The communications industry presents a truly irresistible target to cybercriminals. This is because telecom not only serves as the foundation for all other critical infrastructure, it also carries personal and sensitive data for individuals, businesses and government. By carrying out a cyberattack on a telecommunications operator, a hacker can cause massive phone and internet outages, crippling business and disrupting everyday life in a multitude of ways. As the internet and mobile devices proliferate across the globe, the cyber landscape grows ever more complicated, with increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks that are capable of profound and even life-threatening damage.
Telecom equipment manufacturers must defend against external attacks involving supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) security pertaining to industrial control systems, and telecom equipment security. Device security vulnerabilities are growing, and denial-of-service attacks are a major threat. “Always-on” services and the IoT complicate cybersecurity for telecom companies, especially those providing cloud-based and online services.
To combat this threat, industry and government must work together to share information and minimize risk. Trust in our networks depends on a strong and adaptable cyber ecosystem. TIA works to secure trust in networks by advocating public policy positions on the security of information and communications technology (ICT) equipment and services related to critical infrastructure, supply chain and information sharing. To boost cybersecurity, TIA supports public-private partnerships, industry-led best practices through it's Technology Programs focused on assurance and global standards.
TIA also supports U.S. government information-sharing initiatives to provide the industry with the threat information to safeguard networks and participates in multi-stakeholder groups such as the Sector Coordinating Councils within the Department of Homeland Security, which serve as the sector's voice and facilitates the government's collaboration with the sector for critical infrastructure security and resilience activities. Cybersecurity funding for federal research efforts is also critical. TIA helps shape government decisions, for example, with filings on NIST cybersecurity frameworks, and new cyber legislation such as the CLOUD Act.