Network Protection: Fraud Prevention Critical for Telecoms Growth


Spotlight on Network Protection |

Today a large number of telecom operators struggle to make their networks free from frauds – most of them work towards detection of fraud rather than prevention of fraud. This is where Germany based Oculeus is bringing its product Anti-Fraud innovations and helping telecoms to secure their networks in a better way.  

Arnd Baranowski, CEO, Oculeus interacts with Zia Askari from about why it is important for telcos to look at fraud prevention and how it can help them achieve more growth. 

Given the many alternatives that are available today, what is unique about your approach to fraud prevention?

First, it is important to understand the market need for stronger fraud prevention beyond the obvious. To begin with, the methods used today to execute telecom fraud are increasingly sophisticated. Fraudsters are highly skilled telecom insiders and are using the most advanced and up-to-date technologies.

At the same time, the consequences of any fraud are higher than before. As competition continues to intensify and margins become increasingly narrower, any revenue lost to fraud is having a greater impact on a telco’s business and bottom line.

With that said, most telcos can and should be doing more to prevent fraud. From what we see, most of the fraud prevention practices and systems used by telcos focus on detection only. This means that telcos are only taking action to investigate fraud after it has occurred and revenue has been lost.

We help our telco customers improve their fraud prevention efforts with a fully automated approach that identifies and blocks fraudulent traffic in near-real-time. Our solution, which we simply refer to as the Oculeus Anti-Fraud System, constantly monitors the network traffic of a telco against a baseline of expected network behavior. Any anomalies that are identified are immediately checked against fraud identification patterns. If specified as fraud, the call attempts will be blocked instantly.

The ability to fully automate fraud prevention and prevent revenue losses by blocking fraud in near-real-time is what makes our approach unique.

Our customers are also attracted to the fact that our anti-fraud system has very low hardware requirements. The system runs on Linux and is accessible from any web browser.

What are the key market segments that you are addressing and how are you bringing your antifraud solution to market?

Our customers include telcos providing wholesale and retail services as well as mobile operators. Many of our customers are telcos that focus on providing communication services to the business sector.

We have a strong customer base in Europe. Our business is also growing in many parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

We bring our anti-fraud solution to market both directly as well as through partnerships with sales channels, such as system integrators and VARs. The same goes for our other OSS and BSS systems.

Is fraud prevention an issue for just telcos to be concerned with or does fraud also impact their enterprise customers?

Yes, telecom fraud is a serious concern for both a telco and its enterprise customers.

For instance, all enterprises are exposed to PBX hacking, which can result in fraudulent network traffic being injected into the enterprise traffic.

An enterprise generally will not know that its PBX has been hacked until it receives its invoice and sees a higher than normal amount due. In this situation, nothing really can be done as it is likely that over a month has passed since the PBX hacking occurred and the fraudsters have most certainly moved on.

When this happens, severe financial losses are occurred and in solving the issue the relationship between the telco and its enterprise customers gets damaged as well.

Our anti-fraud system understands immediately if the PBX has been hacked. If any abnormal or unusual traffic is sent, the traffic is blocked instantly.

We also provide meaningful reports that allow the telco’s enterprise customer to understand its general telecommunication behavior.

So you are creating a ‘win-win’ situation for both the telco and its enterprise customers?

Yes, this is correct. We are facilitating fraud protection for both the telco and its enterprise customers.

Actually, for the telco, this can be a source of a new value added service. The telco that uses our anti-fraud system can charge its enterprise customers a monthly fee for fraud protection. As part of this service, the telco can provide an enterprise customer with extensive reporting generated by our system in order to better understand its telephony behavior.

What other new innovations are planned for Oculeus and your product portfolio?

We are currently extending our anti-fraud system to SMS and data services.

We are also in the process of machine learning and artificial intelligence to our anti-fraud and other OSS and BSS systems. This will further improve the performance and automation of these systems.