PARTNER INTERVIEW: Cybersecurity has been one of the key topics of 2019, albeit with most of the attention focused on the credentials of Chinese equipment vendors as 5G becomes a commercial reality.

But, to some degree, this focus on the infrastructure alone masks the broader threats facing operators and their customers today, as an increasingly connected world poses fresh conundrums around the safety of content being consumed, the capabilities of networks to withstand attacks, and even legal challenges in the case of malicious moves originating overseas.

Europe-based cyan Digital Security offers integrated and endpoint security solutions designed to help global operators address these challenges and open new revenue streams by enabling them to enhance their value-added service portfolios.

Martin Sternath, head of sales and business development at the company (pictured), talked to Mobile World Live (MWL) about some of the biggest threats facing operators today and what they can do to safeguard their infrastructure and end-users.

MWL: Why does mobile security matter? What are the main security threats facing MNOs today, both on the infrastructure and operations side?
MS: Mobile security is more important than ever. There is so much harmful content today that it is even a challenge to always be up to date on which threats there really are, since it seems there is also a huge variety in the different kinds of threats.

MNOs are being hit hard today by phishing, SIM swapping, malware and many other types of attack.

Data breaches are also a huge problem for MNOs since it is almost impossible to target the threat source and drag the responsible person into account. Due to cyber threats, people lose money, data and become increasingly insecure about what information to share.

Are these threats universal or do they vary across markets?
Of course, the trend we see is that hackers and cyber criminals are trying to spread the threats globally. However, from time to time there are local attacks, which can cause an even more sophisticated problem, for example when the attack happened during vacation time and local laws are different from those in the affected person’s home country.

Where is the bulk of your business conducted today – mostly Europe or internationally?
We do business globally. We don’t only want to reach the people next to us, but we are fighting for global security.

There is no sense in providing cybersecurity locally since the digital world is not limited to one geographical region. We watch videos online which were produced and published in a different country, and we do bank transfers to people abroad, so we are trying to protect everyone who potentially shares data online.

Does the IoT offer a new opportunity?
For the moment, our main focus lies on providing network-integrated security. However, IoT is also a great trend which we have not left unconsidered.

Imagine having an Apple Watch or Samsung Gear which gathers your fitness and health data, and is yet protected against data theft? That’s where we come in.

We also provide endpoint protection that keeps your data where it should be, in your possession.

Should operators sell security-as-a-service to consumers?
Yes, they definitely should. It is unreasonable to expect the customer to be completely aware of all cyber threats and the right behaviour in this regard. Phishing mails are so sophisticated nowadays that it is tremendously difficult to differentiate between real mails and phishing mails. If operators provided security-as-a-service to end customers, thousands of illegal incidents could be prevented.

Network and operations security is a hot business: what makes cyan Digital Security unique?
Our solutions are scalable, meaning they can be delivered to practically any operator.

We also offer our solutions on a white-label basis, meaning companies can provide them to their customers under their own brand. We do all the screening, analysis and securing methods on our own through a combination of AI and human interaction, using more than 20 analysis methods. No-one on the market is capable of doing so at the moment, so we are very happy to provide companies the best possible cybersecurity solutions on the market.