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6 min read

Dialing into Zero Trust for Telecom

Exploring New Dimensions of Security, Authentication, and Data Integrity
Written by
Sarah Blantz, Marketing Coordinator
Published on
September 6, 2023

Digital Trust & Zero Trust: The Pillars of Modern Security

In a recent episode of Numeracle’s live Tuesday Talk’s Podcast, Dean Coclin, Sr. Director of Business Development & Trust Specialist at DigiCert, discusses the emergence of Digital Trust and Zero Tust as essential models in cybersecurity. As technology advances and our lives become increasingly interconnected, the traditional boundaries of security have blurred. The digital landscape is evolving, and conventional security measures are no longer sufficient. Digital Trust and Zero Trust are not mere buzzwords; they are fundamental shifts in the way we approach security, offering a more robust, adaptive defense against a new generation of sophisticated threats.

[image caption: Tune in to Learn More]

Digital Trust refers to the confidence placed in digital systems, technologies, and processes to protect data, ensure privacy, and deliver reliable services. It represents a vital bridge of assurance, digitally connecting businesses, governments, communities, and individuals. Formed through a cohesive blend of strategic frameworks, advanced software, and vigilant practices, digital trust proactively safeguards against potential threats and skillfully adapts to the ongoing growth and innovation of digital technologies. Digicert's comprehensive guide to Digital Trust delves into the complexities and importance of this concept.

Zero Trust is a security framework that operates on the principle of perpetual verification, utilizing tools such as public key infrastructure (PKI), multifactor authentication (MFA), and single sign-on (SSO) to continually confirm the legitimacy of every user, software, server, device, document, and identity that connects to the network. Unlike conventional methods, Zero Trust doesn't grant inherent trust to anyone or anything. This relentless scrutiny, in essence, fosters digital trust by ensuring that each connection is meticulously authenticated at every instance. Digicert’s insightful article on Zero Trust elucidates this revolutionary approach to security.

"Zero Trust is a security architecture that is used to verify identities, verify intent, and then allow or deny access to a resource, a place, a person, or anything that it could be. Digital trust is really focused on validating identity and giving us the confidence that we can have online transactions securely, privately, and authenticated."

Dean Coclin, Sr. Director of Business Development & Trust Specialist, DigiCert

The journey toward a safer, more transparent digital world starts with understanding these concepts. As we delve deeper into how various channels are utilizing these architectures and the need for their adoption in the telecom industry, we will uncover the innovation and importance of this movement.

A Transformational Journey

Historical Perspective

Digital Trust and Zero Trust are not overnight phenomena; they are the results of decades of evolution and learning from traditional security models. In the early days of the internet, the focus was primarily on perimeter defenses, trusting all activities and entities within a defined boundary.  

However, as technology advanced and cyber threats became more intelligent and diversified, these models proved to be flawed. Insiders became a source of threats, and external attacks became more sophisticated. The concept of Zero Trust emerged, challenging the assumption of trust based on location, while Digital Trust started to focus on ensuring integrity and confidence in every digital interaction.

An Executive Order

In 2021, the Biden administration issued Executive Order (EO) 14028 on improving the nation's cybersecurity. This order called for a significant shift in the way the federal government approaches cybersecurity, and it specifically mentioned the need to adopt Zero Trust principles. As described in the Department of Defense Zero Trust Reference Architecture, 3:

“Incremental improvements will not give us the security we need; instead, the Federal Government needs to make bold changes and significant investments in order to defend the vital institutions that underpin the American way of life.”

— Executive Order (EO) 14028: Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity

By shifting away from traditional perimeter-based security approaches, this policy directive aims to establish more resilient and effective security, ensuring the protection of critical systems and information in the digital landscape.

