ITSPA, the voice of the next generation communications industry in the UK, today welcomed the publication of the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy and the £1.9 billion of financial support that will underpin the plan. However, ITSPA called for the Government to provide further details on its plans to combat telephony fraud in order to protect both businesses and consumers.
Reacting to the news, Eli Katz, Chair of ITSPA stated “Members of ITSPA are pleased that the Chancellor has committed to protect the UK’s economy and national infrastructure from cyber security threats, and welcome the Government’s increased focus on this area. Telecommunications fraud in an IP world creates extra challenges for the industry and, whilst we welcome the proposal to develop a new 24/7 reporting and triage capability in Action Fraud, we believe that more needs to be done to both improve cross-border cooperation around cybercrime as well as commit greater resource to bring cyber criminals to justice.”
The international element involved in cybercrimes such as telecommunications fraud is an extremely important area to consider. Cross-border cooperation is required to effectively tackle this crime, which continues to be used by criminals and terrorists as an important revenue stream.
Katz added “ITSPA believes the option of communication providers refusing to pay for call traffic that originates from fraudulent sources needs to be explored further. We believe the necessary regulations are already in place but not currently enforced. Current estimates put the global cost of telecommunications fraud at $46 billion, adding 2% to the average user’s phone bill. This solution would require improved cross-border cooperation but would effectively help resolve the problem in one fell swoop.”
Equally ITSPA believes the extra funding announced today should in part help with greater resource and coordination within Government. Whilst ITSPA has developed good relations with the current organisations involved in tackling telephony fraud, more manpower is needed to encourage the industry to report fraudulent activity and in turn enabling law enforcement bodies to make successful prosecutions.
Katz said “It is extremely difficult to bring a successful prosecution in telephony fraud and other cybercrime cases. We need to break the cycle of non-reporting. Equally, more resource within Government should help their liaison with industry to enable more prosecutions in the future. We look forward to a constructive future working relationship.”