Because of the advancement of sophisticated technology, the telecommunications business has been evolving at a rapid speed. This market is expected to increase gradually in the coming years, according to Statista.
Simultaneously, the expansion of technology tools and systems exposes telecom firms to risks. They must safeguard the personal information of their customers, secure their networks, and ensure that their technology and software are secure against assaults and data breaches. The most critical network vulnerabilities faced by telecom businesses are discussed in this article.
When hackers send enormous volumes of data to a website hosting business, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack occurs, causing the website to go down. Hackers can significantly impair the website’s work and create considerable financial and reputational damage by surpassing its capacity to process many requests at once.
Because DDoS attacks have a negative impact on user experience and create corporate losses, telecom companies devise a variety of mitigation measures to mitigate the attacks’ consequences. Content distribution networks, blackholing, web application firewall technology, and others are examples. Existing mitigation methods, on the other hand, are frequently ineffective and cannot entirely protect businesses from cyber-attacks.
The public switched telephone network’s (PSTN) network elements send information and control signals using SS7 (Signaling System No.7) technology. Ss7 protocols were created in the 1970s, but they are still frequently used by telecom firms, especially to preserve older GSM (2G) and UMTS (3G) standards. The issue is that ss7 is no longer isolated, and it may now be accessed by both legal telecom businesses and hackers. As a result, it’s feasible to intercept SMS messages, listen in on phone calls, and perform other types of fraud.
The following is a list of the most common sorts of dangers linked to the usage of ss7:
- Information about subscribers is made public.
- Location of subscribers is made public.
- Information about networks is made public.
- Interception of phone calls
- Interception of text messages
- Subscriber Denial of Service
- Two-step verification codes for email accounts or other services are intercepted.
- Fraudulent use of credit card details
Because there is barely anybody who does not own a cell phone these days, everyone can be a victim of ss7 flaws. These flaws are used by law enforcement agencies, hackers, and fraudsters to obtain personal information and use it against people.
Telecom companies are working to strengthen the security of ss7, but their efforts have been patchy, leaving several vulnerabilities for skilled hackers to exploit. As long as the number of 4G and 5G users stays low, ss7 and its flaws will exist, allowing attackers to steal personal information. Unfortunately, other from not utilising the services at all, which is almost difficult in today’s environment, there is nothing that consumers can do to remedy the ss7 problem.
Malicious software, sometimes known as malware, is another issue that telecom firms face. It can exploit network weaknesses and slow down the machine if downloaded and installed unintentionally. Malware mostly affects cellular service providers and Internet service providers’ clients.
The following are the most common forms of harmful software:
- Malicious software includes things like trojan horses, viruses, and worms.
- Spyware and adware
- Botnets and bots
This technology is varied, and it may have a wide range of effects on consumers. Network-scanning malware, for example, can attack end-user routers and interrupt network functionality. Infected devices are easily accessible, allowing all valuable information to be leaked, including passwords, credit card information, photographs, and social network account data.
MessageTap is another well-known example of malware. It is designed for telecommunications networks, and it enables for the monitoring and recording of SMS traffic from specific users. As a result, although malware impacts customers directly, it also hurts telecom firms by reducing their capacity to deliver safe and dependable services.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a phenomena with enormous potential as well as severe concerns. This phrase refers to the connectivity of Internet-connected devices, allowing for quicker and more intelligent data transfer and utilisation.
IoT has been widely used by telecommunications firms in order to provide more customer-centric and diversified offerings. Vodafone, for example, lets customers add as many devices as they like to their monthly subscriptions.
Unfortunately, as the number of devices connected to the Internet rises, so does the pressure on telecom firms to extend and improve their security procedures.
Hackers will have an easier time accessing data when people share more and more personal information with and through their gadgets.
“Man-in-the-middle” hacking attempts, for example, allow fraudsters to intercept text communications between users and transmit messages that they believe are authentic.
As a consequence, customers may believe they are speaking with an official corporate representative when they are actually communicating with hackers.
Because consumers link several devices to the Internet, hackers may acquire access to all of the information they share by assaulting just one of them. As a result, telecom firms must invest in technology in order to identify and mitigate attacks to IoT systems.