Protecting the customer experience by controlling telecom fraud

San Francisco-based 2600Hz has been redefining telecom since 2010. The company developed Kazoo, a cloud-based unified communications software platform to provide businesses with carrier-grade VoIP switch functionality and features. 2600Hz simplifies and opens the “cryptic black box of telecom” to allow users to create, edit, and manage their phone systems without being telecom experts, whether they’re dealing with voice, mobile, video, fax, or SMS.

2600Hz offers its customers three platform architecture offerings to choose from in order to bring secure, advanced telecom solutions to market quickly:

  1.   Hosted – This option provides a turnkey business telecom solution, providing resellers with ease of use to deploy services quickly.
  2.  Private Cloud – This option provides flexibility for resellers and carriers that want their own dedicated infrastructure, but don’t want to manage the hardware themselves. In this case, they can leverage 2600Hz’s data centers via a private cloud offering.
  3. Global Infrastructure – This option is ideal for international organizations and those customers looking for complete control over the Kazoo platform. Here the 2600Hz team installs, manages, and monitors Kazoo in the client’s data centers on the customer’s hardware.

What makes Kazoo so unique is its ability to scale and fit the telecom needs of businesses of all sizes, across a multitude of industries. Customers include resellers, managed service providers (MSPs), wireless internet service providers (WISPs), internet service providers (ISPs), telecom carriers, and communications services providers.

All of 2600Hz’s customers depend on them to deliver a powerful, secure communications platform to help drive a positive user experience. To do so, they needed to find partners who could help them combat the growing trend of IP-based fraud.

The growth of VoIP has increased IP-based fraud

Fraud protection breakdowns with other carriers are what led 2600Hz to reach out to Flowroute.

Fraud is a significant and growing problem in the telecom and VoIP industries. A single telecom fraud event can easily cost a company between $3,000 to $50,000 – in many cases, the impact – including damaged customer relationships and tarnished corporate reputation can be even greater.  As the popularity of VoIP continues to grow, the problem of fraud is becoming an increasingly larger threat to businesses.

According to the most recent communications fraud control association (CFCA) report, phone fraud hit $38B in 2015 and is growing at a rate of 29% per year.

Today, VoIP devices are the primary vehicles used by fraudsters to commit telecom fraud. With IP-based telecom services becoming increasingly more prevalent, enterprises and communications service providers alike need to take a vigilant approach to protecting their VoIP systems and cloud-based communications services.

“The damage and revenue loss from fraud can get out of control incredibly quickly if the right tools and proactive monitoring are not in place. Unfortunately, this is an expensive lesson many providers have learned by using less forward-thinking VoIP carriers,” said Patrick Sullivan, COO at 2600Hz. “Flowroute has a strategic and proactive approach to fraud prevention with the goal of constantly staying one step ahead of potential attacks – Giving us just another tool in our long list of fraud prevention methods and allowing our customers to focus on their business while 2600Hz and partners like Flowroute handle the security.”

Flowroute and Fraud Protection

“We have partnered with Flowroute for several years, primarily around international traffic through our hosted offering. As the adoption of VoIP increased within our customer base, we began to see a growing concern in the industry around fraud,” said Darren Schreiber, CEO at 2600Hz. “We wanted to partner with carriers who took this as seriously as we did. The tools Flowroute has implemented into their online portal gave us peace of mind that any potential attacks would be thwarted and limit our potential exposure to fraud.”

Flowroute is the first pure SIP trunking provider certified by the FCC as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in the United States. This unique distinction allows Flowroute to provide developers and businesses direct access to and control over telephony resources such as phone numbers, inbound and outbound calling, messaging, and fraud controls through the Flowroute Managed Portal.

“All carriers have a responsibility to secure their networks and help their customers understand how to secure their phone systems and their network,” said William King, CTO at Flowroute. “That’s why Flowroute has made the effort to go above and beyond to provide powerful, yet simple, fraud prevention features for our customers and partners.”

For example:

  1. Maximum default rate for outbound calls – Customers can set up a maximum outbound rate that will block any call to a destination that exceeds this predefined outbound rate.
  2. Define the countries on your destination whitelist – Setting up a destination whitelist, enables users to define a list of countries a business is always able to call regardless if a maximum outbound rate has been set up.
  3. Enable IP-based authentication for outbound calls – Restricting access to telephony resources from only internal IP addresses ensures that only individuals within your organization’s authorized network can place calls.

Not only does Flowroute provide its customers with the ability to secure their businesses from potential fraudulent attacks, the company also monitors the IP network for unusual traffic patterns and automatically disables accounts temporarily to reduce the revenue impact of fraudulent calls. After helping businesses resolve potential vulnerabilities and get their communications services back online, Flowroute can re-enable the impacted accounts.

More than just fraud controls

Proactive fraud control initiatives were instrumental in helping keep 2600Hz and Flowroute’s business running smoothly, to ensure customers and partners stayed protected, particularly around international voice traffic. There were additional benefits beyond just fraud prevention.  

Flowroute’s ability to support carrier-grade call quality has also been an advantage for 2600Hz, especially considering the number of “hops” an international call typically takes in being routed around the IP network.

Ultimately the team from 2600Hz has found that ensuring a carrier-grade, reliable and secure communications experience are what will retain their customers in the long run.

“There are a number of challenges to face in telecom, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Find a partner that understands the industry challenges and can approach them through the lens of its customers,” said Darren Schreiber, CEO at 2600Hz. “Flowroute has been a true partner when it comes to listening to the unique needs of our business and helping resolve challenges so that we can focus on what is core to our business: our customers.”

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