Securing Cloud Native and Communication Systems


Marisa Viveros, Vice President, Strategy and Offerings—IBM Global Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment, talks to our host Pranjal Sharma, about how the telecom industry is finally getting some cutting-edge cloud-native cover and upping their cyber security game.

Understanding Cloud, Native and Telecom

Telecommunications, an industry that has been around for many years, enables us to do an array of things like video communications, voice communications, access to the internet, and many more. Today, it allows some of the most critical services, like emergency helplines, financial buy-sell signals, or air traffic controls, while widely impacting our safety, social stability, and economic life.

In today's fast-paced environment, the movement of technology has facilitated customers to move their applications from one cloud to another. Hence, these applications are being written in a language compatible across all cloud platforms—known as cloud native. It is portable, easier to manage, decomposable, easier to maintain, and has a much longer life in the deployment.

Deployment and Applications of Telecom

Regarding deployment and application of the technology, some simple examples are voice systems, like making a phone call, access and connectivity to the internet, and gaming and entertainment videos distributed throughout software networks to end users. Additionally, supply chain management companies use logistics to move goods across multiple locations. They need to communicate constantly to ensure that the goods reach the end user in perfect condition and on time.

In the case of enterprises, telecommunication is optimizing and enabling various aspects, such as quality of goods, storage, routing, etc., of different departments like supply chain, logistics, etc., making them much more accessible. While the everyday accessibility to voice, video, and the internet is beneficial for end users, the resources are helpful for enterprises, manufacturing, logistics supply, etc.

Moreover, the technology is beneficial for emergency response systems which can now access the proper communication and the correct information at their fingertips. This is all enabled by this new telecommunication which is in the new agile form of communication and not written in cloud native manner.

Network Vulnerabilities and Security Concerns for Enterprises

In this new environment where everything is software based and we are all connected to the internet, vulnerabilities have become much more prominent.

However, this situation can be avoided by companies in the following ways:

Investing in security from the ground up

Companies producing technologies must build their software by thinking about security from the ground up. Large companies that are producing software are embedding security. They are also educating their programmers and architects to invest in security from the ground up.

Threat Management

Various enterprises are emphasizing threat management for dealing with internet threats and attacks.

Public awareness and education

It is also important to educate the public on using software responsibly and to be vigilant about phishing emails or messages on social media that can access bank information or sensitive personal data.

Although the responsibility lies in the hands of individuals and consumers, enterprises need to invest more in securing cloud-native communications.

For instance, IBM has a comprehensive strategy for cybersecurity that includes Red Hat. Some of the strategies involve investing in software capabilities that allow continuous monitoring of the network. Moreover, it is adding more AI and ML in terms of its analysis of the events, investing mainly in data protection and evolving its access management while evolving its identity.

Cloud Native, Security, and the Metaverse

The future is already here, and it's the metaverse. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Digital Twin applications are currently being built on cloud-native applications. Since the fundamentals of the metaverse will be fine with who the user is, IBM has minimized the access and identity management capabilities that will be relevant to this metaverse or the future.

“I'm looking forward to applying this type of technology to the new environment we're creating. It should bring more benefit to all the users, new experiences to anyone that cannot travel now they can go anywhere in the world. We must constantly be ahead of the hackers through embedded technology and thread management; this is all part of the new role telecommunications companies will play.”- says Marisa.

Data Protection and the Future

Data protection is not a question. It does not argue against it and cannot be compromised. With the advent of the metaverse, we have already started building virtual extensions of everything we do in the physical world. Thus, we must be careful about every activity in this virtual world.

Do we have to live in a constant state of fear of hacking, or is there a situation where the security system can be ahead of hacking? Are we ever going to be in a position like that?

Living in constant fear is not a healthy state of mind but means being constantly alert. Business leaders continue to evolve their studies and put cyber security, especially in the new world of cloud and cloud native. They cannot rest on their laurels because we have done something and continue to evolve.

"That's how we educate our senior executives and executives of many other companies that living in fear is not a good thing but living in constant healthy monitoring is. It indicates things are being protected, and you're not being penetrated. We don’t make it about whether you will get hacked at IBM. We preach about when you will be hacked. Therefore, protecting ourselves while being concerned is important going forward for all business leaders and individuals." Protection Status