The technology to fight fraud has reached a stage that is almost science fiction. From IMSI catchers to Bluetooth catchers and WiFi catchers, fraud fighters can pinpoint people doing bad things within a metre.
As Andy Gent, CEO of Revector said in his interview with Tony Poulos, the technology exists to pinpoint which prison cell a phone is being used in, where the poachers are poaching, in the middle of nowhere and even (more positively) where people are who are lost on the mountain.
What is surprising is why telecom providers are not doing more to fight fraud. After all, they are the ones providing the connectivity to allow the drones to find the bad guys.
Of course, they have their fraud departments but, as Gent says, when he talks to CEOs, they are either not aware of the scale of the problem or view it as the cost of doing business.
From a CEO’s point of view, this makes some sense. After all a CEO would rather invest in new business and increasing revenues than invest in cost centre technology to fight fraud.
Further down the chain of command, the reasons not to bring fraud to the C Level’s attention are more political. The issue of privacy is a hot potato now, not to mention regulation, a myriad of laws and ethics.
Who would want to raise their head above that parapet, when your CEO is relaxed about the issue?
We know all too well that fraudsters will always be one step ahead but to fight fraud we must stay one step behind them, or better, on their shoulder watching what they are doing.
Soon, though, the issue will be forced upon the CEO. As 5G based services (hopefully) become more useful and sophisticated, securing the devices and the network will not be a nice thing. It will become critical to success.
Perhaps telecom providers believe that the answer is to let others within the new emerging ecosystems fight fraud. But that is flawed.
If telecoms providers want to lead the provision of intelligent connectivity across the many facets of the IoT, from smart cities to smart kettles, then they must prioritise security as part of providing the platform from which innovation will spring.
To fight fraud is not something that telecoms providers, or anyone else, can sweep under the carpet. Now, more than ever, it should be part of our new way of life.