By Ben Bannister, Product Marketing Director
In a market where revenues and margins are constantly being squeezed, it can no longer be acceptable for the mobile communications industry to lose US$40bn[i] per year to fraud. Next generation services present new challenges for communications service providers (CSPs). How do they manage next generation revenue assurance and process integrity? How do they combat next generation fraud, as the types of fraud associated with the Internet now become more of a potential issue for Smartphone and Tablet users.
In order to combat fraud and assure revenues, CSPs are faced with a growing requirement to be able to handle complex data analysis, involving multiple data correlations, often at high speed. The ability to harness so-called ‘Big Data’ becomes a critical requirement for CSPs. Next generation fraud protection and revenue assurance can only be effective when multiple points of correlation, validation and checking are used to ensure adequate fraud management and revenue assurance processes, at both the retail and wholesale level. The new generation of fraud management and revenue assurance platforms require fast analysis, sophisticated data visualisation and the sort of performance and scalability that have been unavailable in the past.
Given the evolving nature of next generation revenue leakage issues, the conventional model of commissioning and running a fraud management system is giving way to the acceptance that a managed service based approach to fraud management, delivered over a secure Cloud environment, presents many advantages. In the past, concerns about network speed and security prevented these types of approaches from being adopted. Now, CSPs can access comprehensive fraud management functionality over a secure connection, with robust security and business continuity protection, to ensure that a 24 hour service is available. There is no need for CAPEX or the need to go through time consuming and potentially risky software implementation projects.
By adopting such an approach to fraud and other sources of revenue leakage, CSPs can dramatically reduce their implementation timeframes and accelerate the adoption of new approaches to fraud protection. Configuration changes or the addition of new fraud detection features and functionalities, which under a software licensing model might require a long time to implement and considerable resource commitment, can be accomplished quickly and efficiently.
There are other benefits associated with a Cloud-based model for fraud protection, beyond cost. This depends on the level of engagement that a CSP requires, but generally they can benefit from access to the strong knowledge base about the structure of fraud attacks typically built up by specialist fraud vendors. If a Cloud-based service is delivered by a provider operating on a global basis, this allows for the gathering of global fraud intelligence. Such intelligence delivers unique insights about fraud and the changes that occur in patterns of fraudulent behavior, allowing pro-active work with CSPs to help identify fraud much faster than might otherwise be achieved.
[i] CFCA 2011 Survey