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In Conversation with Mr.Rajdipkumar Gupta, MD & Group CEO, Route Mobile Ltd.

JahnaviEvolution of a framework which can help Telecom operators & messaging aggregators regulate SPAM & Phishing messages. Can you shed more light on that subject? 

Rajdip– It is a matter of great concern that millions of Indians have to bear the brunt of unsolicited text messages every day. Several unregistered telemarketers operate outside of the system, rendering regulation efforts challenging. Despite customer complaints, these entities frequently change their numbers, making it difficult to track and regulate their activities. 

    Maintaining a worldwide security network is essential in today’s rapidly advancing digital era to ensure the safety of users against possible risks. Companies worldwide leverage cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Blockchain to enhance cybersecurity measures and combat spam message-related concerns.

    It is important to exercise caution when it comes to vulnerabilities in SMS. Fraudsters are constantly updating their tactics and trying to evade detection, so it is crucial for enterprises to stay vigilant and implement the right processes and technologies to identify and filter out suspicious activity. 

    There should be a system of retribution in place. All stakeholders in the value chain should come together and jointly identify ways to overcome these challenges. An acceptable framework can be drafted which distributes the responsibilities based on the role played by the provider. 

    JahnaviShould there be a penalty to bring some sanity in the way commercial messages / SMS are being abused? Is telecom operator solely to be blamed for the lapse or all the partners in the value chain should be held responsible?

    Rajdip– There are definitely some loopholes in carrying out the security measures correctly. Penalizing all the stakeholders for that would not be the ideal way to go ahead with it. As I mentioned, if there is a framework that distributes the responsibilities across all the stakeholders, then a penalty framework can also be drawn. 

      This framework can further help in identifying the root cause of any breaches and hold accountable the stakeholder responsible for it. Telecom operators, on whose network the messages are getting terminated cannot be held solely responsible for any lapses.

      JahnaviHow do you think that other messaging channels like WhatsApp, RCS & Viber be regulated, which are currently not regulated by any state agencies?

      Rajdip– OTT channels offer end-to-end encryption which makes it impossible to skim through message content and identify any kind of spam or frauds. This is a fresh set of challenge faced by regulators. 

        However, there are ways to identify and prevent any kind of SPAM messages originating on these channels. Any kind of unusual volumes on these channels can be flagged by the OTT players, especially for numbers that are not registered for business use. These numbers can be blocked and blacklisted on other channels as well. 

        There are ways to verify the identity of a business and genuinity of a sender. Messages only from verified sender should be allowed on the channels. 

        Currently these aspects are not regulated but there is scope for a framework to be drawn around these. 

        JahnaviWhat is the future of securing the user handset so such Anti-phishing & SPAM don’t fleece people of their hard-earned savings? How should OEMs contribute to the SPAM security ecosystem?

        Rajdip– OEMs and Software providers have a big role to play in making security more device and user centric. There can be protocols to prevent data theft and remote controls of devices from unidentified channels. 

          Modern handsets are equipped with face and voice recognition that can verify the authenticity of any transaction taking place on the device. These protocols can be further enriched to stop any kind of background usage or any unverifiable software being downloaded on the system. 

          In addition to great camera and processing capabilities, enterprise grade security can become one of the key offerings from OEMs. 

          JahnaviHow is AI being used to create a more secure & safe environment ? 

          Rajdip– Utilizing technologies like AI and ML can reveal correlations in data that may have previously gone unnoticed. AI algorithms work in tandem with the ever-changing tactics of spammers to sift through spam and keep the network protected from unwanted exposure. 

            The categorization of data and identification of abnormalities through AI helps to prevent fraudulent activity. For example, by comparing fake and legitimate SMS messages, standard formats used by scammers can be recognized. Rule-based systems are also effective in detecting fraudulent scenarios such as unusual account numbers or transaction types.

            AI can monitor the traffic on a network real time, highlight any abnormalities and suggest actions against those. Once deployed, it will continuously learn and update itself to ensure better detection and prevention. 

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