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How to secure customer data for Communications Service Providers (CSPs)

Sridhar Karnam (Sri_Karnam) ‎03-15-2013 01:45 PM - edited ‎09-09-2015 11:14 AM


I had a chance to speak with Alain Decartes, who is an industry expert in the telecommunication space for HP Software. After he studies the CSPs, he wanted to communicate the increased stress for security in that space. Alain thinks that customers rely on CSPs that security is built in for multiple layers to ensure that data is secured. 


Alain says “Customers rely Maintaining the security of customer data and privacy has always been an important consideration for communications service providers (CSPs). But the cost of cybercrime is increasing rapidly”. According to a Ponemon Institute research report, the average annualized cost of cybercrime for a CSP organization in the United States is $8.91 billion 1. That’s up from $5.28 billion just three years ago.  


The expansion of network access through advances in cloud and mobile technologies brings greater complexity and additional security risks to providers and their customers. And the regulatory pressures on CSPs to maintain security—from Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Payment Card Industry (PCI), and other regulations are not easing up. 


Rising expectations for data security:


CSPs have seen an explosion in virtualization, public cloud computing, and broadband adoption by their enterprise customers. And at the consumer level, the expansion of social networking, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, mobile payments, and wireless networking make it easier for customers to connect to enterprise applications and to one another. These trends potentially expand the “attack surface” at the perimeter of the enterprise network.


As these technologies become more widely adopted, enterprise customers are increasingly expecting their CSPs to act as security guarantors across these services. Successfully staying on top of such risks can result in greater customer loyalty and resulting share of wallet with the business and consumer customer.


Moving beyond point security solutions:


CSPs and their customers want to mitigate the threat of attack from competitors and malicious outsiders—attacks that could put financial records and intellectual property at risk. Point security technology investments have helped but do not provide the complete visibility needed to detect fraud, combat cyberthreats, and streamline compliance efforts.

To effectively address these problems, enterprises need to comprehensively monitor all locations and infrastructure, including data centers, retail branches, online infrastructure, and service usage activity.


Alain recommends that a comprehensive security solution should address five key priorities:


  • Manage information risk by identifying threats
  • Protect against increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats
  • Improve reaction time to security incidents
  • Increase the efficiency of security management
  • Achieve compliance in a predictable and cost-effective way

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