Your Internet service provider (ISP) gives you the ability to connect to the internet. Meanwhile, your cellular network or mobile carrier provides access to voice calls, SMS, and the internet.
In other words, all the consumers and businesses across the globe depend on them to reach out to the world.
Considering they have an enormous responsibility to fulfill, can they be considered a cybersecurity risk? Should they be answerable to problems? Is there something they should improve? In this article, we shall answer some of these questions.
ISPs or Cellular Networks as a Cybersecurity Risk
Many ISPs or mobile carriers have been a part of major disruptions across the globe. Some do not manage their security controls properly, which then prevents users from accessing certain services. While this may sound like a temporary issue, some businesses might end up losing thousands of potential customers.
Considering that the users or businesses cannot do anything about it, it puts all the responsibility on ISPs and mobile carriers. So, they should work to deploy a sound security system while aiming for the most minor false positives—leading to minimal downtime in the network.
In addition to the potential disruptions, the security measures by these providers can end up as a privacy nightmare. Of course, if they want (and they probably do), ISPs can analyze the web traffic and use that information to know more about us.
No matter how you use the internet, an ISP trying to snoop on your activities is a privacy threat and a cybersecurity risk.
Overall, ISPs and mobile carriers are the critical connection points for netizens where there is a risk of information exposure and reputational harm for businesses. Hence, making them one of the most significant Cybersecurity risk points.
Should ISPs and Mobile Carriers Be Subjected to Stricter Regulations?
Of course, we cannot blame ISPs and mobile carriers for every security risk. Often, users and customers end up making mistakes.
However, in some cases, like the T-Mobile data breach, the carriers should be held accountable for the issues. This would prevent them from repeating similar issues in the future, which as a result would protect customers.
If they are constantly given a green pass for data breaches, it could result in cybersecurity risks growing. As such, a form of strict regulation to pay a hefty fine—or give back to the customers—could help improve things.
What Can Be Done to Improve ISP and Carrier Security?
Most modern ISPs follow the best standards to ensure that they filter through anything malicious while protecting their users. However, they should also offer a dedicated optional security service for their customers to opt for. This way, users worried about cybersecurity threats will have better assurance.
Also, ISPs and carriers should work to enhance the privacy of their users. ISP and carriers should also keep in mind the freedom of choice before enforcing any censorship. A balance between censorship and privacy is tough to achieve, but efforts should be made to make some progress.
ISPs and Mobile Carriers Have an Important Role in Cybersecurity
Taking everything into account, ISPs and mobile carriers extend their responsibilities to a wide range of things. Starting with the ability to filter threats to managing personal information on users, they cannot escape their role in cybersecurity.
For the same reason, they can prove to be a cybersecurity risk to users across the globe. While we can only do so much, it is essential to know what ISPs are responsible for other than just giving access to the internet and services.
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