We have come a long way from using dialup internet and 1G internet speed to WiFi and 5G speed.
We have come a long way from receiving P2P (Person to Person) SMS to receiving A2P (Application to Person) messages, i.e. SMS from applications.
Studies show that over 3.5 trillion A2P messages will be delivered by 2023, some forecasts predict 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions worldwide by 2024.
As more companies realize the importance of digital transformation after last year’s pandemic, high-speed network connectivity will become a priority for everyone in 2021.
It is a perfect time for network operators to ramp up their services and customize their customers’ options. They have the power to change the way companies and individuals work and live.
However, as the famous dialogue from the movie Spiderman goes – with great power comes great responsibility.
According to Europol, operators could lose €29 billion in telecom fraud. Frauds like SMS grey route, network spoofing, SIM jacking, and SMS phishing have increased. So, while innovation is a priority, network security becomes an equally important area of focus.
The onus lies on telecom and networking operators to prepare the network to combat frauds and threats that could occur with these innovations.
Let’s look at what network operators can do to address these issues.
How To Prepare For Network Frauds And Threats?
- SMS firewall solutions
SMS firewall enables operators to protect mobile networks against frauds and vulnerabilities. All the messages are routed through a firewall where they are analyzed to detect potential frauds. Any suspicious and fraudulent messages are automatically blocked. This helps companies reduce the overhead costs incurred due to fraudulent and spam messages. It ensures that there is no revenue leak while sending A2P messages. SMS firewalls also improve A2P traffic. But most importantly, this safeguards the reputation of the company that sends the messages.
- Filtering content
Network operators can control message routing by blocking content and protecting companies and individuals from fraud. In some instances, messages with Latin text were replaced with different scripts that the message receiver may not understand and that could mislead them. Network operators could identify such instances and filter out or blacklist such content that could be dangerous or inappropriate to the customer base.
- Proactive route testing, home routing, and Re-routing
While blocking A2P or P2P messages is an easy way to prevent fraud, network operators can also try other methods such as proactive route testing, home routing, and re-routing. In proactive route testing, network operators can analyze the information sent and received from two parties for discrepancies. If there is a discrepancy, there could be evidence of suspect routes that would need immediate attention. In home routing, operators can mask the user’s information to curtail faking and spoofing of SMS. This allows operators to control the traffic generated abroad. In re-routing, the A2P messages are re-routed over-tested routes to senders who don’t allow A2P content termination. This enables them to save revenue losses.
- Building network resilience
As innovative solutions such as IoT and 5G take precedence, network operators have to ensure that their network demonstrates a high resiliency level and is highly secure. They have to ensure there is minimal scope for attacks on the network. Network operators need to view the network infrastructure better to assess and fix the vulnerabilities, so there is less impact on their revenues and reputation. Many leading operators have already come together to form the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) to improve their routing infrastructure’s security and resiliency.
- Building a culture of taking proactive measures
Innovations will continue in the space of telecom. 2021 will drive those innovations forward. However, one cannot ignore the new threats that could possibly impact the industry. As technology advances, the level and method of fraudulent acts also become equally sophisticated. Hence, operators must take a proactive stand in safeguarding the network. They must build a security-focused culture where their team is one step ahead of hackers and fraudsters. They should constantly be testing new methods to combat frauds and threats before staying prepared.
Considering that it is not a one-operator issue, but an issue that concerns the entire industry, a concerted effort of all the players in the industry will be necessary now. All telecom players must collaborate to fight frauds and prevent revenue loss to the industry. i3forum, for example, has already created a platform where telecom giants such as AT&T, Orange, BICS, and Deutsche Telekom among others have come together to find ways to fight frauds and address market challenges.
At Globe Teleservices, we are also helping network operators safeguard their network with our firewall solution, Armour. Armour protects the network from frauds such as SMS spamming, flooding, spoofing, phishing, and viruses, enabling operators to improve their revenue and reputation. This is the need of the hour. Now is the time to prepare the network to combat frauds and threats.