Telecom companies just as technological ones face numerous challenges regarding cybersecurity threats, leading them to aggressively counter such activities.
As such, Telstra says it is doubling down its efforts to block scam calls which cost everyday Australians more than $48 million in 2020 alone. “We are blocking more than 1.5 million scam calls a week,” it added.
Cyber criminals and scammers took advantage of the digital life which resulted from Coronavirus quarantines, which affected millions of Australians that are more dependent on being able to live, work and learn online.
This led to an increase in cyber-crime, which includes scam calls that have a heavy financial impact on Australians and are estimated to have cost nearly $48 million last year.
“We are doing this to protect our customers and their livelihoods because we know that we can have a significant impact by taking proactive action at a network level,” Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said.
This is part of Telstra’s Cleaner Pipes initiative which focuses on combating the threat that comes from phishing, malware, ransomware and other scams across Telstra’s network both online and through scam calls and SMS.
In addition, there are also spoofed number calls which can imitate a legitimate service like the ATO or just a random local or mobile number so it is more likely people will answer.
The technology that allows to block scam callers was built in Australia by Telstra and it has been scaled to the level where it is today.
“The security of our activities online and on our smartphones is more important than ever, and it is critical that we take action to help our customers trust in the connectivity we provide,” Penn said.
“We see a future where scam calls of this type are effectively ring-fenced and eliminated from our network,” he added.
On the other hand, there are many ways for people to protect themselves from becoming a victim of a scam by phone, including: rejecting cold calls, getting a call blocking service. This might not stop all scam calls but it will stop cold-callers, experts note.
The security of individual online activities and on smartphones usage is more important than ever, and it is critical that telecom operators take action to help their customers trust in the connectivity they provide.