A handbook for mobile network regulators and operators
Why Signaling Security Will Make or Break Mobile Network Resilience
Mobile signaling is a fundamental part of the telecommunications eco-system, facilitiating the seamless communication, real-time sharing of information, and vital services that underpin every aspect of society. Unfortunately, the very inter-connectivity afforded by mobile signaling is what makes networks vulnerable targets. Call interception, location tracking, and network reconnaissance are among the attacks used by advanced threat actors to gain unauthorized access to data, manipulate and disrupt network services, and for state-sponsored espionage.
Despite these risks, an IT-centric approach to cybersecurity means signaling insecurity has historically been left out of the cybersecurity conversation, leading to a two-speed telecom security system. This is starting to shift as regulators and cybersecurity professionals are now recognising the associated vulnerabilities and attack areas as a result of recent media interest and the war in Ukraine.
Download our handbook now to learn everything regulators and operators need to know about mobile signaling, the associated risks, and the ways they can be addressed.
“Privacy, network security and digital sovereignty are at risk as threat actors seek to turn our connected world to their advantage – and the weakest link in our defensive chain is mobile signaling security”Rowland Corr, VP and Head of Government Relations, Enea
The handbook covers the following topics and more:
- What is Mobile Signaling
An overview of the role that signaling plays in the mobile ecosystem and why this has historically been left out of the cybersecurity conversation.
- The Vulnerability of Signaling Systems
Mobile signaling, especially the still ubiquitous Signaling System 7 (SS7) protocol, is riddled with vulnerabilities exploited by state-level threat actors in offensive cyber operations worldwide. Today, the exploitation of signaling vulnerabilities involves threats to confidentiality and integrity as well as to availability of data and services across all mobile generations. The comparatively low maturity of recognition, reporting requirements and resourcing addressing signaling undermines cyber resilience and poses a unique threat to national security as victims are uniquely powerless to protect themselves.
- The Need for a High Benchmark
Basic or so-called baseline security measures are not enough. The key to enhancing signaling security lies in establishing a high, common benchmark for protection. This involves moving beyond static configurations and adopting a proactive, adaptive, and aligned approach to cyber defense.
- Operator Blindspots
Many operators today lack fit for purpose signaling protection to detect significant incidents. Without mature incident reporting frameworks and the capabilities to support them and make threats visible in the first place, telecoms threat sharing will remain nascent and ultimately ineffective while hostile targeting campaigns and data leakage go undiscovered.