Telecommunications

Telecommunications

Telecommunications & 5G

Integrating new technologies and security into a critical infrastructure

Strengthened connectivity, secured digital identities and an expansion of services become imperative in order to improve business outcomes and to support the digitisation within this industry.

Telecommunications largely brings two words to mind - data and connectivity, both of which are ever more central to how modern society operates. This sector has become the enabler of the emerging Internet of Things.

The strong value of viable, robust connections and expansion of services, particular towards digital businesses, now become critical and consumers no longer look for better services as a ‘nice to have’, but as a critical feature within everyday life - better services are almost like an insurance policy in order to carry our day to day functionality and therefore, the expectation for resilient connectivity becomes the norm with consumers potentially being willing to pay a premium for cutting-edge service.

5G and its immanent massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) are expected to be at the forefront of this disruptive change, with conceptual advantages promising better scalability and reliability of networks, low latency and power consumption. Wide coverage and roaming are easily implemented, as are low costs. Another significant innovation in 5G with regard to the IoT is Service Level Agreement support.

However, the increasingly widespread telecom infrastructure is a target for cyber attacks and an attack on such a critical technology will have an impact that can be very high and far reaching- critical services can be shut down and sensitive customer data can be targeted. On a further critical level, is the attack of infrastructure equipment, such as home routers which can then be used to initiate other simultaneous attacks.

Data-security, privacy by design and infrastructure-robustness are imperative - assuring customer protection, data privacy, strong authentication, device security and service reliability. Given the severe consequences of a security breach and damage to reputation, it’s critical to build on reliable and proven cryptographic cybersecurity solutions in unison with secure 5G to protect against espionage, data theft and accidental down-times. Utimaco flagshipped 5G and cybersecurity for years, providing seamlessly integrated homegrown solutions for secure, agile, cutting edge telecommunication.

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Lawful Interception

Lawful interception (LI) refers to the legally approved surveillance of telecommunication services. It has become an important tool for law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world for investigating and prosecuting criminal activities and terrorism. Most countries have passed laws that require telecommunication service providers to support law enforcement agencies (LEAs) with duly authorized requests to identify, monitor, and deliver electronic communication of individuals. In addition, there are national regulatory authorities and international standardization bodies that together define the technical framework for legal interception.

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Data Retention

Telecom data retention refers to the process of preserving all traffic data and subscriber data for various telecommunications services for a period of months and years. However, this data does not include the content of a communication. Law enforcement agencies and intelligence services regard the access to retained telecom data as a pillar of modern crime investigation and the prevention of terrorism. Retained electronic data is regularly used to identify and trace suspects, uncover terrorists’ social networks, or to collect admissible evidence for court proceedings.

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Digital transformation

Digital transformation within the telecommunications sector is synonymous with modernisation of business processes to compete with other digital disruptors and adapting to as customer-centric, mobile first world alongside customer expectations. In turn, services are anticipated to be delivered seamlessly. Controlling, building, operating and storing vast amounts of personal data - telecoms are a large target for cyber attacks.

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Digital Communication & End-to-end Encryption

Communication on various platforms such as video conferencing, social media, messaging apps and emails necessitates a sufficient level of privacy. As a result, end-to-end encryption is required, rendering data incomprehensible when in transit, with only communicating users able to read data exchanged between them. This prevents information from being stolen and read by a third party. Secure provisioning and storage of identifiers and credentials is integral to provide a secure deployment in order to achieve trust and security. Hardware technologies such as HSMs need to be utilised.

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Data Security & Privacy in the 5G Era

The 5G ecosystem is at the center of network equipment providers, system integrators, cloud providers and vendors- all with requirements to mitigate risks that the 5G architecture will present to their data protection strategy. In the era of 5G where security on a system wide level is a prerequisite for reliable operations, a ‘trusted’ secure architecture is paramount.

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Cryptographic Identity for Components

In a networked telecommunications environment with increasing share of machine-to-machine communication, each component has to "know and trust" each other, and "identify" themselves with their digital identity. Cryptographic techniques enable strong encryption and qualified identity validation. The route to secure identity commences during the manufacturing process when components are enhanced through cryptographic key injection.

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