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Telecom Security: Partnering to Protect Your Communication Ecosystem

With the rise of sophisticated threats and the increasing reliance on digital communication, leadership at telecom companies, or telcos, are under constant — and ever-increasing — pressure to secure their networks and protect their end-users. This article, we explore the benefits of partnering with a CSP (telco) security specialist and provide practical steps for analyzing protective partners.

In this blog, we will discuss:


The Need For Security And The Role Of Telecom Companies  

In an increasingly connected world, the telecommunications industry plays a pivotal role. Telecom companies, or telcos, provide the infrastructure that enables everything from personal phone calls and text messages to high-speed data transmission for businesses. With this critical role comes a significant responsibility: ensuring the security of our global communication networks.

Essentially, every individual and business today is a telco end-user. Given this industry's ubiquitous reach — Global telecom services spending was $1.5 billion in 2020 — it’s clear that all risks must be reduced by as much as possible.

And since the average end-user is nearly defenseless against these threats, they rely on you, their telco service provider, to ensure their communication security.

But how can a consumer trust you? Can they truly know that the phone number relayed to them via your network is not spoofed? How can they be sure that an unknown number has been filtered for spam first, and that your telecom company is correctly applying labels to spam / potential spam? How can they trust that a caller who appears to be from a well-known brand is not a scam artist? These are problems that all in the telecom industry must address.

However, with limited resources and a variety of ongoing other challenges, how can a telco effectively protect their end-users?

The answer lies in collaboration; finding a partner who understands the unique needs and challenges of telcos, who can supplement their data and technologies at a cost lower than the telcos can on their own, and with better results.

Effective Ways For A Telco to Partner With A Security Organization

Without decades of experience fighting these types of calls, and often without access to the range of information of a partner, it can be challenging for a telco to effectively protect their end-users.

Where does a telco executive even get started, though?

  • Narrow the Scope of Security Needs: Telcos need a wide range of security protections, from On-Premise and Cloud-stored Data Security, to Mobile Payment Security, eSIM provisioning, Device identity protection, and more. Often, vendors specialize in specific aspects of telco security. For the purposes of this article, we’re focused on securing trusted mobile networks for the end-users, but this data could apply to nearly any of these specialties.
  • Identify Potential Partners: Look for partners who specialize in telecom security and have a proven track record in the industry. Companies like YouMailPS, for example, source billions of spam-information data points from their consumer business, YouMail. This offers telcos data they wouldn’t normally have.
  • Evaluate the Services Offered: For end-user security, the primary solutions for consideration by a communication service provider (CSP) often include: telephone number scoring as a service, telephone number behavior as a service, and traffic analysis as a service. The best results on these topics are often derived from a mix of behavioral and content-based analytics, analyzed by AI.
  • Consider the Full Range of Benefits: Partnering with a security organization can reduce the risk of non-compliance with regulations, such as FCC fines and actions, save IT resources by outsourcing to subject matter experts, and provide more accurate solutions due to access to millions of data points. Often, seeing the full context makes the case for the investment more clear.
  • RFPs and Implementation: Obviously, get pricing and work through an implementation process once the most qualified candidate has been selected.

But this begs the question — how does a telco identify the most qualified security partner? Here are some potential areas to look for in a successful partnership:

  1. Leverage Expertise: Look for a partner with a deep understanding of the telecom industry and the specific security challenges it faces. They should have a proven track record in combating threats like spoofed numbers, spam calls, and brand impersonation.
  2. Utilize Advanced Analytics: A good security partner will offer advanced analytics capabilities, such as content-based analytics and telephone number scoring. These tools can help identify and block potential threats before they reach the end-user.
  3. Access to Extensive Data: Choose a partner with access to extensive data points. Also, consider partners that have many years or decades in the industry, as this data accumulates over time, compounding their knowledge logarithmically.
  4. Incorporate Real-Time Response: The ability to respond to threats in real-time is crucial. Look for a partner that can provide real-time data analysis and threat response.
  5. Ensure Cost-Effectiveness: Partnering with a security organization should be more cost-effective than attempting to handle everything in-house. The partner should be able to provide superior results at a lower cost.
  6. Consider Scalability: As your telecom business grows, your security needs will also evolve. Choose a partner that can scale their services to match your growth.
  7. Consider Flexibility: Perhaps you need one type of data, but not another? Or perhaps you just want a “score” for a phone number, then your IT team will decide what to do with it. Consider partners with a dashboard, the data, the experience, and the flexibility to meet your telco’s needs.
  8. Prioritize Customer Protection: Ultimately, the goal is to protect end-users. A great security partner will share this goal with you, working tirelessly to ensure the safety of your customers.

Finding the right partner can be extremely valuable to a telco. For example, Umberto Mautone from Veriswitch noted this of his partnernership, "In our ongoing effort to help our clients combat fraud and illegal call spamming, YouMail's data is an important part of Veriswitch's extensive mitigation technology, providing an additional layer of data-driven decision making to help identify, intercept, and reject suspicious calls in real-time.”

As the telecom industry continues to face increasing security threats, the need for effective security measures has never been greater. By partnering with the right security organizations, telcos can enhance their security, protect their end-users, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

Don't let your telco fall victim to security threats. Contact YouMail PS today to learn more about our solutions for securing trusted mobile networks with a no-obligation demo >


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