Allot Communications, a global provider of leading innovative network intelligence and security solutions for service providers worldwide, has just released the findings from its Telco Security Trends Report, in turn revealing a “dynamic and automated threat landscape” in which consumers lack the security expertise to effectively protect themselves. Mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to be primary attack vectors, contributing to a spike in ‘crypto-jacking’, adware and DDoS attacks.
The Telco Security Trends Report is based on anonymous data gathered from four communications service providers across Europe and Israel who, between them, protect seven million customers. It found that, during the period from November 2017 to February this year, nearly two billion mobile security threats were blocked. That’s an average of two each day per mobile device.
Of those security protections, almost one billion were triggered by crypto-mining malware, the leading security threat, corresponding to the rise in crypto-currency valuation in late 2017/early 2018. Over one hundred million threats were triggered by adware only, while 40,000 threats were found to be triggered by direct attacks in the form of ransomware and banking trojans.
Escalating IoT threat landscape
As part of this study, Allot set up ‘honeypots’ simulating consumer IoT devices and exposed them to the Internet. Results showed immediate successful attacks, peaking at a rate of over 1,000 per hour, with findings revealing that a device can become infected within 42.5 seconds of being connected to the Internet.
There was also an increase of unique IP addresses attacking the ‘honeypots’ over time, from 44 per day to a peak of 155 per day in less than a month of exposure.
Connected devices are forecast to grow to almost 31 billion worldwide by 2020. To help combat rising threats across this expanding mobile and IoT attack surface, the Telco Security Trends Report found that communications service providers are best positioned to deliver a unified, multi-layer security service delivered at the network level to the mass market. By merging value-add network-based security with built-in customer engagement capabilities, communications service providers can simultaneously achieve rapid customer acquisition and high adoption rates of 40%, while also generating incremental revenue.
“Cyber crime has become rampant across the growing mobile and IoT attack surface due to the financial motivation it provides,” explained Ronen Priel, vice-president of product management at Allot. “Communications service providers can differentiate themselves from the competition by offering value-added security services to subscribers who are constantly under attack, while at the same time generating incremental revenue. It’s a win-win for both the communications service providers and subscribers.”