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March 2020

Black Swan Solution Guide: Getting Porting History & Carrier Data to Verify Identity & Mitigate Account Takeovers

Black Swan Solution Guide: Getting Porting History & Carrier Data to Verify Identity & Mitigate Account Takeovers

Dear Colleague:

Not all risk intelligence sources are of equal value.  Some are so important that ignoring them might prove disastrous.

One intelligence source of increasing importance is getting real-time notice of changes to telephone number ports and the carrier-of-record.  There are good reasons why this intelligence is so vital:

  1. The smartphone is the mostly widely used physical device identifying a particular person.
  2. Criminals, recognizing the smartphone’s central role in identity are eager to exploit the phone number porting or carrier switching mechanism to commit fraud and takeover accounts.

Indeed, checking on the security and stability of the smartphone account is now considered critical by enterprises and identity aggregators in banking, e-commerce, insurance, healthcare, and many other industries.

For instance, when a customer wants to do a large banking transaction using a smartphone, it would benefit the financial institution to know that the phone number was just ported a few minutes ago: that could indicate an increased risk and alert the bank that further identity checks are advisable.

Smartphone Identity Security: The Queen Guarding against Account Takeovers

If digital security is a game of chess, then the smartphone’s security is the Queen guarding all accounts attached to that mobile device.

In chess, the pieces on the board reinforce each other to create a strong defense.  Similarly, the Rooks of banking, the Knights of e-commerce, and the Bishops of insurance all share identity and fraud intelligence to protect the King — the customer or smartphone user.

But the Queen, who defends and attacks across both diagonal and horizontal squares on the chessboard, is the highest value defender of that security.  In fact, once your Queen is captured, the King is often checkmated only a few moves later.

Likewise, if criminals can launch a successful attack on a Smartphone’s security, account takeovers and serious breaches of privacy are almost a foregone conclusion.

Smartphone Security is the Chess Queen guarding against Account Takeovers

PortData Validate: A New Risk Intelligence Service

As important as knowing the status of smartphone security is, telecom carriers and identity aggregators have frankly not worked together smoothly to access this information.

And a key reason is that no formal path was set up for aggregators to receive authoritative and real-time notices of numbers being ported and the resulting changes to the carrier-of-record for specific telephone numbers.

But now, thanks to recent approval by the NAPM LLC, a new ancillary info service, PortData Validate, has been established to specifically serve the needs of identity risk intelligence.

This service comes in the nick of time.  So I’m pleased to introduce Kathy Timko, Head of the Local Number Portability Administration (LNPA) Services at iconectiv.

Kathy is responsible for iconectiv’s U.S.  Number Portability business, which includes the PortData Validate service.

The service is the subject of a new Black Swan Telecom Solution Guide entitled, Getting Accurate, Up-to-the-Minute Phone Number Porting History & Carrier-of-Record Data to Verify Identity & Mitigate Account Takeovers.

PortData Validate Guide Cover

Click the image at right to download this 11-page Guide in PDF.

In this Guide, Kathy sorts out all the issues you need to know.  You’ll learn:

  • How the Number Portability Administrator manages U.S. number porting and ancillary uses of this data for law enforcement, telemarketing control, and up-to-the-minute access to porting data and the Carrier-of-Record;
  • The Uses of PortData Validate in identity risk, measuring credit risk, and identifying the account’s credit status;
  • The value of knowing the current Carrier-of-Record (CoR) to determine if a phone number hasn’t changed or the carrier account has remained constant;
  • How fraudsters exploit number porting for Account Takeovers and can gain control of an identity and drain bank accounts in less than 15 minutes;
  • Why Immediate Access to porting history and the CoR is considered essential for many identity aggregators; and
  • Finally, How PortData Validate is integrated to your Back Office systems via either a subscription or query-on-demand service.

Here’s hoping this Guide is profitable reading for you.

Dan Baker Signature

Dan Baker, Research Director of TRI
Editor, Black Swan Telecom Journal

Copyright 2020 Black Swan Telecom Journal

Kathy Timko

Kathy Timko

Kathy Timko, Head of the Local Number Portability Administration (LNPA) Services at iconectiv, is responsible for the U.S.  Number Portability business for the company.  In this position, she oversees all aspects of developing, transitioning, launching, and operating iconectiv’s LNPA service as the number portability provider for the US Telecommunications industry.

Kathy has more than 25 years of experience in telecom and tech companies.  She holds several Advisory Board roles, including Rutgers CX, and served as an Executive in Residence at Columbia University’s Technology Ventures group.  In 2009, Timko was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Canoe Ventures, LLC, a joint venture of the six largest cable firms, and became interim CEO in 2011.

Before joining Canoe, she held several senior management positions at IDT Telecom, including COO and CTO.  She was appointed to the IDT Telecom Board of Directors in 2001 and served as an independent director on the board of Motionbox from 2006 to 2010.

Timko holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Boston University.

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