How can a network operator optimise resilience in the network? Dr Sebastian Lissek, Head of Network at envia TEL GmbH, talks about this in an interview:
Dr Lissek, how does envia Tel define resilience for infrastructure?
Resilience is the ability to identify cyberrisks, disruptions and exceptional events, to react to them appropriately and to initiate countermeasures to limit the impact of the damage. It must aim to maintain business operations and secure communications under all circumstances. For us, resilience is divided into four components:
- Physical security,
- Security incident management and monitoring (vulnerability management),
- Crisis management and
- Business continuity management (business impact analysis, BCM plan, emergency exercises).
How can a network operator optimise resilience in the network and what takes priority in these measures?
Optimising resilience requires a holistic approach, starting with a risk assessment and vulnerability identification. On this basis, robust security measures must be implemented. Additionally, organisational measures such as the introduction of an ISMS (Information Security Management System), regular security audits, awareness and maturity of employees or strategic partnerships should be considered. Moreover, technical measures including video surveillance, access management, redundancy, perimeter protection, firewall and intrusion detection systems, should also be implemented. Prioritisation is based on risk analysis considering the probability of occurrence and potential impact of damage. These measures are reviewed as part of an annual management assessment within a recurring Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.
As a telco, does envia Tel perceive an increased awareness of CRITIS and preparedness in terms of resilience requirements among enterprise customers?
The answer depends very much on the respective business area and the associated customer group. In the data centre environment, there is a pronounced awareness that is reflected in regular audits of our customers. In these, we play a significant role as an essential supplier and can support with our certified, highly secure infrastructure. There is also this increased awareness in the carrier environment, which is explained by mutual service provision and acceptance. In our observation, this development has not yet fully arrived in the classic B2B end-customer business. Although corresponding products for secure networking and managed firewall solutions are tending to become more popular, they are still starting from a comparatively low level.
How does envia Tel implement participation for resilience on the physical infrastructure side in its own data centres?
We have accredited auditors supervise the planning and construction of our data centres. This is preceded by a comprehensive environment and site analysis with regard to any water, explosion or pollutant hazards. During operation, we make sure that we only use suppliers who have been tested in advance.
In addition, proven measures such as the TÜV.iT protection zone concept, BCM plans/emergency concepts, access management, video surveillance as well as redundant technical building equipment and routing for WAN and electricity take effect.
Dr Lissek, thank you very much for the interview!