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Why Cloud Security is so important for Telcos (and other Service Providers)

Created: 11 Jun 2012 • Updated: 03 Jun 2014
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The Cloud Services market is already a big battlefield. As Forrester forecasts that the global market for cloud computing will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020, more and more companies are entering this market in order to get a BIG piece of the cake.

Of course Cloud represents a significant opportunity for Telcos and Communications Service Providers (CSPs) as well. Their traditional voice revenue is flat or even declining for sometime and cloud services offered to their customers can promise a turnaround. Indeed CSPs are in a superb position to add cloud services to their existing portfolio. Their huge customer base, the IT infrastructure based on data centers, customer care centers and billing systems, their networks and a great services roadmap starting from their traditional communication business provide an excellent starting point. One of their biggest advantages is the trust they have built in the past with strong Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in their core networking business. This can be their big benefit while moving into the Cloud Services market.  Competing with the OTT (Over the Top) players, who often deliver cheap ‘quick and dirty’ services over the Telco networks, they have almost no chance of winning on price.    

To succeed in the cloud market, CSPs need to provide superior cloud services that are more trusted than those offered by the current generation of OTT players and other web-based cloud providers. Security is still the number one concern for enterprises that move parts of their IT into the cloud.  CSPs must do everything to build and offer trusted and secure cloud services to their customers - strong security SLAs is their big differentiator in the competitive landscape.

How can CSPs deliver trust and confidence?

They have various options depending on their business models:
Larger CSPs with already advanced IT Services skills often tend to build their own cloud services. By following the ‘Security by Design’ principals, they can implement security and availability into their cloud architecture from the beginning. The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has defined 14 security domains – all supported by Symantec – as guidelines and best practices in Cloud Security.  

Smaller CSPs without huge IT Services experiences or CSPs for which time-to-market is very critical are really keen to partner with established cloud providers to resell their services. CSPs should carefully evaluate a partner with the best suitable SLAs for their business models. A lot of Telcos are already partnering with, the leading provider of Cloud-based information protection services. contractually guarantees 100% availability for Email and Web Security services by extremely high efficiency and very low false positive rates.

The recent beta phase of the new Symantec O3 solution has shown that CSPs are really keen to offer device independent security ‘above the cloud’. CSPs can act as Cloud Service Aggregators and Cloud Brokers for policy-based Security Management providing an additional layer for secure access to the cloud and protecting customer information with encryption and data loss prevention in the cloud.  With that, CSPs have a great chance to enrich the customer experience and help them to stay compliant with their internal IT security policies.