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Telecommunications networks (also called telecom networks or telcos) power the communications that we use every day. Email, phone calls, text messaging, web pages, file downloads, etc. all happen over telecommunications networks. They work by linking groups of nodes that exchange messages. The links use a variety of technologies to pass messages and signals, including circuit switching, message switching, and packet switching

How have telecommunications networks evolved?

Traditional telecom networks, including the public switched telephone network (PTSN), were closed, circuit-switched networks that relied on a network of fixed-line analog telephone systems. However, as telecom networks including the PTSN have moved to digital, they have adopted packet-switched technology. 

Today, telecom networks comprise analog, digital, and mobile communications networks. This convergence is known as the next-generation network (NGN). In the NGN, one network transports all information and services (voice, data, and all sorts of media, such as video) using internet protocol (IP) packets. You might also hear them referred to as all IP networks.

As mobile networks evolved to include all IP NGNs, new and more powerful access technologies opened telecommunication networks to risks very much like those we’re become accustomed to on the open internet. As the industry transitions from the mature internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) to the new and immature internet protocol version 6 (IPv6), while also moving from 4G/LTE to 5G mobile standards, increased security risks are being seen across the board.

Whether you’re securing the telecom networks your business relies on or developing applications in-house for voice over IP (VoIP) calls, Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints, or mobile applications, your customers rely on you to ensure their safety. 

IoT Wireless Connectivity, Explained | Synopsys

How can Synopsys help?

Global network security issues rely on governments and regulatory bodies to formulate and implement a methodology for identifying and mitigating network infrastructure vulnerabilities. But there are several methods you can use to secure your telecom network development and implementations yourself.

Problems like Log4J are not going away. Every telecom organization needs to be looking out for zero-day vulnerabilities. Synopsys has a wide range of tools and services to help you address security and quality defects. Testing tools like Black Duck® SCA, Coverity® SAST, WhiteHat™ DAST can help you identify bugs and security risks in proprietary source code, third-party binaries, and open source dependencies, as well as runtime vulnerabilities in applications, APIs, protocols, and containers.

Security vulnerabilities arise from unaddressed software flaws, and telecom networks are as susceptible to this as any other network your business interfaces with. Tools like Defensics® fuzz testing can help your team ensure that the software code you’ve secured from within cannot be breached from the outside. Fuzzing is technique that tests your code by inputting invalid, unexpected, or malformed data. The program is then monitored for exceptions such as crashes or failing built-in code assertions. Because fuzzing tests with no access to the source code itself, it provides your best visibility into how an attacker might try to breach your systems. A rigorously fuzz tested network element is hardened against a wide spectrum of security threats.

Fuzzing is now part of the acceptance criteria that leading telecom operators have adopted around the world to select OEM supplied equipment. Synopsys Defensics is a comprehensive, versatile, automated fuzzer that enables organizations to efficiently and effectively discover and remediate security weaknesses in software.