Nominum, a part of Akamai, recently partnered with Telecoms.com to survey over 1,500 telecom professionals to get a sense of their concerns, initiatives and expectations for 2018. The findings are captured in the report Telecoms.com Annual Industry Survey 2017.
Top concerns, outlined
A top concern, unsurprisingly, is increased pressure to lower prices and profit margins, followed by competition from OTT or web-scale giants like Google and Amazon. The third most serious threat is inability to adopt an agile service model. (15 percent of respondents chose this.)
View Still Rosy
Even with these concerns, telecoms are expressing optimism. Just 6.5 percent of respondents said the telecom sector's performance this year has been below average or poor while 5.5 percent have a negative outlook for 2018.
Almost 60 percent said the performance has been excellent or good, while more than 75 percent expect 2018 to be a good year.
Digging into Security
The portion of the survey which most interested us at Akamai was security. 700 service providers responded, with nearly 95 percent labeling security as either critical (69 percent) or important (25 percent) to their company's goals in the next five years. Of the seven focus areas in the Telecoms survey, security is the top concern.
In fact, almost 80 percent of survey respondents said they will boost spending on security in 2018. Almost half plan to ramp up spending by 10 percent or more in 2018. Fewer than 4 percent forecast a spending decline.
A key takeaway in the report is among Internet-based threats, ransomware and malware had the highest growth rates, with 20 percent of respondents reporting each type of attack growing by 30% or more over the past year. This is consistent with findings from the recently-released Nominum/Akamai Security Report, which showed a 32 percent growth in the number of average daily malicious queries during the second half of 2017.
In terms of network-based attacks, the report states "DNS amplification and DNS tunneling tended to be most reported types of attacks based on growth." It also revealed an increase in botnet-based network attacks. Again, this is consistent with our 2017 2H Security Report which showed amplification attacks on the rise. In one instance, we saw a nearly 20 percent reduction in resolution rates.
You can see complete responses to the question of network attack growth here:
According to the survey, 24 percent of providers already offer Security as a Service, while 24 percent plan to offer it in 2018. This is consistent with adoption path for Akamai's Nominum N2 Secure Business as more and more providers want to quickly and easily roll out protection from ransomware, phishing and other threats without taxing their network or internal resources.
Internet of Things Paradox
The survey unveiled interesting findings related to IoT. While providers identified IoT as a top investment priority area, it was also the voted the "top overhyped technology" in the survey. Nonetheless, IoT security remains a concern. Approximately one-third of provider respondents said they were confident in their company's ability to tackle IoT challenges while 14 percent said they were not confident. Clearly, the case for using DNS-based security to protect devices like Smart TVs and game consoles has never been stronger.
Download the complete report for additional insight.