Leveraging Telecom Expense Management for Enhanced Cybersecurity in the Cloud

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In an era where digital transformation dictates the pace of business, large enterprises (e.g., Fortune 2000 companies) face a dual challenge: managing escalating telecom expenses and fortifying their cyber defenses. The convergence of these two areas is more than a strategic intersection: it’s a critical battleground for enterprise security.  

This can be daunting for front-line enterprise expense management leaders. Today’s large enterprises are not just sprawling entities but environments of intricate digital interactions and extensive transaction networks. The adoption of cloud services has skyrocketed, offering unparalleled scalability and flexibility for these enterprise environments.  

However, this has also introduced a new level of complexity in managing telecom/technology expenses and securing cloud-based assets. With data breaches and cyber threats rising, the need for stringent security measures has never been more front-burner-worthy.  

Effective telecom expense management (TEM) goes beyond communications network operations and expense control; it is key in safeguarding security within your cloud environment.  

This article will explore how effective telecom expense management is more than just a cost-saving strategy but a cornerstone of your cybersecurity framework in the cloud. 

Let’s review five areas in which the discipline of TEM will also enhance cybersecurity within cloud service management.

5 Practices for Secure Cloud Service Management With TEM

1. A strong TEM platform provides comprehensive visibility and control

Implement a telecom expense management platform/system that offers complete visibility into your cloud usage and expenses. This includes real-time monitoring and analytics capabilities to detect unusual patterns that could signify security threats. 

Example 1Real-Time Expense Tracking and Analysis: A TEM provider’s robust TEM platform will allow real-time tracking of all telecom expenses across an enterprise (e.g., MoT at Tellennium). 

This includes detailed insights into voice, data, and internet services and their costs across different departments and geographic locations. For example, the platform can break down the costs of international calls made by a sales team or data usage by a remote workforce, which is now becoming the norm. 

This level of detailed tracking allows businesses to identify any unusual spikes in usage or costs, which could indicate either inefficient use of resources or potential security issues, such as unauthorized access to services. 

Example 2 – Automated Inventory Management: Another key feature of an effective TEM platform is its ability to maintain an updated inventory of all telecom assets and services. We take this very seriously at Tellennium, as all inventories are not created equal. 

For instance, strong TEM platforms can automatically track every mobile device, landline, and data plan the company is paying for, including those that are seldom used or have become obsolete. This comprehensive inventory management helps businesses avoid unnecessary expenses on unused or redundant services and provides a clear view of the telecom infrastructure’s scale and scope.  

It also enhances security by ensuring all assets are accounted for and appropriately managed, reducing the risk of lost or unmonitored devices becoming security liabilities.

2. Regular compliance audits ensure proper service needs, manage expenses, and enhance security

Staying abreast of industry standards and regulations is important. Conducting regular audits to ensure your telecom expense management practices comply with cybersecurity protocols and data protection laws is necessary nowadays, especially for large corporate entities. 

Claiming ignorance won’t help your organization avoid trouble in terms of security, and it won’t help proactively manage services and their associated costs. 

Example 1 – Ensuring adherence to cybersecurity standards and regulations will protect your organization: Regular compliance audits involve assessing the adherence to relevant cybersecurity standards and data protection regulations.  

For example, an aspect of an audit might focus on how telecom data is stored, processed, and transmitted, ensuring compliance with standards such as ISO/IEC 27001 for information security or GDPR for data protection.  

This is particularly important for companies handling sensitive customer data over telecom networks. By ensuring that telecom service providers and internal practices comply with these standards, large enterprises can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks, which can have costly and damaging repercussions. 

Regular audits help identify vulnerabilities in the telecom infrastructure and enforce best practices for data security, thus enhancing the organization’s overall cybersecurity posture. 

Example 2 – Verification of contractual compliance, cost management, and security monitoring: Through regular communications network audits, businesses can verify that their telecom service providers adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in their contracts.  

For instance, an audit might reveal that certain billed services exceed the agreed-upon rates or that discounts and special rates negotiated in the contract are not applied correctly (e.g., rate audits). This ensures that your company is not overpaying for its telecom services.  

Audits will also help determine if services are necessary (e.g., purpose audits) or if fraud may be involved in using some services, which is always a big concern for management. 

Moreover, communications network audits will also help identify areas that can be optimized for proactive management for additional savings within the full TEM communications lifecycle.  

By regularly reviewing contracts and billing, businesses can ensure they get the services they need at the correct price and guard against cyber-security threats and fraudulent conduct.

3. Integrated security measures with TEM help protect your organization

Aligning your telecom expense management tools with your broader cybersecurity framework is a good idea. Ensuring expense management solutions have robust security features like encryption, multi-factor authentication, and secure access controls is something expense management leaders won’t regret. 

