The telecom industry is venturing into cloud computing more now than ever before. In times of breaches, rampant identity theft, and hacks across every industry, cloud security is a key topic. Telecom has traditionally been quite secure, and there are many preventive actions that can be taken to keep it that way in today’s cloud-driven environment.
A quickly growing trend is the use of cloud access security brokers (CASBs). These providers are focused on locking down data and monitoring applications that live in the cloud. Just as outsourcing other services helps reduce costs while obtaining powerful tools, CASBs fill in a massive gap that could otherwise be disastrous. Adoption of this option is forecasted to grow at exponential rates over the next three years. For telecom brokers, adding a CASB to the list of available services is an important value-add.
Choosing the Right Broker
As with any provider, a CASB comes with a variety of factors to consider. Cloud security is a broad term so it’s critical to know exactly what is being secured and how that is accomplished and configured. Expect to discuss the following points when deciding on the CASB vendor:
- Decide what functionality is preferred between API-only vs. multimode platforms.
- Perform a full shadow IT assessment of the organization to understand the true picture of connections, gaps, and components that must be secured.
- Create a comprehensive list of cloud applications currently in use by the company as well as those that will be added in the near future.
- Inquire of any potential CASB providers what would be supported within each of the applications in use or in consideration.
- Ask about the implementation process and all integration points with the specific network configuration of the company’s infrastructure to determine compatibility.
- How flexible or adaptable is the solution? The more constrained its compatibilities, the more of a challenge it may be to implement or scale as other applications are added.
- What security protocols are used?
It’s all well and good to find a solution that works on paper, but the reality of a cloud security suite is much more complex. An actual integration has uncountable moving parts between the telecom and related systems. Any selected option should be comprehensively tested before it is trusted to run autonomously.
In the cloud security world, the learnings of others are valuable. Following best practices and industry standards is a great starting point. By conforming to standards and using recommended protocols and processes that are known to be of benefit in telecom, significant risk is reduced. Ultimately any decision places ownership of the security risk on the company itself, whether or not a vendor is employed. Following the advice of informed brokers and adhering to suggestions of industry leaders helps prevent most issues.
Cloud security is an important issue for telecom providers and their customers. Outsourcing this burden to a qualified CASB can help alleviate the stress of the responsibility. For more information on protecting the company and its cloud applications, contact Copper State today.