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2020 Corporate Responsibility Report

Playing it safe

Has your home ever been broken into? Even if it hopefully hasn’t happened to you yet, you probably still know exactly what to do. Call the police, don’t destroy any evidence, call the insurance company. But what if someone breaks into your computer rather than your home?

Invisible intruder

Virtual burglars don’t leave behind any broken glass – and your data would likely still be on your hard drive. You might not even notice the theft. If you do realize your data has been breached, however, you need to act fast.

What should you do if the worst comes to the worst?

1
Don’t pay

If you are demanded to pay a ransom, don’t pay it under any circumstances. There’s no guarantee they will actually release your data on receipt of payment.

2
Contact the police

If you’ve fallen victim to cybercrime, contact the police – the authority responsible for dealing with such cases in Germany.

3
Restore your data

In the event of a cyberattack, it’s vital to act fast. Check whether an up-to-date backup is available. If it is, you can restore your computer with minimal data loss.

4
Change all passwords

Make sure you change your passwords. The new versions should not be similar to the old ones and each account should be protected by its own, secure password.

5
Take preventive measures

Generally speaking, prevention is better than cure. Create regular backups of important data and keep your security software up to date.


SDG 9 – Innovation

These measures are our contribution to Goal 9 of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

Security is a must for everyone

Individuals aren’t the only ones affected. Authorities and businesses can also be targeted. 75 percent of companies in Germany were hit by cyberattacks in 2019. The financial damage caused by such attacks is calculated to be more than 100 billion euros a year in Germany alone. In addition to financial losses, cyberattacks can also have other serious consequences – if an attack on the power grid interrupts the energy supply, for instance, or if cybercriminals gain access to civilian or military infrastructures. Given the increasing level of connectivity and digitalization, data security must therefore clearly have top priority.

The green data bunker

Data security starts in the data center. See one of the world’s most secure data centers being built near Magdeburg. More information can be found here.

Joining forces to fight against data thieves

Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH is among the world’s largest providers of IT security solutions, the market leader in Germany, and the hub of cybersecurity expertise for the entire Deutsche Telekom Group. For many years now, we’ve succeeded in protecting more than just our own infrastructure. Our customers are offered the same, highly professional solutions that are used to protect Deutsche Telekom itself around the world. Telekom Security works closely with prominent organizations in Germany and at EU level, including the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), and the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA). We’ve also joined other companies in signing the Charter of Trust, an initiative for greater cybersecurity. The charter identifies ten cybersecurity action areas, among other things calling on governments and businesses alike to assume responsibility for cybersecurity at the highest levels – something we at Deutsche Telekom do as a matter of course.

Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Deutsche Telekom’s Cyber Defense and Security Operation Center (SOC) in Bonn never sleeps.


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Our cyberdefense team on average registered millions of attacks each day in 2020! Even though most are not targeted attacks, but rather automated attempts designed to discover weaknesses, this number is still alarming.

The strong line
of defense

Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Deutsche Telekom’s Cyber Defense and Security Operations Center (SOC) in Bonn never sleeps.

But it’s not just there that we’re keeping a close eye on things: Deutsche Telekom’s integrated SOC network not only includes the master SOC in Bonn, but also other sites across the world. Our experts analyze security-relevant data and systematically combat cyberattacks there around the clock. And the number of attacks is continuing to rise dramatically: Companies from all industries are exposed to increasingly aggressive and sophisticated cyberattacks. Our security experts monitor large parts of the internet and can also see almost in real time on a world map where attacks are currently taking place. Our honeypots act as an early warning system. These virtual traps lure hackers into attacking them by simulating weaknesses.
Our experts can then analyze the intentions and tactics of cybercriminals. In the event of criminal activity, our IT forensic specialists are also brought in to reconstruct attacks and secure evidence. We use the information obtained to continuously improve our cyberdefense technology. This gives approx. 200 security specialists a comprehensive view of the constantly changing threat landscape at all times, allowing them to recognize, ward off, and analyze attacks.

Beware
of misuse!

The Deutsche Telekom security team processed well over a million critical security incidents in 2020. In addition, tens of millions of IP addresses are reported annually under suspicion of misuse. One example of such misuse is when a computer belonging to a business customer or consumer is infected with malware and attacks other computers or sends spam via a Deutsche Telekom internet connection. We are alerted about this by sources such as security organizations or our own honeypots.

7

We have seven days to investigate the reported misuse of internet services and to identify the customers affected. After that, the relevant IP addresses stored are deleted in accordance with statutory regulations.

When danger strikes

We look into all reports received. In the event of misuse, we identify the affected customers and send them a guide on how to remove the malware from their computers. If attacks from a customer’s computer continue, we take additional steps. To protect other users, for example, we can temporarily block individual services such as email. Once compromised customers have resolved the problem independently – with the help of their own chosen expert or following the advice of our security team – the blocked service is reactivated.

Thomas Fetten, CEO of Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH

“The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a global surge in digitalization, as demonstrated by home schooling and working from home. Increasing networking offers all kinds of opportunities, but at the same time it also poses many new challenges in the form of potential risks. The scope for cyberattacks is growing and offers new gateways for cybercriminals. Companies and individuals alike need to combat such attacks.”

Attacks target company networks

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular and a key part of current working practices, not least due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, this also means data security can clearly no longer be confined to company premises. Hackers are also targeting people working within their own four walls because, in many cases, home networks are not adequately protected. People working from home should protect their network connection with a password or code. A secure link to the company network should also be ensured. A VPN connection is one possible option.

Deutsche Telekom staff working from home are also protected by a special firewall that makes it as difficult as possible for would-be attackers to gain access. However, our staff’s expertise plays a similarly important role when it comes to fending off cyberattacks. For example, they can use the interactive online game “Home Office Hero” to familiarize themselves with all the key security considerations relating to working from home.

The human factor

Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security warns that cybercriminals are masquerading as officials online and asking people to reveal company-related data. Another ploy is to send viruses via email. Clicking a link without thinking can freeze an entire computer, which is only reactivated on payment of a bitcoin ransom. Phishing emails of this kind land in digital mailboxes day in, day out, and people – rather than the IT system – are the weak link exploited by such social engineering scams. Cybercriminals use human characteristics such as helpfulness, fear, or trust to achieve their goal. To ensure these scams fail, it’s vital to observe a number of basic rules – be vigilant and don’t pass on any confidential data to dubious contacts. You should also be careful about revealing personal information on social networks, as it can be put to fraudulent use. If in any doubt, it’s better to ignore emails or phone the sender to obtain verification.

Security for small companies

Smaller businesses also fall victim to cyberattacks. In many cases, they only have limited financial resources available for IT and data security. Consequently, we’ve joined forces with security service provider WatchGuard to develop Business Network Protect Complete – a special cyberdefense solution geared to such smaller companies that combines a Wi-Fi router and a smart firewall in a single device. This makes it easy for customers to make their company data reliably secure – without any technical know-how. The solution also protects staff working from home. Business Network Protect Complete is available for a fixed monthly charge, so there are no high one-time costs. You can find further information here.


Tips for greater privacy

How to surf the web safely – follow these eight simple tips to effectively protect your privacy.

Working together to keep people safe online

By working together, we can improve online security for each and every individual. Click here to find out just why this is so important and discover the specific steps you can take.