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IoT (Internet of Things) security in telecom

The internet and the way we use it are evolving at a tremendous pace. Being always connected has become the norm in today’s digital world, and we rely on the web for various aspects of daily life. Our mobile phones, tablets, and computers are always connected to the internet. Many of these interconnected devices depend on a working internet connection to function. These include wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers, home security systems, kitchen appliances, factory equipment, cars, and even smart homes.

The interconnected network of all these physical devices that enable them to gather and exchange data is called the Internet of Things, or IoT. While the IoT is intended to make our lives easier, the sheer number of connected devices we use every day presents cyber criminals with multiple opportunities to hack into and compromise entire IoT ecosystems. This is why IoT security measures are extremely important in our evolving digital age.

What is IoT security?

IoT security refers to the strategies and technology employed to keep connected devices safe from potential cyber attacks. IoT security is responsible for keeping IoT devices safe from hackers, securing the data that is exchanged between IoT devices, and preventing unauthorised access to the network.

IoT and the telecom industry

The advent and rapid growth of the IoT offers telecommunication service providers the opportunity to expand the products and services that they offer. IoT technologies are reshaping the role of telecom network providers in facilitating connectivity between users and the growing number of connected devices in use today.

A growing demand for IoT technology and solutions is offering telecom service providers new opportunities and encouraging them to diversify their offerings. Unfortunately, this evolution brings with it its own set of challenges, the chief among them being cybersecurity threats. As telecom infrastructure gets more intricate with support for a wide variety of connected devices, it is increasingly susceptible to exploitation. Without proper fraud management measures in place, modern telecom networks offer cybercriminals various opportunities to launch attacks. These may include data breaches or DDoS (distributed denial of service), malware, or ransomware attacks.

Common IoT security issues

The IoT offers a variety of devices the means to connect to the internet and each other, and as the number and type of such connections grow, so do potential access points for cybercriminals to infiltrate the network. Let’s look at some of the IoT security challenges commonly faced by telecommunication service providers.

Remote exposure

In contrast to other technologies, IoT devices are more vulnerable to cyber attacks owing to their internet connectivity, which presents cyber criminals with opportunities to engage with them remotely and infiltrate the network. Modern telecom fraud management solutions must be equipped to secure multiple entry points into the network to keep hackers from breaking into the network to commit fraud.

Limited computing power

A lot of today’s IoT devices are quite simple and don’t feature the computing power to interface with modern firewalls and antivirus solutions. They rely exclusively on Bluetooth technology to connect with other devices, leaving them exposed to data breaches. Telecom providers should ensure that their fraud prevention and management strategies are capable of keeping such devices secure.

Vulnerable passwords

Most IoT devices typically come with weak passwords, and many users may not realise the importance of updating these. Weak default passwords on IoT devices can expose them to potential threats like brute force attacks.

Lack of encryption

A significant portion of network traffic from IoT devices is not encrypted. Transmitting unencrypted data back and forth heightens the risk of data breaches and other cyber threats. Ensuring that all IoT devices on the network are secure and encrypted can prevent data from falling into the wrong hands.

How can Infosys BPM help you with IoT security?

The Telecom Fraud Management and Revenue Assurance solution offered by Infosys BPM can equip telecom providers with the tools and resources they need to combat the challenges of keeping IoT devices and networks secure. This telecom fraud management offering features the latest fraud detection and prevention measures designed to flag and eliminate intricate telecom frauds and network leakages. Reach out to know more about how Infosys BPM can help keep your telecom network secure from fraud.

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