Communications Security—Who Is Listening to Your Meetings and Calls?
by Jim Lundy
Most people take everything for granted when it comes to communication and collaboration security. However, new information to emerge over the last year that indicates that there may be other people and government listening to your calls. This blog discusses some of the findings and why you need to be extra careful about your communications infrastructure
Huawei at the Center of a Controversy in the Netherlands
Huawei has been accused of possibly having the ability to listen to mobile user calls in the Netherlands using the KPN mobile network. While Huawei denies these claims, report by Germany in 2010 confirmed that they had this ability. However, we’d point out that Huawei did admit that in one of its older contracts in India that it was monitoring a significant amount of data.
US Confirms Huawei Backdoors
On top of this, the Wall Street Journal in 2020 released the story that confirmed that US national security officials confirm that Huawei has covert back doors available to it.
Chinese Officials Listened in on Some Zoom Calls
Some of this may be due to agreements that companies make with other governments in order to operate in the country. Last year Zoom admitted that one of its associates was listening in on calls on behalf of the Chinese government. These calls were mainly from dissidents who were against the Chinese government.
Ericsson Wins 5G Deals—at the Expense of Huawei
Because Huawei was so active in Europe promoting its 5G infrastructure, this is really about the US state department educating European governments about the risks of Huawei 5G infrastructure gear. The US Clean Network Program resulted in Ericsson winning many of more European deals.
Communication Security Cannot Be Taken Lightly— Infrastructure Matters
All of this points to what government already knows well, that communications networks are one of the target factors to monitor and listen to users and also to steal data.
Aragon Research has an upcoming in-depth report on communications security. The events mentioned in this blog highlight the reason why enterprises will need to take an approach to security much more seriously.
With communication networks come risks. Spying is real—and if you are skeptical—just ask Nortel. Unfortunately, you can’t because they went bankrupt—and spying and IP theft contributed to their demise. Encryption is just one of the ways to protect your enterprise and your intellectual property.