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This report looks at the similarities and differences between the approach to address enterprise IT cybersecurity needs and communications service provider (CSP) fraud management. The report explains the common thread of business challenge shared between all industries and the CSP global marketplace. It also analyzes some of the drivers for fraud, and how cybersecurity, while very similar, often involves more complexity and generally higher stakes.
CSP Fraud Management and Cybersecurity: Similar and Not That Different
The dark side of human interaction, when it comes to illegal access of systems, processes or networks, is not new to network operators throughout the world. Fraud management is an integral part of every CSP’s business and operations management strategy. Fraud is defined by the TM Forum as: “the intentional action(s) by an individual, group (e.g. syndicate), or enterprise (e.g. partner) to receive, through deception, products, services and/or revenues from the target service provider(s) without remitting expected value for those products or services.”
The TM Forum identified, at last count, different types of CSP network fraud activities in its most recent fraud classification guide. Every CSP within the global common carrier market has an active and vibrant fraud management practice. Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan projects the global CSP fraud and revenue assurance software market
to grow from $ million in 2012, at a % compound annual growth rate (CAGR), to $ million annual spend by 2016.
This forecast excludes the significant amount of professional services and in-house expertise needed to keep and manage most CSP fraud management programs, which is
conservatively - times greater than the above-mentioned solution spending forecast.
When this fraud and revenue assurance forecast was published in 2012, it did not fully account for the rapid increase in fraud exposure potential from the entrenched use of mobile smart device technology for not just consumer activities, but also for business. A mere two years ago, service providers were still focused on traditional fraud management. Since then, however, the cyber fraud and security window has expanded to include a growing list of mobility concerns. They are:
Mobile Network Technology and User Device Evolution - Rapid advances in network and user device technologies have increased the number of smartphones and tablets with Internet access, now exceeding one billion devices globally. Increased access via these devices exposes users to many of the same security threats as personal computers.
Mobile Data Usage Volumes and Sensitive Data Exposure - Sharply rising usage data volumes, generated by an increasing level of mobile device connectivity by both consumers and enterprise, means an increased probability of exposing unprotected sensitive data to unintended recipients.
Mobile Device Infection - Access to the Internet or use of downloadable apps increases the probability for cyber criminals to exploit mobile device operating system (OS) vulnerabilities with the same types of malware as personal computers; e.g., botnets, banking trojans, ransomware, hacktivism, spyware and Distributed Denial of
Service (DDoS). Such actions now require CSPs to increase their efforts to detect cyber threats that can originate from mobile devices.
Mobile Commerce and Mobile Banking - Combined with cloud and mobile apps, the propensity for mCommerce fraud or banking fraud rises sharply as consumers gain comfortability and confidence in keeping personal financial information in their mobile devices. With that confidence comes an increased risk of fraud from misplaced or
stolen smartphones and tablets. When these personal devices are no longer under owner control, customers are likely to hold their CSPs responsible for any loss they may incur because customers assume that their CSPs will keep their personal data safe.
Enterprise Use of Mobility Services within Their Products and Services - Most enterprises continue to incorporate mobile services into the goods and services they provide to improve or enhance the experience of their customers. Through an ecosystem of partners, the service delivery and operability processes
are vulnerable from the many points of entry that are part of such ecosystems.
These factors, and others, now push the CSP community into customer-centric business models that resemble those that were adopted long ago by other industries. Rapidly evolving new business strategies exponentially increase the opportunity for fraud from the growing interactions between CSPs, partners, and their enterprise customers. With more touchpoints between CSP business systems and network functions, the opportunity to identify and address the vulnerabilities that CSP enterprise customers now face is an evolving business reality and a natural extension to internally-focused fraud management practices.
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