Is there any way to win the fraud wars? Hint: yes

Written by on November 21, 2016 in Opinion with 0 Comments
bsd / Shutterstock.com

bsd / Shutterstock.com

When it comes to fraud, three things are undeniable.

First, fraud is now more sophisticated than ever before. Fraudsters provide 24/7 customer service support to stay competitive and to differentiate themselves. The value of a stolen credit card is less than a pound/dollar/euro. Yet 20 years ago, it was worth flying boxes of them out to African countries – or Russia – for use by bad guys. A hacked bank account is now sold on a commission basis, depending on how much money is in it, and how much can be grabbed. Supply is outstripping demand and competition is fierce.

Secondly, it is becoming more apparent – on a daily basis – that the threat is everywhere, from simple, ‘smart home’ IoT devices providing attack vectors that can bring down major web sites, to banks being hacked and customer money being stolen. This is not helped by the human element – even now, with fraud in the news every day, the most common passwords are ‘123456’ or ‘password1’. For those of us in the industry, it is the moment to place our heads in our hands, and start crying.

Fraud, in all its forms, is a global phenomenon and almost certainly the biggest threat to our economic prosperity.

Third, the only way that we are going to keep up with fraudsters is together. We need to combine and share knowledge to be ready. Many telcos do this already to combat the types of fraud that are possible with more expensive and sophisticated handsets, for example. And it works. Even integrating Google Maps into your point of sale systems can be hugely beneficial. You can instantly spot an address that does not exist.

We will, frankly, never be ahead of the bad guys. We simply do not know what they know and the loopholes they are discovering each day. We can, however, react instantly to stop threats, before they get out of control.

Governments around the world are waking up, ear-marking budget and realising the importance of this level of readiness. Fraud is a threat at every level, from national to small business web sites.

Combining knowledge can take many forms. It can be anecdotes shared in a bar, it can be seminars, conferences and expert sessions. It can be hiring hackers to help stop others. It can be through surveys.

Like this one.

This annual survey, run by the TM Forum and sponsored by WeDo Technologies is the most structured, detailed and effective collection and combination of knowledge that we know.

Take part. It will take a few minutes, but it is worth it.

It covers personal and company background; attitudes to outsourcing fraud management; whether you are reactive or proactive in your approach and, ultimately, where you are within the TM Forum’s maturity model.

Once complete, the survey results will allow you to measure where you are and what you should be looking at as goals. It will give you access to best practices and a growing arsenal of defences against possible (likely) cyber attack.

It is in some ways ironic that fraud management professionals are the most willing to share information on their mission critical practices. It is testament, however, to the maturity of the professionals in the arena that they know that sharing knowledge makes the difference.

We would ask, not just on behalf of WeDo Technologies, or the TM Forum, but for the safety and security of the digital ecosystem in which we live and on which we rely, that you take part.

You can take the survey here. The results will be available early in 2017.

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About the Author

About the Author: Tony is a freelance writer, regular speaker, MC and chairman for the telecoms and digital services industries worldwide. He has founded and managed software and services companies, acts a market strategist and is now Editor of DisruptiveViews. In June 2011, Tony was recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in telecom software worldwide. .

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