Mobile security is on top of everyone’s mind and for good reason – mobile phones are now seamlessly integrated into everyone’s personal or professional lives. Nearly all businesses allow employees to access corporate data from smartphones. This trend has become more prominent during the pandemic and is only expected to increase. Hence the focus on mobile security.
The mobile security market is poised to grow from $3.0 billion in 2019 to $7.2 billion by the end of 2024 driven by the increase in mobile payments and the rising security needs of the enterprise as they enable BYOD programs. The growing reliance on mobiles demands mobile operators to look at the security loopholes and threats that still exist in this ecosystem.
Here is a look at some of the mobile security threats that we are likely to hear more of in 2022
The grey route challenge
Grey routes continue to be a point of attention when it comes to security. One of the most common problems for MNO’s, grey routes can lead to huge losses to the operators. SMS grey routes are expected to lead to revenue leakages amounting to US$37.1 billion between 2020-2024. The total opportunity for A2P SMS stands at $27.48 billion in 2024 based on white route traffic. The revenue leakage to grey routes continues to be exceptionally high with an anticipated annual loss of $7.69 billion.
Next-gen impenetrable, robust, and resilient SMS firewalls will thus become imperative to block grey routes and prevent revenue leakage. Such firewalls also help in blocking illegal SMS traffic by active monitoring of Mobile Originated, Mobile Terminated, and Application Originated SMS and all entry points.
Real-time monitoring, System-level filtering & Intelligent SMS Firewall Rules can help MNO manage the grey route menace, prevent revenue losses, and improve customer faith by assuring their safety.
Network security attacks remain a point of concern
MNO’s will continue to improve network security in 2022 especially as Openness becomes a double edge sword. As technologies such as IoT and AI proliferate and 5G promises to mature, network operators have to protect their current network by improving their security architecture. As connected devices and data exchange promises to only increase, legacy networks may struggle to meet present-day security needs.
MNOs can look at network virtualization to support today’s complex security needs. Network Virtualization enables operators to leverage strategies such as network slicing to separate network resources and guarantee greater security. Since each of the network slices has an individual authentication process detecting changes in behaviour patterns or traffic becomes easier to identify and mitigate proactively.
SIM jacking and SMS phishing remain concerns
Telecom fraud such as SIM jacking and SMS phishing is not uncommon and won’t go away in the coming year as well. If anything, the hackers are only going to get smarter and more sophisticated.
Proactive route testing, home routing, and re-routing help operators analyze the information sent and received between two parties. Any discrepancy could reveal suspect routes which could then receive proactive attention.
Home routing helps the operators curtail faking and SMS spoofing by giving them control over the traffic generated abroad. Re-routing ensures that A2P messages are rerouted across tested routes to senders who do not allow A2P content termination.
SMS spoofing will continue to plague MNOs. SMS spoofing allows the sender to manipulate information. It disguises a user that has roamed into a foreign network and is submitting messages to the home network.
SMS spoofing is quickly evolving and is one of the fastest-growing methods to penetrate mobile operators. This challenge needs to be mitigated fast since mobiles are being used extensively for corporate marketing and branding and mobile advertising. SMS spoofing becomes a threat since it can be achieved easily since almost all phones today have access to and can be accessed from the internet.
Robust SMS firewall solutions with features such as global tile blocking, legal interception, blocking messages based on system-level filtering, intelligent SMS firewall rules, map operation codes, Live GUI and CDR for analysis, etc. can help MNOs tackle the spoofing menace.
Refiling, A-Party Refiling, A-Party Caller Spoofing are also security areas of focus to prevent revenue leakage owing to voice fraud. These are methods through which clearinghouses or transit carriers terminate traffic to an operator, spoof the CLIs (Calling Line Identity) of calls to a network. False answer supervision allows the call to be answered but not reported back to the caller. This drives up the minutes and cost of the call, while the MNOs don’t realize the revenue.
AI-ML-based voice firewalls can prevent these threats and protect operators and enterprises from all kinds of voice fraud from both incoming and outgoing traffic. They can identify suspicious inbound and outbound traffic streams based on behavioral patterns and anomalous traffic. This also protects subscribers from fraud, quality fluctuation, and surprise bills.
The focus on data security is only going to increase in 2020 especially with the proliferation of financial services into the mobile space. As telecom companies add value-added services and integrate digital payments into the mix of their offerings, elevating data security assumes primary importance.
Enabling e-KYC solutions that are comprehensive and secure and capably create digital identities will improve the verification and authentication processes while delivering a higher degree of security and data privacy. GPS and OCR technologies coupled with AI and Machine Learning can optimize the KYC process and make it more secure and trustworthy.
AI-based identity and document validation and verification coupled with geo-location identification become essential technologies that help MNOs balance regulatory requirements without compromising security and customer experience.
The rise of the mobile as a tool to drive and foster better customer engagement can also be credited to mobiles becoming an extension of our lives and our workplaces. Given this, keeping mobile security top of the mind not only makes sense but becomes essential in the wake of rising cyber threats and attacks.