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Smarter SMS equals happier customers

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How artificial intelligence is helping to keep SMS secure, clean and profitable

There was a time when email inboxes were flooded with spam, scams, and tonnes of malicious content. Today, not so much.

What happened? That would be automated spam filters.

Sadly, SMS and MMS are heading down the same path. Fraudsters use these channels to send more and more spam and phishing messages containing malware. In the past, MNOs got attacked maybe once a quarter: now, it’s closer to once a week. Successful attacks wear down consumer trust and sabotage the value of SMS.

Manual and semi-automatic filters can no longer keep up, but automation is ready to step in and save the day. A fully automated firewall can stop an attack in a matter of minutes.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is particularly worthy in the battle of SMS vs fraudsters. Thanks to AI, firewall software now adapts automatically to changing tactics - it learns from previous attacks. It’s getting smarter.

AI systems can also learn to block messages containing adult content or hate speech. In other words, it can clean up and secure both SMS and MMS – two key communication channels for MNOs and enterprises.

Staying one step ahead with AI

AI filters are constantly improving. Once they learn what spam or hate speech looks like, they remember it and detect patterns in data sets that correlate with a specific outcome: the more data they have, the better.

MNOs worldwide use the Sinch SMS firewall, and with 20% of the world’s application-to-person (A2P) SMS traffic flowing through our servers, you can bet our AI system is getting a first-class education in messages that need blocking.

Sinch systems can spot fraud that would fly under the radar in smaller data sets. And what’s more, our systems are language-agnostic. If our AI learns a type of fraud in English, it can translate it into 100+ languages.

Most importantly, it’s an education that spans many different markets. Spam and phishing patterns and techniques vary massively across countries and regions. When a new scam appears in one market, a worthy AI system will adapt the filters in the SMS firewall to suit.

At Sinch, we’re also increasing AI to detect and weed out application-to-person messaging (A2P) traveling on person-to-person (P2P) channels so we can help MNOs fully monetize SMS and MMS.

Firewalls are no longer optional

For MNOs, an effective SMS firewall is now a must – without it, their messaging channels risk being over-run with unwanted and malicious traffic.

For their customers, an automated firewall offers a better all-around SMS experience. Phishing messages are blocked, personal data is protected, and there’s far less spam. If email can clean up its act, why not mobile messaging?

In its latest SMS FW Vendor Benchmarking report, analyst firm ROCCO noted the more intensive use of AI to prevent SMS attacks. “This is of key importance, as MNOs have indicated that SMS attacks have increased in 2021,” ROCCO added. “Vendors have a strong role in maintaining SMS as a secure communication channel.”

Based on input from 130 MNOs in 64 countries, ROCCO once again identified Sinch as a Tier 1 vendor for SMS firewalls and A2P SMS messaging services. Although we scored highly across all categories analyzed, we’ve no plan to take a break – watch this space for more details on how we plan to step up the use of AI!

To learn more about how Sinch solutions keep SMS clean click here.