We now rely on mobile networks for far more than simply making phone calls and sending text messages. Enabling data transmission and carrying massive volumes of data traffic, telecoms networks now underpin billions of smart applications, and power connectivity for people, things, and businesses on a global scale.
We bank and buy online, transfer and store sensitive information, and control mission-critical operations like the provision of utilities. And, of course, we still communicate with family, friends, and colleagues, with video calling and OTT messaging complementing voice and SMS.
However, as mobile networks are the backbone of our digital lives and the digital economy, they are also a key target for criminals. Already at risk of fraud, operators today face an expanding threat landscape which includes attacks on signalling systems.
Signalling, security, and a growing threat landscape
Signalling services ensure continuity of service for mobile users by enabling them to make or receive mobile calls, send or receive SMS, and use the internet while travelling all around the globe. These are significant revenue-generators for operators, which makes securing networks and mitigating signalling attacks all the more important.
In response, BICS has worked with cybersecurity expert POST Cyberforce to combine our worldwide reach and extensive visibility into global network traffic with POST Cyberforce’s expertise in security optimisation. The result is a new security solution to help mobile operators secure network infrastructures against signalling attacks. The solution provides threat detection, monitoring, and vulnerability assessments, and is underpinned by 24/7 business support including forensic investigations.
It allows operators to track subscriber behaviour in real-time, rather than in the kind of virtual roaming environment that most service providers have to rely on currently. Attacks on networks can be identified in real-time, with all information shared with operators. This allows them to gain complete visibility of their networks and gain a greater understanding of the hows, whats and whys of attacker behaviour. This is pure black box pen-testing, which involves the hacker having no knowledge of the internal system in place and allows for corrections and security improvements to be made before they’re discovered by a real hacker. We’re confident that this is an approach which isn’t offered by any other solutions provider today.
From telecoms experts for the telecoms community
Usually, security testing is carried out by security audit companies who don’t have the knowledge and resources of operators and carriers and therefore don’t have existing roaming relationships.
On the other hand, our solution is developed by telecoms experts for the telecoms community. It combines a flexible monitoring solution that covers all technology protocols for roaming with BICS’ own signalling node capabilities. We’re able to provide the same level of protection as a firewall but on our signalling nodes.
Monitoring is fully independent from the network and includes proactive protection, automatically identifying and stopping attacks before they can do any damage.
The benefits for operators in terms of network security are clear. And improving network security is ultimately to the benefit of end-users – operators’ subscriber base. Securing the signalling network will help tackle the threat of intrusion by criminals, who would otherwise intercept calls and SMS, cipher funds from mobile accounts, bypass billing, or impact the operation of the mobile network.
Tools and consultancy for network control
BICS is committed to tackling telecoms security threats and together with POST Cyberforce, we can provide both the tools and the consultancy to do this. Adaptable and customisable to each mobile operator, the solution gives operators unrivalled insight into behaviour on and threats to their network. We’re taking control away from criminals and giving it back to operators.