Example 1 – Encryption and secure access for telecom data help secure your organization: A vital security measure in TEM is the encryption of telecom data, both in transit and at rest.  

For example, when TEM platforms handle sensitive information, such as call records, billing information, and usage data, they must encrypt it to protect it from unauthorized access.  

Additionally, implementing secure access controls, such as two-factor authentication and role-based access, ensures that only authorized personnel can view or modify telecom expense data. This approach secures sensitive corporate data and safeguards against potential data breaches that could occur through the telecom expense management system. 

Example 2 – Anomaly detection and fraud prevention are smart, proactive security measures: Integrated security within a TEM platform often includes advanced monitoring systems for anomaly detection and fraud prevention.  

For instance, the system could employ algorithms to analyze telecom usage and spending patterns. Suppose it detects irregular activities, such as a sudden spike in international calls or data usage that deviates significantly from typical patterns.  

The system can flag these anomalies for further investigation in such a case. This is particularly important for large enterprises where such irregularities might indicate fraudulent activities or security breaches, such as a compromised device being used for unauthorized purposes.  

By detecting these anomalies early, the TEM system is critical in preventing potential fraud and mitigating security risks associated with telecom resources. 

4. Strategic vendor management communications strengthen organizational security

Working closely with cloud service providers and telecom vendors is essential to understand their security measures. Well-managed enterprise expense management programs will ensure that the practices of outside organizations align with a company’s cybersecurity standards and insist on regular security reviews. 

Example 1 – Regular security updates and patches are the norm in well-managed TEM programs: Effective communication with telecom service providers ensures that enterprises are regularly updated about the latest security patches and updates.  

For instance, a competent telecom expense management provider might release a security patch for their communication software or network infrastructure that addresses a newly discovered vulnerability.  

Through proactive and strategic communication, the enterprise – and internal team – can be promptly informed about these updates, enabling them to implement any needed changes in a timely manner.  

This helps protect the enterprise’s telecom network from potential cyber threats and ensures that the security of their communication channels is up to date, thus maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of corporate communications. 

Example 2 – Collaborative development of customized security solutions will benefit your organization: Strategic vendor management communication also allows collaboration in developing tailored security solutions that meet your enterprise’s unique needs.  

For example, an enterprise might require enhanced security measures for its mobile device management as part of its telecom expense management strategy.  

Maintaining open lines of communication with telecom vendors makes it easier to work together to develop customized security protocols, such as advanced encryption for data transmitted through corporate mobile devices or specific access controls for sensitive business communications.  

This collaboration not only enhances the security of the telecom services but also ensures that the solutions are perfectly aligned with the enterprise’s unique operational requirements and security policies.  

A reputable TEM provider will help make this happen for your organization.

5. Employee training and awareness help add another layer of security protection for your organization

Educating your workforce on the security implications of telecom and cloud services usage is important. Regular training on best practices and company policies can significantly reduce the risk of human error or poor practices leading to security breaches. 

Example 1 – Educating Employees on identifying phishing attacks and social engineering schemes further protects your organization: Regarding telecom expense management, employees should be trained to recognize and respond appropriately to phishing attacks and social engineering schemes that target corporate communication systems.  

For example, many reputable TEM providers can assist with providing direction or training programs that can educate employees about the signs of phishing emails or calls that attempt to extract sensitive information related to telecom expenses, such as account details or access credentials.  

By being aware of these tactics, employees are better equipped to prevent unauthorized access to telecom systems and avoid inadvertently disclosing critical information that could lead to financial losses or data breaches. 

Example 2 – Training on the secure use of telecom resources bolsters security for your organization: Another important aspect of employee training in TEM is educating internal staff on the secure and responsible use of telecom resources.  

This includes training on policies related to using company-provided mobile devices, secure Wi-Fi usage, and responsible reporting of telecom expenses. For instance, employees can be trained to securely connect to corporate networks when working remotely and report any anomalies in their telecom usage or billing.  

Such training ensures employees know how best to use telecom resources and play an active role in telecom expense management. 

A reputable, strong TEM provider can assist internal expense management teams in the educational and training efforts of corporate employees.

Final Thoughts on TEM & Cybersecurity

Reputable telecom expense management providers are vital in managing and securing the intricate web of telecom and cloud services that modern corporations rely on.  

TEM is more than just managing communications services and expense management for these services; it is an integral component of an enterprise’s cybersecurity strategy.  

TEM is indispensable in safeguarding large enterprises in the digital age by providing thorough oversight, ensuring compliance, integrating security measures, managing vendor relationships effectively, and fostering employee awareness. 

If you’d like to include Tellennium in your telecom expense management provider comparisons, contact us to schedule a brief demo of our solution.

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