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Fastweb appoints BICS to strengthen roaming security


BICS’ intelligent intrusion detection platform boosts the Italian operator’s protection against roaming protocol vulnerabilities.

International communications enabler BICS has been appointed by Fastweb, an Italian operator, to strengthen its IPX security – also known as Signalling Network Security –  to protect customers' international mobile traffic (voice, data, SMS). 

Fastweb has 2.7 million wireline customers and 1.9 million mobile customers, and a national fibre infrastructure of 50,500 km that reaches 22 million households, 8 million use a hybrid proprietary network with connection speeds of up to 1 Gigabit. It will use 5G Fixed Wireless Access to expand its reach. The company has been part of the Swisscom Group since September 2007.

BICS’ IPX security solution is a a turnkey and managed service, launched last year. It combines carrier-grade screening protection with real-time intelligence to secure network infrastructure against signalling attacks, safeguarding both subscribers and revenues.

Roaming vulnerabilities

IPX security refers to a list of vulnerabilities in telecom protocols used for roaming interworking. They include the possible interception of SMS or voice calls, subscriber tracking, and other telecoms fraud committed by abusing the signalling relay to mobile operators’ networks.

BICS uses its extensive view of international network traffic and its Telecom Intrusion Detection System backed by network enforcement and 24/7 support to protect Fastweb. BICS will:

• Detect potential attacks with advanced machine learning software to qualify the risk and severity of the threats they pose.

• Link each security event to the BICS threat intelligence database, enabling proactive protection.

• Guarantee immediate 24/7 incident response through the BICS Fraud Operations Centre.

• Tailor the solution to suit Fastweb’s traffic, from assessment through to monitoring and prevention.

Leveraging expertise

Andrea Lasagna, Chief Technology Officer of Fastweb says, “Fastweb has always prioritised the protection of its customer base from malicious attacks. Thanks to the perfect combination of network and security expertise, BICS’ IPX security solution provides us a further robust tool to secure vulnerabilities across our entire network and safeguard mobile subscribers from potential threats.”

Katia Gonzalez, Head of Security & Fraud Prevention, BICS says, "With the solution, Fastweb benefits from our continuous investments in security and fraud prevention that help operators effectively fight and manage evolving threats. Moreover, through our international wholesale carrier business, we are able to leverage our neutrality to foster global knowledge sharing among operators, an important element in jointly securing the telecommunications ecosystem.” 

BICS’ relationship with Fastweb incorporates the outsourcing of end-to-end connectivity provision, from capacity, to BICS’ one-stop-shop for instant roaming across 3G and 4G networks, and outbound voice roaming traffic. As part of the agreement, BICS will provide Fastweb with 24/7 business support across the full range of services provided.