It is no secret that airlines, banks, and government agencies must communicate securely over the internet. Their cybersecurity needs are on another level compared to the average consumer.
How, then, are they not hacked into as often?
What are the risks, and how exactly are they minimized?
How do these regulated industries protect their sensitive data from eager hackers?
Well, we will answer these and many more burning questions - without hitting you with too many buzzwords.
What is Cybersecurity for Critical Communications?
Cybersecurity focuses on making the internet safe to browse for you and me. But as individuals we typically have minimal security measures like antivirus scanners and avoid clicking on unsolicited links to prevent our systems from being hacked.
However, government agencies and other major institutions face sophisticated hacking attempts daily.
Imagine this situation...
There is a natural disaster in a country, and the networks for all emergency services like the ambulance, police department, and fire brigade have been hacked and are inoperable. The chaos would be catastrophic and would have terrible repercussions on the citizens.
Not to mention the socio-economic crippling of that nation that would follow. Yet, such drastic consequences are precisely what these systems are designed to evade to mitigate risk.
Critical communication networks are systems designed to run at all times, especially during emergencies.
There are three significant factors that a critical network like this has -
They are compliant with the cybersecurity standards and requirements of the industry they are supporting and maintaining the infrastructure for, so they have high uptime levels to remain online 24*7 with disaster recovery in place, too, for unforeseeable circumstances.
And finally, they have highly secure networks which are extremely difficult to hack.
What Makes Them More Secure?
A significant aspect that separates Critical Communication systems from the standard technology is that they cannot use the public cloud for their operation or data storage.
In a public cloud, you host your infrastructure on third-party cloud services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, etc.
Why can't they use the public cloud?
It makes them more vulnerable to hacking attempts, and you do not have complete control because it is on "somebody else's" servers.
We will not get into the details of all of this, but you can read more about the risk of public clouds HERE.
In regulated industries, extremely sensitive information is being exchanged. Most, if not all, of the data is regulated under privacy law, or security protocols like those for national security.
With cybersecurity threats at an all-time high and major consumer protection laws in place, Critical Communication systems move to the private cloud.
The advantage is that they have direct control over their sensitive data (encrypted or not) and are responsible for maintaining it too.
Moreover, they are not sharing the infrastructure with any third party, making it safer and customizable per their needs.
The private cloud network utilizes industry-compliant software which meets the regulatory requirements.
There are more aspects covered HERE which explain why a private cloud is beneficial.
Moreover, these regulated organizations have other protocols and regular audits to maintain a high and vigilant cybersecurity infrastructure.
What are the Use Cases?
Let's go over the users. You would have already guessed most of them -
1. Financial Service Communications
2. Emergency Services
3. Airline Communications
4. Online Banking
5. Government Agencies
Several governments and privately regulated industries like these utilize the systems. These industries have high regulatory involvement and oversight to ensure compliance.
The cybersecurity rules may vary across countries based on different standards and practices, but most of them conform to a similar international standard.
However, the bottom line is that these industries form the backbone of any country, and hackers having access to these could crumble the entire state of affairs.
This makes it necessary to have the best in the industry set up the systems.
Who Sets Up the Infrastructure?
Not every cybersecurity firm has the resources and permissions to set up these systems.
Any failure in the infrastructure could lead to irreparable damage.
There are many compliances and regulations to be met for being eligible to create these systems.
MailSPEC provides products and services which are under the validation of the French ANSSI certification; with reciprocation across most European government agencies that manage cybersecurity protocols.
This is the mandatory clearance required to be authorized to deploy secure critical communications for regulated industries and public services.
With 5 billion active internet users (Source), the world is only bound to have more cybersecurity threats in the future.
With cyber warfare becoming increasingly rampant and the high potential for destruction, protecting critical infrastructure with state-of-the-art cyber security is more important than ever.