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Why is Privileged Access Management (PAM) Critical for Telecom Service Providers?

Overview

Telecommunication service providers are one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. Every telecom service provider today offers 4G/5G wireless services, mobile commerce, and high-speed broadband, which have become almost necessities in the daily lives of netizens. At the same time, they are always trying to upgrade their services to ensure that the customers get an uninterrupted communication experience.

As customer expectations mount, telecom service providers are continuously trying to add more value to their services to ensure a seamless experience of voice calls, messaging, and email communication. In order to control and manage huge requirements, telcos IT ecosystem lands in large and distributed environments. 

Today’s telecom organizations invariably have a large number of privileged identities spread across disparate networks and technologies. Safeguarding these identities in a highly critical core telecommunications environment is imperative for the ongoing success and growth of the industry. 

Telecom Industry: The Urgent Need to Reinforce the Privileged Access Management Practice 

Organizations from the Telecom industry tend to have large IT operational infrastructure and hence the threat surface is quite expanded. To ensure uninterrupted daily operations, the organizations need to ensure that their privileged access environment is safe from any kind of anomalies. As the number of privileged identities increases, the access control risks also intensifies. Let us see the areas from where telecoms majorly face IT threats: 

Third-party access and services: The technology and operational landscape in the telecommunications service industry are transforming drastically due to constant demand for better services. As organizations offer a host of value-added services, the core telecom network remains responsible for the security of all sorts of data records. 

But to meet the operational requirements, telcos invariably outsource backend tasks to third-party service providers. And these outsourced parties are always vulnerable to data breaches as they manage huge volumes of customers’ data. This makes them a high priority target for cybercriminals. 

Moreover, third-party software vendors/consultants, Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are also among other third-party providers. As a result, access control policies and user authentication mechanisms need to be continuously assessed, verified and managed to ensure whoever is accessing the critical systems is authorized and has a genuine purpose behind the task. 

Whether working remotely or on-prem, organizations need to have a well-defined access control policy for every user. Without a fine-grained access policy, the IT security team could be in the dark about who is accessing what and for what reason. Eventually, this could disrupt security controls even in the deepest layers of the network. 

Compliance Standards: In the telecom industry, every service provider has to meet a stringent set of security controls and standards. Identity and Access Management (IAM/IDAM) which includes Privileged Access Management, is one of the key areas where the service provider has to ensure compliance. 

These practices ensure that the requirements such as managing the life cycle for privileged identities can be broadly summarized around access methodologies, including adherence to other mandates like role-based access control, detailed logs, shared accounts, and password controls for hundreds of thousands of devices. 

Identity Theft: Identity theft is definitely a severe concern among the mobile telecommunication service providers. As per a recent report, the telecom industry’s identity fraud rate has increased by 50% since 2017. The fraudsters stealthily hack the telecommunication system or clone the system pattern to abuse legitimate organizations for frauds and possess criminal gain.

How Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution thwarts the threats

ARCON | Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution offers comprehensive preventive measures to the above challenges faced by telecom organizations.

  • ARCON | PAM integrates all the elements under a single command and controls every access happening in the systems seamlessly. Any user accessing any system or device at any point of time is authorized and authenticated and thus secures the access.
  • ARCON | PAM manages and controls every access on “Need-to-Know” and “Need-to-do” basis which is why a comprehensive workflow is maintained to grant access to the critical systems and devices.
  • ARCON | PAM offers remote access control that prevents any unauthorized or unrecognized access to the critical telecom systems and offers secure access to the data centers of multiple locations without any requirement of extra servers.
  • ARCON | PAM offers a centralized access control policy for all the privileged users and secures the privileged access environment with a password vault engine that automatically generates passwords and rotates them for different devices managed by the solution. These passwords are vaulted by the system and are not visible to the end-users.
  • All the session logs of the administrative activities are monitored and recorded by ARCON | PAM in text and video format to verify and identify any suspicious activity in the network; these texts and videos are tracked centrally for more security and are not available to the end-users.
  • Lastly, ARCON | PAM helps to comply with the standard regulatory requirements – both global and regional. 

Conclusion

The use case challenges are increasing in the telecommunications industry. ARCON | PAM

with its highly scalable API-based architecture helps the global telcos to safeguard the core telecom infrastructure to ensure data privacy, confidentiality and integrity.

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