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Leveraging a Mobile Device Manager for Android TV Cybersecurity in Telco Environments

by Anthony Weaver

By Nadav Avni, CMO of Radix Technologies

Enhance cybersecurity in Telco environments by harnessing the power of a mobile device manager for Android TV. Safeguard sensitive data and fortify your network against emerging threats.

The telecom industry is one of the favorite targets of cyberattacks—and for good reason. Hackers and other cybercriminal groups often hijack telecommunications networks to steal information from companies and individuals. This vulnerability pushed the telco sector to become the third most frequently attacked industry in 2021. But with a mobile device manager and increased vigilance, telco companies can guarantee their customers’ devices are secured and protected.

For many telco services, providing smart devices to customers is a way to increase both their consumption and their loyalty. Bundling items such as mobile phones, smart TVs, and set-top boxes allows customers to consume more data.

With this proliferation of smart devices connected daily to telco networks, the risk of cyberattacks keeps increasing. That is, unless telcos and device manufacturers provide robust device management software that minimizes exposure to cyberattacks.

Understanding Telco Cybersecurity Challenges

Like any other technological sector, the telco industry continues to experience a relentless bombardment of cyberattacks. The biggest problem is that people often make it easy for malicious entities to penetrate their defenses. Security.org reports that in 2021, nearly seven out of 10 Americans used the same password for their multiple online accounts.

For online bad guys lurking in a telco network, these accounts are easy prey—especially for companies without a robust mobile device manager in place. Criminals use various means to steal or guess passwords and assume a customer’s identity quickly.

At a minimum, they can assume control of a customer’s streaming accounts and prevent the original owners from enjoying what they pay for. Worst-case scenario, they can use the same login credentials to steal money, take out loans, or charge purchases.

Stolen Data and Ransomware

On a larger scale, cybergroups can penetrate telco network defenses to access confidential information. This includes downloading the company’s database of customers, their contact information, and possibly even bank account numbers. Then, they can sell this information to shady third parties for their online marketing activities. What’s more, they can also lock up this information (and other data) and hold it hostage until the telco pays a hefty ransom to get it back.

But how do these breaches happen? The network itself might have some weak points. Large telco enterprises tend to move slower due to their size. As a result, migrating to a new system or upgrading equipment on an enterprise-wide scale takes time. During this period, many cyber criminals exploit weaknesses in the chain by targeting older, legacy systems. Once inside, they can freely steal data or hijack accounts.

Streamlining Device Management: Mobile Device Managers for Android TV Security

Consequently, telecoms and service providers continue to ramp up awareness campaigns to educate customers to use stronger and varied passwords for their accounts. At the same time, technological advancements now allow customers to create more complicated passwords featuring numbers and special characters.

However, awareness campaigns can only provide so much protection when networks are compromised. Thankfully, many forward-looking telcos and smart device manufacturers utilize mobile device management software to manage and secure fleet bundles.

The right mobile device manager allows operators to remotely administer updates or fixes to all their fleet devices. Having the latest software version ensures devices are protected from previously detected vulnerabilities in their system. This effectively plugs up the known holes that cyber criminals exploit.

Securing User Interactions: Managing Permissions and Access Control

With the right device management software, IT admins can assign access levels and permissions that align with a user’s credentials. Customers receive end-user access, with provisions to launch and install apps, make basic configurations, and create user profiles. However, they cannot make systemic changes to network settings or override administrator settings.

On the admin side, operator access can appear in various setups. After all, providing generic access to everybody is a recipe for disaster. For instance, sales, marketing, and management executives are given access to collect user information and device usage data. They can apply analytics to this data and generate insights that allow them to better understand customer behavior.

Meanwhile, accounting staff can access customer data to separate active accounts from problematic ones. They can then use the information to issue reminders to delinquent accounts, shut down canceled subscriptions, and reactivate suspended accounts.

Finally, IT staff and system admins can access all fleet devices to perform extensive management, maintenance, and cybersecurity services. The IT group can also assume remote administration of select devices or the entire fleet when widespread cyberattacks happen. In this case, they can elect to freeze or shut down all devices until they successfully repel the attack or repair any breaches.

Detecting and Mitigating Threats With Mobile Device Managers

Tempted by the chance to steal valuable data or a potential windfall from ransomware, cyber groups will always probe for a network’s weakness. Outside the operator’s network defenses and cybersecurity services, a reliable mobile device manager can provide additional help when criminal elements target individual devices.

More importantly, remote administration allows operators to intervene when outside entities attempt to access customer devices. With the right software and connectivity tools, administrators can shut down, freeze, or disable individual devices reporting unusual activity.

In the case of missing or stolen devices, admins can zero in on their whereabouts through geolocation. When recovery proves difficult or impossible, the team can wipe the device’s contents to protect user data.

Combine Cybersecurity Services With a Reliable Mobile Device Manager

The nature of the telco business will always attract the worst elements of IT. Specifically, the potential windfall from acquiring massive customer data will embolden groups to continually probe telco networks for any signs of weaknesses. Whether they sell the information to third-party agencies or hold it for ransom, the danger is real. In this case, even a milligram of prevention is better than a kilogram of cure.

Awareness campaigns and robust cybersecurity services are a good start to keep operators and customers vigilant. With the telco industry currently utilizing a fleet of customer-facing bundled devices, employing additional measures is something operators can’t afford to do. Choosing the right device management software to manage, maintain, and secure smart devices can help prevent minor breaches that, when left unchecked, can lead to massive problems.

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