TIA Blog


Security, Critical Infrastructure Protection and Beyond

12/5/11 - Security management is a growth industry, and not just for spooks and hackers. Network operations folks are fully aware, or should be, of the growing risk in critical infrastructure protection. At TIA 2012, we will focus on these foundational issues relative to security, risk and vulnerability.

But there is more to the picture for network operators and carriers  in the world of cyber security. Speaking with Tyson Macauley, author, expert and Bell Canada's Security Liaison Officer (SLO), it becomes evident that the scope of issues and challenges for carriers is growing in complexity.

Risk, foremost, is changing especially for mobile broadband operators. The explosion of mobile devices and M2M end-points has led to a shift in the risk profile for operators. In the mobile and M2M environment, the carrier may be taking on more cyber security risk than it knows – which is a new trend from a typical service agreement for an enterprise broadband carrier.

Smaller carriers and regional network operators may be more at risk, as their business model may emphasize value-added services less and basic bandwidth connectivity more. In this scenario, the risk for cyber security vulnerability for enterprise customers and the network itself may be higher.

The opportunities for new service revenue exist as well, as Macauley points out. Utility enterprises with significant Industrial Control Systems infrastructure are prime candidates for advanced communications network upgrades. Security-as-a-Service, and even Authentication-as-a-service are two new trends that carriers should explore as a means to add value to their customer and service portfolio, rather than just adding  risk and another cost center.

We'll explore more on these topics at TIA 2012 in June, and in the meantime, look for Tyson Macauley's books on Cyber Security on Amazon. -Tim Downs