Anti-fraud Solutions in A2P SMS – Latest Trends, Threats, and Solutions

At the recent MWC Barcelona 2024, SMS fraud was a popular topic of discussion. In several panel discussions and other engaging sessions, expert speakers and industry pioneers delved into the security challenges of mobile communications. One enduring concern was the need for recalibration to end vulnerabilities in messaging systems.

So, what factors are behind this rise in sensitivity to SMS fraud?

In today’s business world, A2P SMS is an ever-growing trend. A2P SMS is leveraged by brands for sending marketing content, product notifications, alerts, reminders, and more. While this type of messaging is known to be far more reliable and effective than traditional emails, they are also becoming highly susceptible to fraud. From malware to phishing and spam, these threats have far-reaching impacts on mobile operators, including poor customer experience, plummeting revenue, and diminished brand value.

Read on as we delve into the common risks in A2P SMS and the various anti-fraud solutions you should adopt to steer clear of threats and attacks.

The Evolving A2P SMS Threat Landscape

Protecting business and customer data is a top priority for most modern companies. Yet, in a bid to drive better engagement and accelerate transactions, many organizations use A2P SMS to share important information. With benefits such as instant delivery, wide reach, and cost-effectiveness, A2P SMS acts as an extremely reliable and scalable communication channel. Analysts expect the global A2P SMS market to be worth $89.3 billion, driven by the rising proliferation of mobile phone users, mobile marketing, and e-commerce.

But as A2P SMS grows, messaging fraud is also on the rise. This communication channel is being seen as something of a soft target for attackers to launch several types of phishing and spoofing attacks.

  • Scammers use A2P SMS to lure victims to fake websites and reveal personal information such as passwords, PIN codes, bank account numbers, and more.
  • Via SS7 attacks, fraudsters can take advantage of vulnerabilities to perform malicious activities such as data theft, text interception, or location tracking.
  • They can manipulate sender information to make them look legitimate and deliver links to malicious websites.
  • Bad actors can infect A2P SMS’ with malware or viruses that can compromise the security of mobile devices and result in unauthorized access to sensitive information.
  • Fraudsters can also use A2P SMS to send unsolicited messages offering subscription services, tricking recipients into unknowingly subscribing to costly services.
Evaluating Popular Anti-fraud A2P SMS Solutions

As a business that relies heavily on A2P SMS, protecting yourself against threats requires you to implement certain security measures. Here are some anti-fraud solutions you can invest in to thwart A2P SMS attacks:

  •  Blockchain-based Data Encryption

In the realm of A2P SMS, Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC) is a major headache for most telecom operators. In addition to causing unnecessary frustration for users, it also increases the risk of malware, phishing attempts, and scams. Telecom operators can use blockchain-based regulatory technology platforms to register enterprise clients and telemarketers on a unified platform.

By offering access to the regulator, they can establish accountability for each event of A2P communication while blocking UCC across messaging networks. Via real-time consent management and scrubbing, these platforms can help in securely storing user, entities, and MNO data using DLT properties like immutability and encryption. Acting as a true ‘zero trust’ platform, blockchain technology can restrict stakeholders from changing any past data in any block and safeguard the business and its users against attacks.

  •  Analytics-driven Fraud Detection

As operators struggle to combat the risks of A2P messaging, analytics-driven fraud detection platforms can help identify and prevent fraud. By monitoring SMS data in real-time, these platforms can detect fraudulent activities and pave the way for effective threat detection and remediation.

Telecom regulators can view quality and fraud data over a single dashboard. They can collect raw telecom traffic data from telecom network operator systems and use proprietary AI/ML algorithms to spot patterns and network vulnerabilities.

  •  SMS Firewalls

SMS firewalls are a popular mechanism to protect mobile networks against SMS-based attacks. These firewalls help block fraudulent activities across all points of traffic origination. Employing AI/ML models, they can monitor real-time networks using signaling rules, detect anomalies in traffic patterns, and generate new rules for unidentified frauds.

Via real-time reporting, they can present a statistical view of all SMS transactions including incidents of fraud, and enable operators to allow/block/ignore traffic. Such real-time updates on global traffic patterns also enable the platform to generate its blacklisted content and sender types for an improved and safe user experience.

Enable Seamless and Secure Global Messaging with Globe Teleservices

The digital communication landscape is undergoing a significant transformation, with A2P SMS poised for unprecedented growth. As businesses look to exploit this mode of communication for customer engagement, they must also be aware of the many risks and invest in solutions to mitigate these risks.

Looking to securely employ A2P SMS to deliver instant messages to customers, widen reach, and boost engagement? Learn how Globe Teleservices can secure this communication channel, grow subscribers, and build brand loyalty. Explore our anti-fraud A2P SMS products and solutions for seamless and secure global messaging.

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