Case Studies: Success in Action

Examining real-world applications provides a clear picture of the value that Digital Trust and Zero Trust bring. Here are some examples of successful implementation:

  • Healthcare Industry: Digital trust has been instrumental in the development of smart medical devices, such as pacemakers. By ensuring secure and reliable connections, thousands of lives are safeguarded, and medical advancements continue with the confidence that patient safety and data integrity are protected.
  • Next Generation 911 Systems: Leveraging Digital Trust and Zero Trust, NG911 expanded emergency communication to include text, video, and data. This integration ensures robust security, enhancing the resilience and effectiveness of emergency response across the telecom industry.

As these concepts continue to shape the future of digital interaction, their relevance and importance only grow. Whether it's banking, healthcare, retail, or the telecom industry, the message is clear: a new approach to trust and security is not just an option; it's a necessity.

Why Telecom Needs Digital Trust & Zero Trust

The telecom industry currently finds itself at the crossroads of innovation and vulnerability. Rapid innovation is driving new ways of communicating and interacting with the world, but it also creates new security challenges. By implementing Digital Trust and Zero Trust principles, the telecom industry can improve its security and protect consumer data.

Digital Trust ensures data is protected, privacy is maintained, and services are reliable. By building a foundation of trust in their digital systems, businesses can provide assurance to their customers that their data is in safe hands. This is particularly important in an industry that handles vast amounts of sensitive customer information, such as call records, messaging data, and financial transactions.

Zero Trust offers a paradigm shift in security philosophy, moving away from the traditional approach of trusting entities within a defined perimeter. It operates on the principle of continual verification, ensuring that every user, software, device, and connection is authenticated before granting access. By adopting a Zero Trust architecture, telecom businesses can minimize the risk of unauthorized access and reduce the impact of potential security incidents. It allows for a granular level of access control, ensuring that only authorized users and devices are able to connect to the network and access sensitive data.

“Digital trust, built on the foundations of standards, calls for the telecom industry to take definitive action. It's time for standards bodies to close the loop on trust, acknowledging that simply being an authoritative company for a database does not suffice. We must embrace a trust framework approach and strive for a more secure future.”

— Rebekah Johnson, Founder & CEO, Numeracle

In addition to protecting customer data, implementing Digital Trust and Zero Trust principles can help businesses maintain their reputation and trustworthiness in the industry. Customers expect their providers to prioritize security and safeguard their personal information. A security breach or data leak can have severe consequences, including reputational damage, financial loss, and loss of customer trust. By proactively implementing robust security measures, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to protecting customer data and maintaining their reputation as trusted service providers.

Tap into Total Security with Numeracle

As pioneers and advocates of implementing robust Know Your Customer (KYC) processes in the telecom space, Numeracle is reshaping the approach to identity verification. Our Verified Identity™ process, which has fueled model standards in ensuring trust and security, is built upon the pillars of Digital Trust and Zero Trust.

Numeracle’s Verified Identity™ process ensures that all communicative entities are meticulously vetted, forming an integral part of our drive towards Zero Trust. By presuming all connections as potential risks, Numeracle’s approach aligns with the premise of "never trust, always verify."

Moreover, our process enhances Digital Trust by ensuring that the identity of every calling entity is not just verified, but trusted across the board. It bolsters customer confidence, mitigates the possibility of fraudulent activities, and fosters crystal-clear communication pathways.

The value we place in the principles of Digital and Zero Trust is reflected in our solutions, striving to foster an environment free from the shadows of uncertainty and risks. Numeracle's commitment to these principles dictates that, as we move forward, we continue to do so with a protective shield of trust, transparency, and relentless verification.

At Numeracle, we understand the complexities and challenges that telecom businesses face in managing their number reputation and ensuring the integrity of their communications. Our expertise in Entity Identity Management™ enables us to provide customized solutions tailored to your specific needs. By partnering with Numeracle, you can strengthen your security posture and maintain trust in the industry. Take the next step in addressing your specific needs by reaching out to us for a personalized consultation. Together, we can navigate the complexities of the industry and build a secure future for your business and your customers.

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