Centralise security globally, says Level 3 chief

15 November 2012 | Kavit Majithia


Investment in security on networks is a must for global operators to avoid a true communications disaster in the future, warns Jim Crowe, CEO at Level 3 Communications.

As a result of changing consumer trends in the market, networks are constantly connected to the global internet, meaning private and confidential customer information is always at risk of being obtained by hackers.

In an attack against industry bodies, Crowe told Capacity it was up to operators and service providers to set up integrated systems that set standards, put software into systems and “find effective ways for the industry to deal with threats of cyber attacks as central bodies are not moving fast enough”.

He said: “We need to start offering certified levels of security to customers, and that is something that now has a fair amount of urgency. One day, we will wake up and find we have had a large-scale disaster, and that will leave us in the hands of governments and regulators.”

Crowe said that changing consumer trends means the amount of traffic going one way on a network is not asymmetric to what is coming back on the return path, which presents a significant risk to global operators on a security standpoint, because networks are connected all the time.

“There is an inherent need in the industry for us to come together and address the issue of security quickly,” added Crowe. “There is a central recognition that we are going to see continuous attacks on our infrastructure, from both the psychical and the virtual and
we need to think about encryption from the lowest to the highest levels.”

With an increasing amount of networks connected by fibre, in addition to the integration of sophisticated software like CDN, Crowe said the industry “needs to work together to develop end-to-end certified levels of security to be included in the network supply chain”.

Level 3 Communications entered into the managed security market last month, and now provides a suite of solutions to counter viruses, intrusion and prevention. The solution also caters to the enterprise market in a bid to counter the threat of DDoS attacks.