ITSPA Welcomes Launch of National Cyber Security Centre but calls for it to make telecommunications fraud a priority

ITSPA, the voice of the next generation communications industry in the UK, today welcomed the launch of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre, opened today by Her Majesty The Queen, and called on the organisation to help combat telephony fraud and protect both businesses and consumers.

In response to the news, Eli Katz, Chair of ITSPA, said “ITSPA was pleased to see the National Cyber Security Centre launch today. We welcome Government’s continued efforts to protect national infrastructure from cyber security threats and the continued focus that is being placed on this issue, and we look forward to working with the new Centre. Our members feel that Government, law enforcement and industry need to be more joined up to help combat telephony fraud, which remains a significant problem and is estimated to add 2% to the average user’s phone bill.”

Katz continued “Telephony fraud is in some ways the UK’s forgotten crime. Due to the difficulties in bringing forward successful prosecutions due to the highly international element of crime, it often goes unreported by the telecommunications industry, resulting in law enforcement and Government devoting a disproportionately low level of resource to the area. ITSPA continues to work to encourage industry to report instances of telephony fraud to ensure that the crime receives the attention it deserves.”

In recent months, ITSPA has developed a Cyber Crime Task Force to help form positive relations with the relevant organisations involved in the fight against telephony fraud, including a number of Government Departments, the regulator and law enforcement. It will be engaging with the National Cyber Security Centre as part of this continuing this work.

Katz concluded “The recent formation of the ITSPA Cyber Crime Task Force has concentrated our efforts in highlighting the level of telephony fraud experienced by UK operators to policymakers. We look forward to developing these conversations further in the coming months and I hope to engage in a positive dialogue with the new Centre to see how they can assist with ensuring this specific crime is combated effectively.”