The growth in data and digital infrastructure’s role in society has brought about a new threat: cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwar. In order to combat this threat, it is imperative for telecommunications companies (telcos) to not only advance their own systems and practices but also to invest in the skillset of future generations.
As we move from cybersecurity to cyber resilience, telcos should focus on building resilience and capabilities to detect attacks and minimize impact.
Did you know that about 51 petabytes of data were created worldwide while you read this sentence? That’s the equivalent of 51,000,000,000 megabytes – and we are supposedly creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day.
The numbers are hard to grasp, and it’s not getting easier. The total amount of data globally is expected to grow to more than 180 zettabytes by 2025 – or 180,000,000,000,000,000 megabytes.
The big positive with data – or digitalization – is that it empowers societies, fueling a better tomorrow. Enabling people to connect to what matters most, accessibility to information, increasing productivity and efficiency, and boosting citizens’ access to public services are just a few of the countless advantages of an increasingly digitized world.
Digitalization also holds one of the keys to the green transition of our society. Digital operations and data-centric operating processes enable green innovations from improved industrial processes and carbon capture and storage to optimized energy usage and agriculture.
However, with the big growth in data and digital infrastructure’s role for society as a whole, a growing threat is lurking in the background – or not so much lurking, really. Cybercrime is increasing day by day, and as the world is facing geopolitical instability, cyberterrorism, and cyberwar suddenly feel more imminent.
The exponential increase in digitalization has shifted the focus of cybersecurity from confidentiality to availability, and the need to safeguard people’s and industries’ data and information held in cloud-based services is rapidly growing.
This is where telcos like Telenor come in. Telenor, together with industrial investment company Aker and industrial software company Cognite, established the software security company Omny in 2022.
Omny will develop software that helps secure industrial operations and critical infrastructure, such as oil and gas producers, energy suppliers, public sector actors, and hospitals.
It’s not only business customers that need telcos support. Consumers are facing rising security issues like cyber-attacks, phishing, ID theft, investment fraud, and, not least, fraudulent calls. In 2022, Telenor blocked more than 200 million fraudulent calls.
However, despite their best efforts, according to a recent Nordic survey, the issue is still substantial. Over 60% of Danes, 58% of Norwegians, 56% of Finns, and 53% of Swedes have experienced fraudulent calls. Thus, only through sufficient safeguarding of data can societies utilize the full potential that digitalization holds for a greener and more sustainable future.
In conclusion, as the world becomes increasingly digitalized, the need for cyber resilience in telecoms becomes more important than ever. Telcos play a crucial role in protecting both their business customers and consumers from cyber threats.
Investment in cyber resilience not only helps to prevent and minimize the impact of cyberattacks but also enables societies to fully realize the benefits of digitalization for a greener and more sustainable future.