Cybercrime hurts the entire technology and telecoms ecosystem, from service providers to end users. No part of our industry is immune to it.
In a recent blog post, my colleague Srini CR talked about how anything that is connected to the Internet is a potential target of attack for cybercriminals, and how – as the number of connected devices is set to reach over 20 billion by 2020 – the fight against cybercrime will be crucial for the long-term success of everyone with a stake in the Internet of Things (IoT).
When criminals use global communications networks to commit fraud, steal or intentionally disrupt services, there are direct monetary losses that are compounded by lasting damage to relationships. Cyber-attacks lead to end users losing faith in applications, devices and services, while we in the carrier ecosystem lose the trust of our partners.
Srini’s blog post reminded me that as new innovations like the IoT shape our future, we still need to solve security challenges in more established and ubiquitous services like voice.
There are over 5 billion unique mobile phone subscribers globally, according to the GSMA, and just like in IoT, each one of these subscribers and their devices can be used for voice fraud. Voice fraud occurs when voice services are used to illegally to acquire funds from a service provider through things like PBX hacking, False Answer Supervision (FAS) and a whole range of other fraudulent activities.
Service providers lose more than USD $38.1 billion from voice fraud annually, according to the Communications Fraud Control Agency (CFCA). In a voice market where margins are declining, any loss from fraud is too much. Service providers have to take action or face potentially going out of business. It is that important.
I see three critical elements to today’s fight against voice fraud:
Voice fraud will never go away entirely but we can limit its impact on our businesses, partners, customers and end users. We can build trust across the ecosystem by taking action and putting these strategies into practice. Cybercrime is a constantly evolving threat that demands a new approach. Criminals are innovating to continue to profit from it and we have to innovate and go beyond the status quo to protect and grow our businesses.
If you’d like to learn more about collaborating in the fight against voice fraud, please take a look at the i3forum’s website. I’m the Vice Chair of the i3forum and a real believer in the power of collaboration in the fight against fraud. Together, we can create a healthy, sustainable and secure voice market.
Learn more about how to fight voice fraud and other types of cybercrime.