Security Vital to Telecommunications Service Delivery

IBM today released findings from a survey revealing that global telecommunications carriers are increasingly viewing requirements for security as an opportunity rather than as an obstacle to be overcome. The results of the 2007 State of Security for Global Telecommunications Carriers survey mark a turning point in a highly competitive industry where the delivery of new services often has come at the expense of security considerations.

A key finding in this year’s report reveals that only 36 percent of survey respondents said security concerns were hindering their rollouts of Internet Protocol (IP) based service bundles including voice, video and data. That number is down sharply from 2006 when 55 percent of carriers said security concerns were hindering delivery of new services.

“This survey shows what the market is already experiencing from recent mergers and acquisitions, including Verizon/Cybertrust and IBM/ISS: that security is a key ingredient for carriers as they move into next generation services and solutions,” said Counse Broders, senior research director, telecom services with Current Analysis. “Clearly, those providers without a security solution in place risk losing their competitive edge.”

Security concerns still plague the telecom market especially in the area of next-generation, IP-based networks (NGNs). NGNs represent a major evolution in telecommunications involving the convergence of voice, data and video onto one network. The 2007 Global Telecommunications Carrier survey revealed that the wholesale migration to next-generation, IP-based architectures is imminent, with almost 85 percent of respondents indicating that they will roll out this kind of architecture in the next five years. However, fewer than half of respondents (46%) said their companies had a strategy in place for mitigating security risks posed by NGNs.

IBM is the trusted security partner for telecommunications carriers and service provider organizations around the world, helping them to cost-effectively improve their information security processes, meet security best practices and achieve regulatory compliance. IBM offers high-performance, reliable solutions to help customers protect their mission-critical telecommunications networks while still maintaining network optimization. IBM solutions also offer high scalability and low latency, which are critical for IP network applications.

IBM’s Unified Security Environment for Telecommunications solution consists of security hardware, software and services to help enterprises and carriers protect their next generation networks and applications such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) from online attacks. In addition to addressing carrier requirements for core security, the solution is designed to help carriers offer in-the-cloud services, or “clean pipes” free of malicious traffic, to their customers. The solution features key components from IBM Tivoli and IBM BladeCenter, and is now further strengthened with preemptive intrusion prevention capabilities from IBM Internet Security Systems.

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