Telecommunications protections: cyber security and user privacy

Could you live without all the comforts and advantages granted by today’s telecommunications technology? Your phone, tablet device, smart speaker…? For most people, it’s a hard no. But would you be willing to share private, sensitive information to keep enjoying these benefits? Would you allow them to invade your personal space, your family circle, your finances, even your most intimate secrets? The answer would be another ‘no’, right?


Because you can never truly enjoy technological freedom – whether in telecommunications, or any other context – at the expense of user privacy. And cybersecurity is responsible for its safeguarding.



What is cyber security?

Cybersecurity, sometimes known as cybernetics, covers a range of different elements – processes, hardware devices, software elements, habits and practices – that are designed to protect the integrity of IT systems.


It’s all about ensuring that the processes and applications that allow these systems to operate can run and that the information they contain remains inaccessible to people outside those systems. It also means ensuring they can’t be compromised by any unwanted actions, whether internal or external, intentional or otherwise.



Cybersecurity in telecommunications

A very high percentage of technological interactions – although certainly not all of them – involve transferring information between users. This is what is known as telecommunications.
There are numerous ways to guarantee cybersecurity and user privacy, such as data encryption, threat monitoring and tracking, investigating potential future threats, introducing processes to verify identities and implementing protective “firewalls” and “barriers”, alongside programming languages, applications and devices specifically designed with security in mind.


If you think of any digital communication as a thread, it’s at either end – i.e. with each user – that you have to be the most careful. Because human error is the main source of vulnerabilities.


Staying aware of potential system vulnerabilities, ensuring ongoing training in the field takes place, and adopting a vigilant – but not paranoid – attitude driven by common sense are often the strongest defences in terms of cybersecurity, whether it’s in telecommunications or any other area. But comprehensive legislation, which combines strict punishment with flexibility in terms of the continuously changing face of the technology world, is also a key factor.



What to do in a cybersecurity crisis

No security measure can ever be 100% effective. That’s why whenever a potential cyberattack occurs, whether it’s related to identity theft or similar, it’s always best to have a ready-made protocol in place as follows:


  • Identify the potential threat
  • Locate and quantify the damage or data loss
  • Notify affected parties
  • Put corrective and/or deterrent measures in place
  • Carry out tests to verify the robustness of the system once you’ve introduced the above measures
  • Regularly backup your data so you can recover any that’s lost as a result of this type of crisis.



What kind of people does the telecommunications market need?

All the measures mentioned above are much easier to introduce with the help of specialist cybersecurity professionals who offer expert knowledge of the industry.


The telecommunications market will always see those who have a solid academic and practical background in IT, computer security, programming and encryption languages, systems engineering or information security as highly valuable assets. And the best ones will have experience of them all.


A cybersecurity expert’s analytical skills – key components in terms of problem solving during very high-pressure situations – alongside lateral and creative thinking are especially valuable. Those are exactly the skills required of the various hackers and crackers who devise and launch these attacks, so it’s always best to fight fire with fire.

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