Arelion Messaging Specialist, Fabio Bottan to speak at RSA ‘23


“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

-Steven Covey, author best known for the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

Arelion is proud to announce that Fabio Bottan, Senior Messaging Specialist at Arelion, will speak at RSA Conference ‘23 in San Francisco on April 27th at 1:00 PM PST, presenting his talk, “The Old is New Again: An Intro to SMS Security and Why It’s Vital as Ever.”

RSA, taking place April 24-27, is one of the premier cybersecurity events in our industry, connecting product experts with business leaders, engineers and vendors to share innovations in the cybersecurity space.

In his presentation, Fabio will pull on key data points to contextualize SMS messaging trends and attack vectors, teaching attendees about the business benefits of A2P messaging and the ramifications of sophisticated smishing (or SMS phishing) tactics on consumer trust.

Arelion has always championed advances in security on the network to keep the Internet safe for digital businesses and consumers that trust us to provide the connectivity they need. We were one of the first Internet carriers to offer RPKI to prevent traffic hijacking and route leaks, with upcoming network security innovations building further on RPKI and more. On the flipside, business messaging security may be an afterthought for some enterprises, but it is crucial to prioritize if enterprises wish to secure new revenue streams and foster consumer trust.

The business messaging threat landscape

SMS phishing is a familiar experience to any consumer. You receive a text message from an unknown number imploring you to click a link or divulge personal information. Some may claim they’re too savvy to fall for these schemes, yet SMS phishing totaled over one million attacks by Q1 2022. This attack vector is not new, but criminals are getting more sophisticated. SMS attack vectors and business messaging security may not be hot topics in the industry headlines, but they are vital for consumers to understand. They’re also important to consider for companies seeking to foster consumer trust and business messaging monetization.

Fabio’s talk will include an expert perspective on new, evolving SMS attacks, including the exploitation of SIM swap for consumer identity theft, flash calls, artificial traffic inflation, SMS farms and grey route attacks on mobile networks. True to his talk’s title, he will also discuss newer aspects of traditional SMS phishing methods. In some cases, fraudsters are now using voice phishing calls to steal personal data like bank codes or to force a user to subscribe to a premium voice service. This is an older method that’s been updated to seem much more realistic with modern phishing techniques.

The underlying factors and benefits of messaging security

There are larger societal and industry factors underlying these attacks that make SMS security challenging. Unlike voice services, SMS is not regulated by federal bodies. As a result, the messaging ecosystem must regulate and protect itself. Additionally, email fraud is more obvious through its bogus URLs, but SMS fraud is trickier to identify and prevent. Contrary to the common view among enterprises, SMS firewall installation is not enough to protect customers and achieve messaging monetization.

The rise of SMS messaging for COVID test result information, the sensitive nature of medical result delivery and the global explosion of connected devices make this form of cybersecurity especially crucial, yet difficult. Fraudsters also boosted phishing attacks related to parcel delivery with the increased use of services like Amazon and DoorDash during the pandemic.

Amid current trends, it’s exceedingly important for enterprises to address these attack vectors if they want to reap the juicy monetary benefits of business messaging security. According to MobileSquared research, the total value of the messaging market may reach $35B by 2025. Yet companies stand to lose up to $37.1B from 2022-2024 due to revenue leakage from grey route exploitation if they neglect this form of security.

Trust issues: unsustainable for messaging monetization

Beyond the monetization side, business messaging security is essential to strengthen consumer trust. Fabio will explore the importance of consumer trust and the role of SMS security in fostering that trust in enterprises and other businesses. He’ll describe the technical aspects of SMS security, including direct termination and support to multiple charsets, and three key business messaging security strategies, including fraud control, traffic control and profiling, and validation and testing.

Visit this link for more information on Fabio’s presentation at RSA ‘23. We hope to see you there!