Industry Trends

Cyber Criminals Set Sights On Carrier Networks  

By Richard Orgias | September 01, 2016

Can mobile carriers afford to put the loyalty of 47 percent of their customers at risk in the wake of a security breach? These are the stakes, according to a Nokia survey of more than 20,000 global customers.

Carrier networks are at the forefront of today’s service revolution. With the expansion of cloud-based services and the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), carrier service offerings and network traffic are expected to grow exponentially into the future. In addition to the influx of connected devices thanks to IoT, carriers are also preparing for expanded 4G services and the rollout of 5G connectivity. Expanded connectivity capabilities and a growing base of connected devices also puts mobile infrastructures at higher risk for cyberattacks. Given the complexity and ever-expanding range of applications and services on these networks, it can be quite challenging for carriers to augment and expand service capabilities that customers are demanding, while maintaining the performance and security those customers have come to expect.

In order for carriers to maintain the integrity and performance of mobile environments, they must secure the core mobile infrastructure, as well as applications and services. This includes securing all aspects of their infrastructure, including vendor-supplied elements. The alternative can be a disaster. Of course, establishing a secure environment can be a formidable task, and may require multiple security elements, intelligent security segmentation, and a layered security defense strategy.

Fortinet has become the leader in protecting carrier networks from emerging threats, in part because we are able to maintain the performance and ensure the scalability that is critical to a carrier’s business models.  Over the past several years we have seen steady growth in demand for our security services and products designed for the carrier industry.  Following are some recent examples of how we are working with leading carriers across the globe to proactively secure networks and services.

  • One of the world’s leading telecommunication providers, British Telecom (BT), serves customers in over 180 countries. BT has been committed to supporting customers with solutions that help them stay connected and secure, while supporting their journeys into the digital world. To make good on this promise to its large customer base, BT enlisted Fortinet to provide the security solutions needed to protect both the company and their customers against today’s evolving threat landscape. As a Fortinet Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) Platinum Partner, BT customers benefit from the protection provided by Fortinet’s Security Fabric architecture, combined with BT’s global reach and expertise in managed security services. Service is built on Fortinet’s FortiGate enterprise next-generation firewall capabilities, which support application control, intrusion prevention, web content filtering, Virtual Private Network (VPN), spyware prevention, and malware defense. At the same time, Fortinet’s Security Fabric brings traditionally autonomous systems together into an integrated, collaborative, and adaptive architecture designed to deliver distributed security for all types of environments, from IoT to the cloud.
  • Beltelecom is a leading telecommunication company in the Republic of Belarus providing a range of communication services to a user base spanning government, business, and consumer sectors. In 2013, the Republic of Belarus introduced new rules for network security. In accordance with these requirements, Beltelecom sought to enhance the overall security posture of its service delivery infrastructure. At that time, Beltelecom was trying to use a variety of network security solutions to protect its IT infrastructure and meet these demands. A major factor in their selection of Fortinet as a security provider was our ability to demonstrate full compliance with their new national security regulations. The deployment of Fortinet’s next-generation firewalls (NGFW) optimized Beltelecom’s IT infrastructure, and the operational flexibility of the Fortinet architecture allowed their customers to select relevant services as needed from a full range of options, while minimizing the amount of equipment required to support those security needs
  • Bendigo Telco supplies telecommunications services to Bendigo and Central Victoria in Australia. With a reputation of delivering exceptional customer service, Bendigo Telecom supports a national data network that connects over 4,000 services across Australia. Bendigo’s product set ranges from home and small business telephone systems to large scale network and cloud infrastructure deployments. To support their customer’s security requirements, reduce management overheads, and support their expansion they standardized on a Fortinet infrastructure. Fortinet’s comprehensive solution set provides them with a simplified licensing process, scalable deployment options, and a closer relationship with clients - as well as enhanced technical support and cost savings.


As digital traffic expands and the growth of connected devices continues unabated, it is important to know that the networks that serve us are protected. It’s no secret that mobile security data breaches and risks are on the rise. However, if carriers want to maintain customer loyalty and confidence, they need to make cybersecurity their biggest priority.  Learn more about Fortinet’s focus on Carrier Security here.