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Cybersecurity for Communications Service


Communications service providers (CSPs) face a difficult challenge in securing their networks. Telecom networks are globally distributed and diverse, encompassing on-premises data centers, public and private cloud deployments, and brick-and-mortar retail locations. These locations often include guest wireless networks and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices connected to the enterprise wide-area network (WAN).                                 

For a CSP, cybersecurity is of paramount concern. All customer traffic passes through the organization’s data centers, making them a prime target for attack. Point-of-sale (POS) systems in their brick-and-mortar retail locations are also commonly targeted by cyber criminals. CSPs must not only protect the sensitive data entrusted to them in accordance with applicable standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the upcoming PCI Software Security Framework (SSF), but also protect against attacks designed to degrade the services that they provide to their customers. Accomplishing this requires centralized visibility and comprehensive security protection that does not negatively impact network performance and customer experience.


Headquarters Network Security

The headquarters network of a communications service provider (CSP) is essential to their operations and contains massive amounts of sensitive information. Payment card and billing information collected from customers flows through and is stored on this network. Customers’ traffic is routed through and processed at the enterprise data centers, providing a wealth of valuable data to any attacker able to gain access. The enterprise must be capable of protecting all of this data and maintaining compliance with applicable regulations.

However, a CSP’s cyber-threat exposure is not limited to data theft. A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack or ransomware infection could knock critical services offline. In doing so, an attacker who has compromised the enterprise network can exploit and misuse internet-connected monitoring devices on the network.

Digital innovation drives many CSPs to expand their WANs to include public and private clouds in addition to existing corporate data centers. Protecting such a heterogeneous network environment requires a fully integrated, comprehensive cybersecurity solution. FortiManagerFortiSIEM, and FortiAnalyzer enable security teams to achieve centralized visibility and control across their network and easily perform compliance reporting. FortiClient and FortiEDR (endpoint detection and response) provide integrated, advanced endpoint security solutions for employee workstations and point-of-sale (POS) systems alike. FortiWeb and FortiNAC provide website security and automatic identification and vulnerability scanning of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices connecting to the network, with FortiAuthenticator simplifying identity management.

For CSPs, Fortinet solutions ease the burden of securing complex, distributed networks with features such as:

  • Native integration with major cloud providers and over 250 third-party security solutions
  • Centralized visibility, management, and policy enforcement from a single pane of glass
  • Out-of-the-box support for compliance management, monitoring, and reporting
  • Built-in analytics solutions to increase application availability and save IT resources