Four telcos set up global cybersecurity group

Singtel, SoftBank, Etisalat, and Telefónica have banded to form the Global Telco Security Alliance, pledging to share data on cyber threats and tap each party's resources to support customers worldwide.

Singtel, SoftBank, Etisalat, and Telefónica have formed a cybersecurity group with the aim to exchange data on threats and tap each other's resources to support customers across the globe.

The telcos would establish the Global Telco Security Alliance, essentially offering a managed security services platform that, together, supported more than 1.2 billion customers across 60 countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.

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The four telcos also operated a network of 22 security operation centres (SOCs) and employed more than 6,000 cybersecurity professionals.

The new alliance would see the partners sharing data on cyber threats and tap each party's geographic expertise and reach as well as capabilities to support business customers. This global footprint would enable the group to serve each other's clientele, regardless of location and time, and better respond to potential threats, the partners said in a joint statement.

They also promised cost benefits for customers from the group's ability to establish economies of scales and create operational synergies. In addition, the four partners would jointly develop a technology roadmap that focused on cybersecurity applications for Internet of Things and that integrated predictive analytics and machine learning.

The telco group also would explore opportunities to jointly invest in SOCs, cybersecurity platforms, and startups.

Singtel's CEO of global cybersecurity Art Wong said: "We need swift and coordinated global responses to defend enterprises that operate across transnational borders, as cyber threats are increasing in frequency, scale, and sophistication.

"The group's resources, combined with those of its alliance partners, will provide a robust cyber security platform to protect our global customers," Wong said.

SoftBank's head of cloud and cybersecurity Andrew Schwabecher added that hackers already had created highly established and structured communities within which they would work together to launch attacks.

"It's time the world's largest network of operators formed a global alliance to strengthen our defence against these attacks," Schwabecher said.

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