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In the framework of the discussion on ‘designing next-generation service providers’ network,’ the panelists felt that a lot had been talked about security for the networks and channeled their focus on issues related to protecting consumers and mobile users from attacks and ransomware on 4G as well as 5G.

The question of what stc was doing in terms of such cases was asked to Yasser Najeeb Alswailem, Cyber Security VP, stc.

He responded to the question by saying, “stc has built something called ‘spam shield’, basically an SMS spam shield that prevents the illegitimate SMSes that may harm end-users. We worked with local regulators CITC to govern even the SMS. Secondly, if the consumer is receiving messages from a genuine sender with a malicious link, there is no way within telecom technologies to stop this link or to inspect this link. We stop this illegitimate link or malware through the DNS. When this happens, the end-user may click the link but they don’t know that we have stopped it at the DNS level. Our customers are enjoying secure digital services from our side.”

Dr. Cherif Sleiman, Senior Vice President of International Business, Infoblox, asked a question on the criticality of DNS in automated signaling in 5G, cybersecurity, or content management.

Tackling the question, Mr. Alswailem replied, “Especially, when it comes to securing the digital ecosystem of the country, we are relying heavily on DNS. We are blocking hundreds of millions of ‘command controls’ or bad links that open bad traffic between end-users and external websites. We are stopping it at the DNS level.  In what we call the ‘national shield’ we use DNS as the first line of defense to protect the nation’s digital ecosystem. DNS provides monetization opportunities as well.”

Adding to the discussion, Günther Ottendorfer, CTIO, Ooredoo Qatar said, “In a world where you want ultra-low latency, DNS is an important tool. If your target is to deliver for your customers the best experience, DNS is very important not only because of the security but also to provide the low latency that some customers need. “

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