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An audit trail is prominent for safeguarding telecommunications data security.
Neural Technologies6 min read

Telco Data Security: Why You Need an Audit Trail?

Customer PII Data Protection in Telecom BSS/OSS

Telecommunications Operational Support System (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS) hold a treasure trove of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including customer names, addresses, billing details, call logs, messages, and location data. As the number of interconnected devices continues to rise, the telecommunications industry faces increasingly complex data security challenges, particularly due to the significant amount of personally identifiable information (PII) and financial data shared by customers.

Data breaches can have severe financial and reputational consequences on telecommunication providers. The telecommunications sector is subject to numerous regulations and standards related to data privacy. Failure to adhere to these laws can result in regulatory fines and damage to their reputation. 

Understanding the importance of customer data protection and regulatory compliance, Neural Technologies' latest software upgrade introduces the new Customers’ Personal Information Data Security Module to elevate your data security within your revenue protection solutions. The features include:

  • Role-based Data Access
  • Multi-tenant Access Control
  • Export/Print/Copy Restriction
  • Single Item Copy
  • Enhanced Audit Trail

Strengthening Data Security: Why Do You Need an Audit Trail?

The ever-growing number of data breaches highlights the critical need for telecommunications companies to strengthen their data security measures by implementing a multi-layered security approach including regular security audits.

What is an audit trail? 

An audit trail is a chronological record of events, activities, or changes within a system in business operations. It essentially acts as a detailed log, capturing information with a comprehensive record that allows for tracking, monitoring, and verifying activities over time.

How does an audit trail work?

Think of it as a detailed log that documents the following information for each event:

  • Timestamps: Every action is assigned a precise timestamp, providing an exact record of the time it occurred. This chronological sequence is crucial for reconstructing events during investigations of potential security incidents.
  • User Identification: The audit trail meticulously records the user who performed the action. This could be a username, employee ID, or any other identifier that allows you to pinpoint exactly who accessed the system and interacted with what data.
  • Event Descriptions: Detailed descriptions of the actions taken are captured. This clarifies the specific activity that occurred within the system, whether it was viewing a customer's call history, modifying service plans, or deleting account information.
  • System Information: Additional technical details relevant to the event might be included. This could involve the specific OSS/BSS application used, the location from where the access occurred, and the type of activity undertaken (e.g. data creation, modification, or deletion).

By capturing this comprehensive data, audit trails offer a powerful tool for safeguarding PII within your telecommunications infrastructure and business operations.

Why are audit trails particularly crucial for OSS/BSS?

In telecommunications’ business operations, audit trails become even more critical due to the vast amount of sensitive customer personal data information these systems handle. Any unauthorized access or modification of this data could have severe consequences for both the organization and the customers. 

Enhanced Visibility and Accountability

Unlike a black box, an audit trail provides clear visibility into all activities occurring within OSS/BSS. This transparency fosters accountability among users, as they are aware that their actions are being documented. This awareness serves as a deterrent against unauthorized access or improper data handling.

Granular Tracking and Forensic Analysis

Audit trails go beyond simply recording who accessed what. They offer granular tracking, pinpointing the specific piece of PII data that was viewed, modified, or deleted. This granular detail becomes invaluable during forensic analysis of a suspected data breach. Investigators can quickly identify the exact data compromised and potentially trace the source of the unauthorized access, expediting the resolution process.

Real-Time Monitoring and Anomaly Detection

Advanced audit trail systems can be configured for real-time monitoring of user activity. This allows for the identification of suspicious events as they happen. Audit trails can detect anomalies like:

  • Access attempts from unauthorized locations. 
  • Attempts to access sensitive PII data outside of regular business hours.
  • A sudden surge in data modifications that could indicate potential tampering.

Compliance with Data Privacy Regulations

The telecommunications industry operates within a framework of stringent data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA. These regulations often mandate the implementation of robust audit trails.  By maintaining comprehensive audit trails, telecommunications companies can demonstrate compliance with these regulations, showcasing their commitment to safeguarding customer PII data.  This not only avoids potential legal repercussions but also fosters trust with customers.

Continuous Improvement and Risk Management

Audit trail data is a critical foundation for effective risk management for telecommunications companies. By analyzing this data regularly, organizations can gain valuable insights into user behavior and potential security weaknesses within the  system. This proactive approach to risk management allows them to identify and address security risks before they escalate into major breaches. 

Neural Technologies’ Customers' Personal Information Data Security Module

Audit trails are an essential tool for telecommunications companies to strengthen data security within their OSS/BSS systems.  By providing a detailed record of all activity within the business operations, they promote transparency, accountability, and enable organizations to effectively investigate and respond to potential security threats.

Neural Technologies’ latest software upgrade of Revenue Protection v12.2, takes audit trails to the next level, offering a more comprehensive approach to data security through our Customers' Personal Information Data Security Module.

The enhanced Audit Trail benefits include:

  • Detecting and Improving Incident Response: Building upon the core functionality of traditional audit trails, the new module offers a more meticulous record-keeping system. It tracks all data access and modifications in greater detail, providing a clearer picture of user activity within the system, specifically focused on customer PII data.
  • Enhanced Accountability: The comprehensive record not only fosters transparency but also ensures user accountability. By meticulously tracking data access and modifications for customer PII, our solution allows organizations to pinpoint exactly who accessed what sensitive data and what actions they performed. This strengthens accountability measures and deters potential misuse of customer PII.
  • Compliance with Industry Regulations: The detailed records captured by the enhanced audit trails act as verifiable proof of adherence to data protection regulations for customer PII. This simplifies compliance efforts for organizations by providing readily available documentation for audits and investigations.

More security features within the Customers' Personal Information Data Security Module include:

  • Role-Based Data Access (RBAC): Ensures that only authorized personnel can interact with specific critical information according to their specific roles with permission and privilege settings, complemented by customers' Personally Identifiable Information (PII) field-level redaction and encryption.
  • Multi-tenant Access Control: Segment customer data based on roles ensuring that users interact only with the information relevant to their responsibilities.
  • Export/Print/Copy Restriction: Prevent unauthorized data extraction by restricting the export, printing, and copying of customer PII data and personal information to maintain control over sensitive data breaches.
  • Single Item Copy: Extra layer of protection by limiting the ability to copy individual items of customer personal information to reduce data misuse or unauthorized distribution.

By significantly strengthening audit trails and offering additional features like Role-Based Access Control and data export restrictions, Revenue Protection v12.2 empowers telecommunications companies to achieve a more robust level of data security for their customer PII data within their business operations.  

Learn more about how our Customers' Personal Information Data Security Module can help you safeguard your data and build trust with your customers.