Critical Security Concerns of the Valuable Asset in Telco
Data plays a pivotal role in the operations of telecommunications companies (telcos) and a wide range of value-added service providers. Telcos, in particular, generate various categories of data, including call details data, network data, customer data and many more.
These data types encompass everything from call records within their networks to the operational status of network hardware and software components, as well as user identification information.
- Operations Support System (OSS) Data: OSS data comprises user behavioral insights derived from activities like internet browsing history, chat interactions, and gaming. This data is invaluable for enhancing network performance and user experiences.
- Business Support System (BSS) Data: BSS data includes critical information such as user identities, call durations, call destinations, communication billing, and service types. BSS data forms the backbone of telecom operations and customer interactions.
- Internet of Things (IoT) Data: IoT data serves both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) applications, with a significant impact on sectors such as healthcare, wearable devices, and smart homes.
- Location-Based Service (LBS) Data: LBS data offers essential insights for various purposes, from targeted business marketing and understanding population mobility to improving public safety and guiding urban planning efforts.
Within the telecommunications industry’s extensive ecosystem, encompassing employees, customers, and third-party entities, telcos emerge as alluring targets for malicious actors seeking to exploit data vulnerabilities.
The imperative to adopt proactive data security measures is paramount, as they stand as the linchpin for thwarting potential cyberattacks and safeguarding the assets of both telcos and end-users.
Furthermore, these measures play a pivotal role in ensuring the security, confidentiality, and integrity of data, underscoring their indisputable importance in the telecommunications landscape.
Data Security: Why Is It Important for Telcos?
Data security refers to the practice of protecting digital information from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction. It encompasses a wide range of measures and strategies designed to safeguard sensitive data, ensuring that it remains confidential, available when needed, and uncorrupted.
Data security is crucial in today’s digital age due to the increasing reliance on technology and the vast amount of sensitive information stored electronically.
There are several prevalent data security risks, including:
- Cyber Attacks: Cyberattacks are deliberate, malicious actions taken by individuals or groups to compromise computer systems, networks, or digital devices with the intent of stealing data, causing disruptions, or achieving other nefarious objectives. These attacks can have significant consequences for individuals, organizations, and even entire nations.
- Insider Threats: Malicious or compromised insiders refer to employees, or partners who either intentionally or unintentionally jeopardize an organization’s data security. Malicious insiders actively seek to steal data or harm the organization for personal gain, whereas compromised insiders continue their regular activities, often unaware that their accounts have been compromised.
- Social Engineering Attacks: Social engineering attacks manipulate individuals into divulging confidential information or performing actions that compromise security. Examples include pretexting (creating a fabricated scenario), baiting (enticing with something appealing), or tailgating (physically following authorized personnel).
- Ransomware: Ransomware is a form of malicious software (malware) designed to encrypt or lock a victim’s computer files, making them inaccessible. Once the victim’s data is encrypted, the attacker demands a ransom payment, usually in cryptocurrency, in exchange for providing a decryption key or releasing the victim’s files. Ransomware attacks usually cause financial threats.
- Third-Party Risks: Third-party risks refer to the potential security vulnerabilities and threats that can arise when an organization interacts with or relies on external entities, such as vendors, suppliers, service providers, or contractors. These risks stem from the fact that third parties often have access to an organization’s systems, data, or networks.
Embracing robust data security serves as a proactive shield against the unwelcome financial losses, regulatory penalties, and legal costs that may stem from data breach. Beyond safeguarding an organization’s bottom line, these measures also wield a powerful influence in reinforcing customer trust and consolidating the organization’s reputation.
Telecom OSS / BSS – How do you protect OSS / BSS data from data breaches?
A comprehensive data security management and strategy process plays a pivotal role in an organization’s efforts to mitigate the risks associated with human errors and insider threats, both of which remain primary causes of data breaches.
The data security framework leverages various tools and technologies to enhance visibility into an organization’s data landscape and its utilization. These tools serve as safeguards, employing processes such as data masking, encryption, and redaction of sensitive information. Simultaneously, this comprehensive approach aids in optimizing audit procedures and ensures compliance with increasingly stringent data protection regulations.
Here are key components of an effective data security strategy:
Regular Patching and Updates
Regularly applying patches and updates to critical systems within telecommunications, such as Revenue Management Systems like OSS BSS, is crucial. This proactive approach addresses vulnerabilities and reduces the potential for exploitation. Keeping abreast of security advisories from vendors and promptly applying patches is essential to maintain the security of these systems.
Access control mechanisms are vital in ensuring that anyone attempting to access data undergoes authentication to confirm their identity. Furthermore, authorization mechanisms are implemented to ensure that individuals access only the data they are specifically authorized to view or modify.
Data Security and Protection
Data protection measures are implemented to safeguard data even if unauthorized parties manage to gain access. This is achieved through robust encryption, which renders data unreadable to anyone lacking the private encryption key. Additionally, data loss prevention mechanisms are deployed to prevent users from transferring sensitive data outside the organization, thereby mitigating the risk of data breaches.
Elevate OSS/BSS Data Security Protection with Neural Technologies
With a rich history spanning decades, Neural Technologies stands as a trusted partner dedicated to assisting businesses, particularly telecommunications operators (telco operators), to protect and grow your end-to-end revenue chain.
Adapting to the evolving landscape, Neural Technologies’s new software versions, Optimus Data Integration Version 8 and Revenue Protection Version 12 are bringing a host of groundbreaking innovations to the table, designed to revolutionize organizations’ data security and user experience.
In these latest iterations, we have placed a strong emphasis on data security measures to ensure that all sensitive information remains safe and secure. Below are some highlights of new features in both new versions:
Optimus Data Integration Version 8
Powerful enterprise-ready web-based tools for data integration and workflow management to enhance efficiency, insights and data security.
Platform Operation Manager Plugin: Easily manage and operate your Data Integration Factory and supported with built-in monitoring visualization for complete visibility of the data pipeline workflows.
Service Management Platform Plugin: Real-time monitoring with unified analytics feature to keep track of your entire OS system’s processes, health and performance for rapid troubleshooting and optimization to ensure smooth and secure operation
Kafka Manager Plugin Oversee the Kafka Cluster, manage and keep track of the data streaming performance, security and activity in real-time to ensure high throughput and to prevent system breakdown and data loss.
Custom Implementation Plugin: Empowers users to create and integrate their own web-based plugin to enrich their data integration based on their unique needs.
Multi-user multitenant browser applications Enhance data security and ensure operational excellence for distributed workforces.
Optimus Revenue Protection Version 12
Powerful role-based security feature ensuring your BSS sensitive information is protected with special access rights, privileges management and control for data sensitivity accessibility implementation.
Granular Access Control: Access levels and permissions can be defined and tailored to different roles, fine-tuning who can view, edit, or manage specific data sets, ensuring data privacy and compliance.
Multi-Tenant Account Access: This feature is configured using data segmentation based on roles to ensure that users only interact with the data relevant to their responsibilities and operational needs.
Flexible Adjustments: Permissions can be easily adjusted as roles evolve, ensuring that data access remains accurate and up to date.
Audit Trail and Security: Keeps track of detailed records of data access and modifications made by different user groups or specific roles to enhance the audit trail security.