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Protect Your Voice Network From Fraud

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Hackers are “going global” and your business must know what measures to take to protect your privacy. Tata Communications blocks 4 billion+ calls annually to prevent a wide variety of voice fraud schemes. Whether it’s illegitimate robocalling, spam, spoofed caller ID (CLID) phishing schemes, or intentional massive-missed calls with premium CLID, the variety and volumes of voice fraud dramatically increase each year. Because of our global coverage, we’ve also seen targeted countries for voice frauds aren’t the top industrialized ones—but an ever-increasing wide distribution of countries with hackers often using the same techniques and adjusting to local languages.
Fraud prevention encompasses monitoring for a multitude of threats. Here are two areas of fraud protection that most reputable carriers focus on—protecting customers and protecting suppliers.
How to Protect Customers
From what do customers need protection? External infrastructure intrusions ultimately lead to losses following an unauthorized international calling. Tata Communications protects customers in three ways:
  1. Prevent voice fraud before it translates into financial damage. Prevention happens with the use of a patented system—one that focuses exclusively on attempted traffic/profiling.
  2. By default—when interconnecting new enterprise accounts, we automatically block over 200 pricing breakouts. Pricing breakouts are number ranges/networks within a given country. These breakouts are typically low volume, very high rate, and risky, based on our experience. Many enterprise accounts may have even been involved in past disputes. If a customer does request access to a given satellite network—because, let’s say, they’re in the shipping sector—such programming can easily and promptly open, which customizes access and limits risk.
  3. At the time of onboarding new customers, we consult on the most common configuration errors from previous cases and intrusions, market intelligence and vendor checklist best practices. One error prevented saves hundreds of hours of grief and compounded losses—financial, personnel, and time spent away from productive business dealings.
How to Protect Suppliers and Terminate Country Subscribers
We compound losses when combining the effects of illicit and bad voice traffic on the terminating victim’s and carriers end. Country subscribers have finances and/or efficiency affected, while carriers increase spend on detection modules, accurate numbering plans, 24/7 trend monitoring resources, and backbone network costs. Bad traffic also prevents legitimate traffic from flowing to destinations with limited capacity, affecting business uptime.
Tata Communications’ dedicated engineering team monitors the network, increases network capacity and augments ports as needed, armed with data-based knowledge of massive bad worldwide traffic—as well as the legitimate, valuable traffic—making the effort even more complex.
Most carriers have extensive “Know Your Customer” (KYC)—profiling questionnaires. How about Know Your Supplier questionnaires? These would shift the focus away from commercials and quality of service, and make it about monitoring, alerting, and proactive blocking.
Tata Communications understands our fellow suppliers have invested considerably in voice fraud prevention over time, so combining technical capabilities, approach, responsibility, and long-term strategy helps the final consumer. That’s why we ask our suppliers—niche markets or not—what their capabilities and strategies are concerning voice fraud.
In today’s complex global environment, where dealing with a wide variety of customers, suppliers and technologies are the norms—you want the assurance that the proper due diligence, controls, and best practices have respect on all sides before any interconnection. We advise that you partner with prudence.
How to Deter Voice Fraud
Should bad voice traffic profiles eventually be penalized and surcharged after initial warnings? Will this be the ultimate deterrent methodology to reduce this plague drastically? If a customer sends a bad traffic profile today, they’re blocked. Carriers don’t share the customer information amongst each other due to non-disclosure agreements and various international rules and regulations. The outcome? The same bad traffic will flow from a multitude of other customers and many Tier 1 carriers through several hops.
If we contemplate applying the same concept as origin-based surcharge/costing that many carriers currently impose to spam/phishing surcharge, this could alleviate this problem significantly but would entail the following:
  • Additional investments in back-office systems and having access to highly accurate numbering plan feeds
  • An extended period of time until all major Tier 1 worldwide carriers have back-to-back amendments
Various international regulatory bodies have already imposed aggressive blocking of the same country calling— when the same country is in both CLID and called party fields. Some have begun distributing warnings as well as fines. We advise that carriers join telecom best practice organizations to debate and agree on these common issues, thus alleviating the impact of voice fraud on end-users and carriers.
Learn more about Tata Communications Voice Fraud Prevention as a Service here.