Telecommunications reach deep into the daily circumstances of individuals, businesses, and governments. Telecoms, in fact, touches nearly everything and everyone, and, along with energy, forms a foundation upon which all other critical infrastructure operates.

A successful cyber attack on a telecommunications operator could disrupt service for thousands of phone customers, sever Internet service for millions of consumers, cripple businesses, and shut down government operations. And there’s reason to worry: Cyber attacks against critical infrastructure are soaring.

Today’s cyber adversaries are constantly sharpening and evolving their capabilities to exploit new vulnerabilities. Addressing these threats will require that telecoms operators approach activities and investments with comprehensive, up-to-the-minute knowledge about information assets, ecosystem threats, and vulnerabilities.

The information and communication technology (ICT) industry has evolved greatly over the last several decades. The interconnected nature of ICT devices and systems, along with modern society’s dependence on the technologies and services this sector provides, increases the risk of cyberattack. Furthermore, firms in this industry often act as a clearinghouse or storehouse for data gathered from other industries.

Similarly with Technology companies, the high tech sector is often ground zero for cyber-attacks. One obvious reason is that these organizations have very valuable information to be stolen. However, another more subtle reason is the nature of high tech organizations themselves. High tech companies – and their employees – generally have a higher risk appetite than their counterparts in other sectors. Also, they tend to be early adopters of new technologies that are still maturing and are therefore especially vulnerable to attacks and exploits.

Technology is a key enabler, but it can also be a key source of vulnerability. For example, because of the tremendous need to establish trust on the internet, attacks on certificate authorities have caused serious privacy breaches across a number of industries. Also, vulnerabilities in point-of-sale systems have led to major security breaches for retailers, and back doors in communication hardware have exposed organizations in every sector to a wide range of attacks.



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