Cloud Security Relies on Key Communications and Trust From Partners
With Forrester forecasting the international market for Cloud computing is expected to grow to reach more than $250 billion by the end of 2020, this is a big market for the telecommunications industry to get involved in.
Telcos, and other communications service providers, are in an interesting position of being both Cloud consumers and Cloud service providers. As such, according to a report by Accenture – “A new era for communications service providers” – they are facing two related questions in the cloud journey:
- where to compete versus where to partner;
- how to combine investments for internal use and external provide.
Accenture also believes Cloud computing totally changes the game for telcos. They will need to “drive down costs, increase competitiveness and boost agility and scalability” to make a dent in the enterprise Cloud IT market.
A survey carried out by Talkin’ Cloud found that telcos had been slow to the Cloud market, where none of the top 100 Cloud service providers, aggregators or brokers came from a telecoms company. But Jim Poole, writing on the Equinix blog, said he believed this would change as big names like AT&T, Verizon, Orange Business Services and XO Communications were starting to push into the Cloud services market.
And, as more businesses move their services to the Cloud, it’s no surprise that security becomes a big concern and one which is vitally important telcos are able to address. Research from Nokia’s Acquisition & Retention study 2016 showed that 68% of consumers were concerned about viruses and malware and that 47% of customers would switch operators if they experienced a security breach.
The good news is that a collaborative approach yields a smarter security strategy than one designed in a silo and here at SmartIPX we’ve been working since 2011 to build up our triumvirate of “Best in Class Technology, Repeatable Processes and a Well Trained, Well Managed, Motivated Team to bring it all together”. Our recent ISO9001:2015 accreditation is the latest demonstration of our commitment to quality of service and excellent processes.
Michael Machado, writing on NoJitter, explores this element of collaborative approach in more detail, looking at why Enterprises must work hand in hand with UCaaS providers to ensure strong end-to-end security of communications delivered from the Cloud.
Quite often it is companies, and the specific data they hold, which are targets of cyber attacks as this data can then be used to commit further crime. We touched on this in our previous blog – Just how big is the financial risk from telecommunications fraud? – when we looked at data breaches at both TalkTalk and Three Mobile.
Businesses mapping out their Cloud strategies need to understand how the Cloud changes the risk profiles of their data and communications. For those embarking on the switch, here are four key guidelines for crafting a smart and collaborative security strategy for your communications:
- Understand the risks
- Establish transparency
- Identify your real data security needs
- Heed regulatory requirements
The primary consideration in building a security strategy is the knowledge of what’s going on with your traffic and your data. Consider what information truly has business value and/or poses a liability risk to your business. The value of all data to your organisation is not equal, and trying to secure every last byte as a blanket rule tends to be less effective than having clear priorities and focusing your efforts on what matters most.
One of the best methods for being able to analyse, control, and protect your data is through the use of a Session Border Controller(SBC), a dedicated hardware device or software application that governs the manner in which phone calls are initiated, conducted and terminated on a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network.
The roll of Session Border Controllers in protecting networks
Deploying an SBC helps protect networks from unauthorised access and theft. In fact, 88% of service provider respondents in a 2012 Infonetics survey rated security as the most important SBC function, however, monitoring of that network is then critical to winning the battle against the fraudsters and protecting customer relationships.
Here at SmartIPX we deploy Cataleya’s Orchid One, a Network Session and Application Manager, an enhanced Session Border Controller (eSBC). Orchid One’s new Machine Learning (ML) algorithm is enabling a more proactive approach to monitor any ongoing call flow. This new functionality, backed up by our engineers knowledge of our partners’ network and traffic patterns, and the processes to make sure that this knowledge is acted upon swiftly and decisively, makes it even easier for us to detect anything suspicious or abnormal in call behaviour.
This is risk management activity of a critical kind, as once a fraud is occurring the potential losses can be business threatening. Our recent case study with the Imagine Group gives one operator’s perspective on the effects of telecoms voice fraud. Collaboration between network operators, industry organisations, regulatory bodies and phone manufacturers is already paying off with improved data security options.
Learn more on how we connect our clients to cloud-centric networking
Telecoms is in transition to a full Cloud environment, where rapid deployment, reliability and technology upgrades have become a de facto standard. This opens up a wealth of service possibilities not feasible under more traditional siloed telecoms scenarios.