Companies in the telecom industry are steadily expanding their reach and gradually transforming into full-blown technology centres. With the world becoming the frequency of cyber risks and crimes have also increased. Cyber-attacks are one of the key challenges faced by telecom companies. As far as the telecom industry is concerned, there are broadly two aspects of risk: Cyber-attacks aimed at the business and Cyber-attacks aimed at subscribers/customers.
What are the popular forms of cyber threats in the telecom industry?
The cyber threats in the telecom industry not only cause inconvenience to customers but also disrupt the smooth functioning of telecom service providers. Let us take a look at some of the common forms of cyber threats:
Phishing or malware aimed at customers
Entry-level criminals can easily master these popular techniques. Cyber attackers combine data sets from different sources to build a detailed picture of potential targets and use them for blackmailing and social engineering purposes. Phishers and social engineers use multiple ways to make their attacks look more authentic by enriching their data with leaked profiles or by impersonating the employees of companies in the telecom industry.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
DDoS attacks have the ability to reduce network capacity, disrupt service availability, degrade performance and even bring down internet access. In the long-run, such attacks can also lead to a large-scale ransomware attack. Increasing mobile data transfer speeds and the growing usage of 4G technology are making smartphone based botnets more handy in executing DDoS attacks
Exploiting vulnerabilities in consumer devices and network
Vulnerability in various network devices, USBs and routers, and root exploits for Android phones are some of the common factors that provide new channels for attacks. In most cases, these cyber-attacks involve malware and technologies that cannot be easily removed.
Sometimes insiders to the companies in the telecom industry are also lured into perpetrating cybercrime. While some insiders play a role in it voluntarily, others are forced into obliging through blackmail. Insiders belonging to telecom service providers are recruited to provide access to data, which cannot otherwise be accessed by a third party. Cyber attackers can also track down important and confidential company data and other customer and corporate credentials through these attacks, which can get telecom companies into serious trouble with their stakeholders.