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Service providers brace for up to 1.5 billion network attacks in 2020

An industry study shows that there were 726 million confirmed cyber attacks so far this year

Service providers brace for up to 1.5 billion network attacks in 2020

Telecoms operators are coming under immense strain to provide the essential connectivity that underpins our digital lives. As the current Coronavirus pandemic forces hundreds of millions of people across the world to work and study from home, network operators are having to throw all available resources at adding the requisite capacity to cope with the unprecedented levels of traffic.

But as operators deploy all hands to the pump in order to guarantee network availability, a swathe of cyber criminals are waiting in the ranks to bring their operations crashing to a halt.

Indeed, a recent report by Kaspersky suggested that there had been as many as 726 million confirmed cyber attacks since the start of the year, putting 2020 on course to rack up somewhere in the region of 1.5 billion cyber attacks for the year.

With connectivity now more essential to our daily lives than ever before, the potential ‘rewards’ for cyber criminals have grown exponentially. As next generation connectivity pervades every aspect of our daily lives – from the way we shop to the way we bank and manage our financial lives – the ramifications of a network outage, or of data theft magnify exponentially. Gone are the days when the biggest network security issue might have been loss of service or an eavesdropped private conversation. In our interconnected, digital world, the consequences of a security breach are far more significant.

Kaspersky’s research suggests that 46 per cent of those people working from home are doing so for the first time. Moreover, many of these first time work-from-homers lack the basic digital skills to adequately secure themselves against acts of cyber espionage. In short, the Covid 19 pandemic has stretched the network security chain to its limits, with literally millions of potential weak links for seasoned cyber criminals to exploit.

While much has been made of the security demands of 5G, the vast majority of network attacks still occur on earlier generations. 2G, 3G and 4G networks underpin our globally connected ecosystem and require their own strategies and security measures.

While operators are now facing more challenges than ever before in order to secure their networks, operators here in the Middle East have taken a proactive approach to investing in network security.

“The Middle East region represents a particularly attractive market for the safety and security sector, which is expected to grow around 10 per year to 2022,” said Frederic Szabo, managing director of the Business France Middle East group, a think tank that explores strategic opportunities for French companies in the region.

“Increasing the capabilities of infrastructure, securing power plants and oil complexes, protecting sites and people for major events to come are all excellent reasons for experts to extend their presence in the region,” added Szabo.

On the 10th of June 2020, CommsMEA will be joining forces with Netnumber to bring you an exclusive webinar focussing on network security. Entitled “Why next generation connectivity demands next generation security,” the webinar will draw on a wide range of industry experts, as we discuss the latest strategies and techniques for staying one step ahead of the cyber criminals. How can the region secure its connected assets against the threat of cyber terrorism? What role will the GSMA and other industry bodies play in securing our networks? Are operators in the region equipped to deal with the challenges of life in the new ‘post-Covid 19’ era? We’ll be tackling all these questions and more during our hour long discussion.

You can attend the webinar for free by clicking this link.

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REGISTER NOW | Webinar Event | Security you can bank on – Safeguarding the Middle East’s financial sector

Presented in partnership with security and network specialist Cybereason, the second in the three part webinar series will bring together a panel of experts to discuss how banks and financial institutions are evolving their service offering while simultaneously staying one step ahead of the cyber criminals who seek to bring their operations crashing to the ground.