Internet Service Providers and Cybersecurity: Device Identification and Security at the Edge (2023)

By Scott Dotto, Charter Communications; Justinas Bisikirskas, CUJO AI; Kyle Johnson, Charter Communications; Leonardas Marozas, CUJO AI; Tyson Vinson, Charter Communications

Cybercrime is a pervasive and increasing risk to businesses and consumers alike. This increasing threat is driven by the expanding influence of digital lives, the growing reliance on technology to deliver essential services and the rise in connected devices, which are projected to reach an estimated 15 billion by the end of 2023. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the global cost of cybercrime is predicted to reach a staggering $10.5 trillion annually by 2025 (about $1,300 per person on average).1 In the first half of 2022, an estimated 53 million Americans were impacted by cybercrime, costing US households billions of dollars. Such a massive problem demands effective solutions to safeguard customers’ devices, data and financial security. Internet service providers (ISPs) are in a unique position to improve the cybersecurity landscape. To serve customers, ISPs must know certain traffic characteristics such as IP source and destination. These observations offer ISPs valuable insight into the capabilities of devices on the network and whether traffic from those devices may be suspicious or malicious. Further analysis may uncover vulnerabilities in customer devices and other cybersecurity risks. The knowledge gained from this analysis may be used to develop new security services and techniques. Sharing deidentified and aggregated information (with a commitment to protecting personal information and restrictions on how that information can be used) with relevant parties—manufacturers of offending devices, other ISPs, or regulatory and standards bodies—can lead to better outcomes in securing customers’ data, identities, devices and, consequently, the internet as a whole. This deidentified and aggregated data can be directly used by other parties to make informed decisions to drive industry standards and respond promptly and efficiently to an ever-evolving threat. Additionally, more specific information can be shared with impacted customers so they may take action to protect themselves. ISPs have a critical role in enhancing cybersecurity and securing the internet. ISPs’ access to traffic data empowers them to take proactive steps in protecting their customers and the internet ecosystem at large. By leveraging these insights and collaborating with relevant stakeholders, ISPs can meaningfully contribute to mitigating cybersecurity threats to customers.

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