Cybersecurity threats such as ransomware are now well-known. These threats are only becoming more prevalent as organised criminal groups and hackers continue to evolve methods to avoid or defeat security measures. The telecom sector is viewed as one of the most vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.

According to a report from Efficient, 43% of telecom orgs have had a DNS-malware based attack. Couple this with people increasingly working from home and using their mobile devices to do so along with using these mobile devices as their primary means of staying in touch with people, and the need for data security becomes even more critical. In fact, according to Comscore who recently did a year-over-year comparison to March 2019, mobile phone data usage in the US grew by more than 50 per cent in March 2020. Considering the effects of COVID-19, it wouldn’t be surprising if these numbers have continued to rise.

Telecommunications companies need to ensure that their data security standards are of the highest quality because of the volume of payment card and personal data that they hold. They are most at risk from two specific types of cyberattacks: 1) direct attacks from criminals trying to access their network operations and 2) data and indirect attacks which target the company’s subscribers via their mobile phones and financial and personal identity information (PII).

Education About Security Is Key

It turns out there is a lack of awareness about amongst employees about the kind of security threats telecommunications face. Oftentimes, employees unknowingly and inadvertently set in motion security breaches. Telecommunications companies could be well-served to invest in education and training surrounding data security for all employees.

Educating employees about cybersecurity risks, new ransomware strains, and best practices for spotting phishing attempts, suspicious emails, and other data risks could greatly reduce security vulnerabilities. Empowering your team to be proactive and report questionable content using a system of rewards and incentives can also help increase awareness and decrease overall risk.

How the Telecom Industry Can Reduce its Data Security Risk

Effective security strategies rely on two core concepts – 1) a focus on preventing the threat and then, 2)- robustly responding and defeating the threat when it occurs. There is always a need for both preventative and reactive measures. Responding to a cybersecurity attack depends on controlling the situation as much as possible. Plan and then implement a coordinated response so the impact to your business and brand reputation is minimal.

Effective preventative measures include:

Threat detection: A thoughtful vulnerability response can help security teams respond faster and more efficiently to incidents and vulnerabilities, and there are solutions that can be implemented to streamline security response with automation.

Sensitive data detection: Technology such as Enterprise Recon enables you to quickly and easily discover, remediate and report on more than 300 predefined and variant personal data types across multiple systems, and makes compliance with security regulations much easier to achieve. With Enterprise Recon, you have the information you need to take measures to ensure the personal data you hold for your subscribers is appropriately secured.

Ready to learn more about how Ground Labs can help your company strengthen its data governance posture? Ready a demo today!

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