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NEW DELHI: Indian telecom operators must make more investments in ensuring that security is built into all of their products, especially in the 5G environment, Reliance Jio’s chief information security officer Brijesh Datta told ET.
Datta said 5G will empower hackers to easily flood servers with the enormous bandwidth at their disposal, making likely attacks more drastic. “These things need to be considered very closely. Now, our investments and security really need to go up,” he added.
He said there is a need to adopt advanced technologies such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Networks Functions Virtualisation (NFV) that allow telcos to up security play to combat cyber threats. These technologies will also help them offer security services for retail and enterprise customers. “Modern-day 5G technologies like SDN and NFV can really help customers with features such as network protection or parental control. With virtualisation technology, we can give different functionalities like firewall on demand to enterprises, which might have different requirements,” Datta said in a recent interaction.
With virtualised network architecture, a telco can launch a service in a couple of months and can even become a marketplace of services such as video streaming, cloud, security and firewall.
“For instance, you would have seen that Jio offers most of the content like video on clouds on a CDN which are very close to the customer. Similarly, going further, we will be able to offer security controls to our customers as close as possible and from the network area,” Datta added. Reliance Jio, he said, is already working with the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) for the Cyber Swachhta Exercise.
“Any time we get an alert that a SIM is infected, we send out alerts along with certain ‘please visit Web site’ content and download whatever malware controls you need,” Datta said, adding that the telco is doing its bit to increase awareness around security among customers.
Datta further said that customer awareness has now become crucial with the uptake of Internet of Things (IoT) products at homes as these devices can be hacked.
“This is going to increase dramatically once you have IoT invading at homes with wearable sensors,” he said.
Operators are now mulling over building Internet of Things (IoT) networks in India. Datta said that SDN and NFV technologies will also help telcos protect their IoT networks by offering features like firewalling, malware control, load balancing, and intrusion protection.