what they need to know to be cybersecure, start with our CPNI training course today.