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Takeaways from the Fraud & Identity Industry Across the World

by | Jul 8, 2024 | News | 0 comments

Identity Product Development, Phone Data Intelligence & Partnerships Leader helping organizations combat fraud, increase data quality and establish trust with their end users

From securing mobile identities to limiting sophisticated fraud, discussions around optimizing mobile ecosystems are in full swing around the globe. I was fortunate to participate in these discussions during my recent rounds at Identiverse and the CFCA event in London. Both were chock-full of valuable insights that will help lead to better communications routing, fraud prevention, creating trust and accelerating innovation.

At the core of it all? Well, it’s no surprise that it’s data. As the foundation of high-value (and necessary) visibility into increasingly complex ecosystems, real-time, accurate and global data serves as a singular source of truth that can translate into significant security and operational benefits.

Porting information, behavioral data and more are the pieces of the puzzle needed to see the full picture of any mobile ecosystem. With this information on hand, anyone engaging in or offering advanced mobile services (like financial institutions leveraging 2-factor authentication or enterprises using A2P solutions) is empowered to determine the validity or reachability of every number in the environment on an ongoing basis. The result is more control, reduced costs, enhanced trust and a whole lot more. (I, of course, have to mention here that those benefits are amplified if the data is backed by easily accessible, expert insight in the form of Number Intelligence-as-a-Service.)

But as we begin to parse through this large, complex topic, the discussions happening right now in the industry shed a lot of light on exactly how this fight for visibility and expanded opportunity is shaking out in the mobile landscape.

Here’s what I took away:

Top 3 Topics from Identiverse

Many identity verification companies, platform providers, data analytics companies, and enterprises retain phone numbers and actively leverage data to mitigate fraud, reduce user friction, and streamline communications. This should be a given for anyone, and leveraging data is vital — so seeing it in action across so many use cases is amazing! However,  while on-site, I also noticed the following:

  1. In many cases, real-time phone number intelligence data is limited if not nonexistent. There still remains a huge opportunity to increase accuracy, streamline user experiences and reduce communications costs for both providers and end clients. This comes down to sourcing the best and most comprehensive data — and many are still in pursuit of optimization.
  2. Enterprises in North America are still attacked every day with Brand Impersonation attempts. These sophisticated attacks result in thousands, if not millions, of dollars in lost revenue due to diminished trust, interrupted operations and more. Spoofing and spamming are incredibly tricky. Like water, they have a knack for finding their way through any tiny crack — or even with enough time carving out their own new and novel access point that can go unchecked without the right protective and watchful mechanisms. At the moment, controlling this fraud is still a challenge (but at risk of sounding like a broken record, applying the right data can be your best bet).
  3. Limited effort is currently spent on Port Out Fraud, which, surprisingly, continues to largely fly under the radar.  There is a misconception that SIM Swapping or verification of a subscriber’s identity information on its own can help prevent account takeovers, but this doesn’t present a solution with enough holistic protection. Even with new FCC rules in place targeting this exact challenge, a gap between reality and the desired future of security exists.

Communications Fraud Control Association: From London with a Global Focus

CFCA remains at the forefront of finding solutions to the ever-present plague of our mobile world. This year, I was honored to be able to speak about spoofing — a topic we’re very passionate about here at netnumber — and even discuss the psychology behind it and how it interplays with digital identities and trust on a mass scale.

Chatting in-depth about fraud sheds some new light on emerging topics and trends. Here’s what I found out — and what you should be aware of too:

  1. The need and demand for collaboration and innovation in fraud reporting across telecommunication networks and providers of all sorts is growing. Exchanging sensitive data in order to get visibility into different markets and economies remains challenging — after all, who wants to own up to difficulties of this type?  Still, improving reporting and transparency remains vital. Fraudsters often attack multiple touchpoints at once, tricking anti-fraud systems and coming back in a new mask every day.  Divided, we’re all tackling this kind of challenge on our own, but together, we’re sharing knowledge, insights, and data from these sophisticated attacks and becoming stronger for it. Driving collaboration will be key, and creating the future of anti-fraud will require many partnerships with fellow data service providers, communications providers, and everything in between.
  2. There is a continual uptick of stolen devices growing across the world in key markets. The phone as a device is valuable (and has a great black-market margin), but it’s not as valuable as the data inside the phone if properly jailbroken. Organized crime entities are shipping hundreds of thousands of phones across countries where tracking stolen devices is nearly impossible. Being able to track these devices with their virtual footprint of location-based data and behavior can help us crack this web, which drives an even greater need for comprehensive, ongoing solutions like NIaaS.
  3. SMS Blasting, spoofing, and AI threats come in parallel, creating an ecosystem where fraudsters (who don’t have regulatory and privacy challenges like legitimate businesses do) can thrive. Changing this scenario is key. Luckily, many working groups and key industry players are starting to emphasize and focus on tracking and flagging fraud events to hold parties accountable. However, there is still a demand for the right data and processes to be modeled together to detect fraud before damage is done. In the coming years, we must see proactivity take the place of reactivity.

So, that’s what I heard from the event circuit recently — but if one thing is clear, it’s that no one voice or idea represents a solution (or possibly even much value at all)! What’s needed here is discussion. With that in mind, I welcome any and all thoughts, brainstorming and beyond.

Furthermore, if you have a challenge that data can help solve (we think this is nearly every problem in the mobile ecosystem, for what it’s worth), give me or the netnumber team a shout so we can dig in together. After traveling, I’m home and ready to roll up my sleeves. Let’s get to work!

Bradley Greer


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