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All eyes on Artificial Intelligence as 5G and IoT dominate WUG Americas User Group

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[ 02.11.2018 ] 
All eyes and ears were on the future roll-out of 5G and its implications at this year’s WeDo User Group Americas.

As the world’s first 5G network went live in the U.S. just a few weeks ago, all eyes and ears were on the future roll-out of 5G and its implications at this year’s WeDo User Group Americas.
This year, more than 90 attendees converged in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to learn about the key fraud prevention and revenue assurance strategies as 5G begins to be rolled out, IoT adoption rises and new digital services are introduced.

5G and IoT continue to be identified as key opportunities for CSPs across the Americas. It is estimated that 5G-enabled digitalization revenues for Information and communications technology (ICT) players has the potential to reach $1.3 Trillion by 2026. Ericsson believes that up to 47% of this sum will be addressable by operators. However, the rise of IoT and 5G bring extraordinary pressures to fraud management and revenue assurance teams – which were hot topics during the two-day conference.

With 5G and IOT, the volume and number of touch points will dramatically increase, which will require a new way to analyze massive amounts of data. This will be done via machine learning and analytics. IOT adds economies of scale to all the risks we already understand.  When VOIP was introduced, it did not invent a new fraud type, but changed the scale at which it could be perpetrated. It allowed fraudsters to use computing power to automatically hack into PBX systems, as opposed to hiring someone to physically dial one phone number at a time to commit the fraud. Subscription fraud and social engineering challenges will always exist, regardless of the technology or device.   

With IoT, the real risk comes when new connected devices are introduced without security controls in place to ensure they are locked down to their intended use, or at least monitored for suspicious behavior. For instance, your refrigerator should not be making international phone calls. Magnify these issues times the number of new devices that will be coming onto the market over the next decade, and we could have a big problem on our hands.

A key 5G challenge is the ability for carriers to guarantee that fraud is managed from end to end, across different service types. When we add IoT to the mix, the role of risk management becomes more complex, as it requires a thorough understanding of context and vertical-specific intelligence. As mentioned earlier- you need to know that your fridge shouldn’t be making phone calls. For this, you must have controls in place to immediately identify the threats and attacks.

The challenge is that ‘abnormal’ patterns will be different depending on the source - whether you are talking about a connected car, a connected lock or a smart traffic light system.

This leads to the question: how will risk management teams process the most relevant IoT data so that they can respond to complex risk situations and minimize losses for operators and customers?

In an IoT and 5G pervasive world, risk management teams will increasingly need to understand their data at a deeper level, and in near real-time. However, to comprehend and manage the large number of patterns that will be created is simply beyond the reach of human capability. This is where the spotlight at the Americas WeDo User Group firmly shone on the power of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning - and why it is a key requirement for risk management in the IoT/5G era.

AI can be leveraged to overcome challenges such as subscription fraud and credit risk, but also to single out risks that are still unknown to the community. There was a lot of excitement around the prospects of AI – not only the near-term potential, where it will be able to accelerate the detection of known fraud variations, but to the future state, where self-learning models will be able to detect abnormal behaviors.

Fighting fraud in tomorrow’s digital world is going to require people and expertise that go way beyond what we have today. Future fraud prevention techniques will need to significantly change. This is why WeDo Technologies has established a collaboration program, the WeDo Labs Initiative, which works in concert with CSPs to accelerate the application of AI in fraud detection and prevention.
WeDo LABS partners with CSPs to identify relevant fraud use cases, bringing together the required AI skills and resources. For more information on our WeDo LABS AI initiatives, please contact us.

I would like to thank all the attendees from the America’s User Conference for making this such an engaging event. In particular, I would like to thank our presenters from Comcast Cable, TELUS Canada, Oi Telecom, Virgin Media, Liberty Global, TSTT and our partners Amazon Web Services, Ericsson, TR4NSFORM, Hyper Island, KT Corporation, and Saphety, for making the 2018 Americas WUG a resounding success.

WHAT'S NEXT
WeDo User Group - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
23-24 January 2019
Stay tuned for more information on the agenda and how to register.

Want to know more? Get in contact with us anytime.

(*) Photo by Lukas Horak from Pexels

Thomas Steagall

GM North America & Caribbean