2 minute read 31 Aug 2020
Radio Telescope at night

Aligning cybersecurity to enable the Telco metamorphosis in a post-COVID-19 era

By Ritesh Guttoo

EY Africa, India and Middle East Cybersecurity Leader

Cyber security sounding board for top organisations. Uses new technology like robotics and machine learning to bring insights to clients. Husband and father of two. Loves testing the latest gadgets.

2 minute read 31 Aug 2020

Telcos across the globe are trying to embark on a transformative journey by investing in their digital infrastructure and adopting a business model which focuses on customer experience and technology dominance.

In brief

  • Telco’s are facing increased competition from digital service providers resulting in shrinking of revenues from core services.
  • The ongoing digitalisation wave has brought a lot of disruptive changes in terms of customer expectations and the way telecommunication services are consumed.
  • Cloud, 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) top the list of technology catalysts that can aid Telcos in the transformation.

Over recent years, telecom operators (Telcos) across the globe have witnessed revenue stagnation in their core services, despite the enormous growth in bandwidth demand and usage. Furthermore, they are also facing competition from digital service providers resulting in shrinking of revenues from core services.

For more on the actions that Telcos should take to tackle security challenges download the full report 

Authors

Ritesh Guttoo, EY Africa Cybersecurity Leader 

Cathy Gibson, EY Africa Cybersecurity Partner  

Pinar Karabacak, EY South Africa Cybersecurity Senior Manager

 

Download Report 

The EY organization has a wide portfolio of service offerings for Telcos, which covers aspects such as strategy, consumer security and data privacy, cyber governance and cyber resilience.

 

Ritesh Gutto 

EY Africa Cybersecurity Leader

The ongoing digitalisation wave has brought a lot of disruptive changes in terms of customer expectations and the way telecommunication services are consumed. Also, digital service providers have an upper hand to Telcos because they can quickly leverage multiple disruptive digital technologies. Telcos are facing an existential crisis due to these fierce competitions from digital service providers and the rapidly changing environment. Telcos have no other option, but to transform if they are to remain relevant.

Telcos across the globe are trying to embark on a transformative journey by investing in their digital infrastructure and adopting a business model which focuses on customer experience and technology dominance. Cloud, 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) top the list of technology catalysts that can aid Telcos in the transformation. There is no doubt that this metamorphosis will provide bountiful rewards to Telcos. However, Telcos will be skating on thin ice, if they are not careful about the cybersecurity implications of this transformation journey.

To emerge successful, Telcos should prepare themselves for a paradigm shift. They should harness the power of new technologies such as 5G, cloud and IoT to aid them in their digital aspirations.

While planning such digital investments which will enable them to cruise through the disruptive market forces, Telcos should also understand that cybersecurity is a linchpin in this transformative journey. Aligning their cybersecurity strategy to their transformation strategy is crucial for Telcos to reap the fruits of their investments

Telcos inherently provide abundant opportunities for cyber adversaries to launch an attack due to their large customer base. The impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on cyber threat landscape is alarming. After the onset of the pandemic, the volume of attacks have leaped five to six times of their normal figures. 

COVID-19 pandemic repercussions on cyber threat landscape

Telcos should prudently revisit their cybersecurity posture to ensure that their business and customers are adequately protected against these spiraling out of control wave of cyber threats.

Telcos must increasingly rely on new and disruptive digital technologies to help them grow and differentiate themselves in the evolving marketplace. Telcos that lack effective security measures to manage these changes are vulnerable to breaking the trust of their customers, stakeholders, and the marketplace, consequently exposing themselves to an ever-increasing risk. It’s time for a new take on protecting Telcos. This can be achieved by ensuring day-to-day resilience as well as a proactive, pragmatic, and strategic approach that consider risk and security from the onset.

Outplaying security challenges

Summary

It’s time for a new take on protecting Telcos. This can be achieved by ensuring day-to-day resilience as well as a proactive, pragmatic, and strategic

approach that consider risk and security from the onset. This is Security by Design (SbD). EY Cybersecurity help enables trust in systems, designs and data, so that the organizations can take more risk, make transformational change and support innovation with confidence.

About this article

By Ritesh Guttoo

EY Africa, India and Middle East Cybersecurity Leader

Cyber security sounding board for top organisations. Uses new technology like robotics and machine learning to bring insights to clients. Husband and father of two. Loves testing the latest gadgets.