Break the bottleneck: Fraud management is a major challenge for CSPs
All things considered, now is quite a good time to be a communications service provider (CSP), says Jason Lane-Sellers, offering manager, Fraud and Security at Mobileum. A solid supply of data, a growing ability to fight fraud, and a way to add to the bottom line are all available to operators, which was not the case just a few years ago.
In fact, for operators looking to counter fraud, you could argue that this is a Golden Age. Today, more and more CSPs are able to stay one step ahead of increasingly sophisticated hackers, as well as gain insights that can help their business thrive in new service areas. But unfortunately it’s not all plain sailing. The problem is that this explosion of data has also created unforeseen challenges in addition to several benefits.
As the telecoms sector considerably expands its global services with faster broadband, 5G roll-out and more connected devices, many operators are reaching a tipping point. When you also factor in the overall trend of traffic moving from voice to data networks, many fraud management systems are buckling under the weight of trying to detect and act with the speed and accuracy needed to prevent potential revenue losses.
In short, a lot of the more traditional fraud management systems can’t keep pace with the vast volume of data out there. This is leaving operators with a huge amount of overlooked and underutilised data, all too much of an inconvenience to be analysed thoroughly.
The main problem with many systems is that they can only handle limited datasets, not accounting for volume, variety and velocity of critical data. Modern capabilities and features including mobility, machine-learning and self-service analytics are also missing in older systems. In fact, some legacy systems still in use by CSPs today only monitor fraud by analysing aggregate records of calls.
All of this means that there is a real looming threat that fraud management is becoming a bottleneck, impeding CSPs’ ability to offer and expand services until fraud data can be interpreted and managed.
Although outside their control, CSPs are often best positioned to identify instances of fraud occurring over carrier traffic on their networks. Examples of this include data fraud, international revenue share fraud and bypass fraud. Along with the risk of IoT and sensor networks having fraudulent apps installed, the result is that the blind spots of many current CSP systems are being exposed by emerging sources of fraud.
So how can operators get ahead of the problem? How can they break the bottleneck? And how can they take advantage the vast amounts of data they have access to and expand their services? Well the first step is to go beyond merely detecting fraud. CSPs should look inward, circling back and advancing their fraud protection tactics.
They should have integrated, actionable and prescriptive control of fraud and abuse, based upon a combination of dynamically auto-configured business rules and policy control. Through obtaining a high degree of detection accuracy, operators can get a clear understanding of the fraud data they are being presented with, and just as importantly, what it is telling them. With IoT for example, it means having an ability to uncover fraud outside of rule-based detection.
The implementation of predictive, big data technologies and machine-learning is another way to keep up with new instances of frauds in real time and stop them in their tracks. It also offers the added benefit of creating more parameters and making greater volumes of data available for analysis. All of this can be accomplished by employing a comprehensive multi-protocol solution that is nimble, fast and adds to an operator’s current system capabilities.
It’s well known that the telecoms sector is increasingly expanding its services and capabilities. However, it’s only the savviest of operators that understand that breaking through the bottleneck of fraud data saves both time and money in the long-term, as well as facilitating investment in new opportunities and services that otherwise would probably have been missed.
The author of this blog is Jason Lane-Sellers, offering manager, Fraud and Security of Mobileum