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A security breach is defined as an incident that results in unauthorized access of data, applications, services, networks, and/or devices by bypassing their underlying security mechanisms (Techopedia). These breaches can be large or small scale, and some can be more serious than others, but they are becoming more common and more malicious.

As more and more companies are coming under the spotlight for cybersecurity breaches that are putting private consumer data at risk, it’s important to look at what role telecommunications plays in such breaches and what can be done to prevent them in the future.

While the average citizen is indeed at risk of cyber threats, the top target of most cyber criminals are nations. Interestingly, they are also the most capable of enacting a breach of their own (MWRInfosecurity). This stems from the increased presence of intelligence agencies in national security and will likely only continue to grow in the near future.

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So how do government intelligence agencies and cyber criminals go about their security breaches? They do it through various media, but one of the most popular is through telecom companies. Telecoms are an important target for attacks because they carry and transport vital and sensitive data. Governments usually establish this type of covert surveillance by utilizing sophisticated programs that can go undetected for long periods of time, making them all the more dangerous. Such programs can breach everything from phone lines, to online chats, to mobile phone data. Basic cyber criminals, on the other hand, target customer data stored by telecoms. This data can include names, addresses, and financial information. Identity theft and bank theft occur from this type of breach (Deloitte).

If technology is only becoming more prominent, how can we minimize the cybersecurity threats in telecom companies? It is difficult, but not impossible. One important step is making sure the source of all data is known and verified and that each subsequent movement of the data can be traced back to one employee, thus implementing accountability and discouraging employees from going rogue.

Another way to minimize security breaches is to perform frequent and systematic checks of all systems to identify and eliminate any cyber threat that may have made its way into the system. Vigilance is key.

As telecoms continue to grow, cybersecurity issues likely will as well. But as the problem grows, more resolutions will come about. Stay up to date with the latest risks and solutions and you will be minimizing the risk of both your company and customers.