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May 16, 2024
4 minutes read

Secure your business with SMS OTPs and alerts

In the current digital era, technological and online advances are rapidly growing, creating new ways for businesses to engage with their customers. Unfortunately, where there is growth, there will be criminals trying to steal some of the profits. Protecting business data, customer information, and online accounts is a priority for every modern business. SMS security can help protect your business and your customers from online fraud and cyber crime.

What is SMS security?

SMS security means using SMS (Short Message Service) as a way to secure and protect online accounts, data, and customers from cyber crime and fraud. The diversity of SMS as a communication channel, combined with its incredible global reach and high engagement statistics, make it a great channel for security purposes.

Since every mobile phone has a native SMS app built in, and there are around 8.9 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, your customers are bound to receive your SMS security messages when needed. And with open rates as high as 98%, those messages are not only received, but are also being read!

SMS can be used for a multitude of security use cases because of its timely nature. The most popular one is sending One-Time-Passwords (OTPs) via SMS. OTPs are often part of multi-factor authentication (MFA) and two-factor authentication (2FA) strategies that help secure online accounts and transactions by authentication users and logins. SMS can also be used to send time-sensitive notifications - like reporting (suspicious) changes in accounts, or broadcasting news on active security threats.

Secure accounts with SMS OTPs

Want to register new customers and double-check if they are legit? Want to help customers with recovering their lost and forgotten passwords without risking unauthorised access to the online account by a fraudster? Want to streamline your onboarding process? Want to confirm the identity of your customer before processing a large payment?

Authentication via SMS messaging is the answer. Authenticating users by sending SMS OTPs is a growing use case across multiple business sectors. Juniper Research even forecasts that the total SMS traffic used for OTP use cases will reach 1,5 trillion by 2028! An increase from the 1,3 trillion measured in 2023.

However, SMS is not the only channel you can use for sending OTPs. In fact, a lot of other popular messaging channels also offer to send your OTPs. What channel is used for OTP highly depends on the target audience, though SMS is often seen as a fallback channel because of its impressive global reach.

SMS security alerts & notifications

Is there a weird spike in traffic in one of your customer's accounts? Are there suspicious bank transfers being made from one of your customer's bank accounts? Is there a known security issue that needs to be communicated immediately? Are there active fraud emails going around?

At times like these, it is important to communicate with your customers. Let them know about unusual activities in their accounts or known scams by sending them timely notifications via SMS, and nip the fraudulent activities in the butt.

An unusual sum of money has been withdrawn from your bank account at 14:00. Was this not you? Please click this link.

How secure is SMS?

Contrary to more modern messaging channels such as WhatsApp and RCS, SMS text messages are not encrypted. This means that sending sensitive information via SMS is potentially riskier than sending it via messaging channels that do offer end-to-end encrypted messaging.

However, what SMS lacks in encryption, it makes up for in reach and effectiveness. One of the key factors of a successful security strategy is the adoption of it by your customers. You can offer the most secure and high-level end-to-end encrypted cyber crime solutions to your customers, but if those measures are too much trouble for them to adopt, they won't do it. SMS is accessible and available, and therefore a powerful tool to compliment every security strategy.

Even in cases where other channels, such as WhatsApp, are the preferred messaging channel of the target audience, it is advised to use SMS as a fallback channel to make sure that no customer gets left behind.

SMS security safeguarded by CM.com

CM.com continuously strives to offer a secure and reliable communications platform. Access to the SMS Gateways is protected via a secret key known as a Product-Token, but that’s not all! CM.com developed a suite of software-based security solutions called Safeguard. All Safeguard features offer fine-grained control over the entire end-to-end messaging flow, helping you regulate your messaging traffic without limiting output and reach.

IP address restrictions, customisable whitelisting and blacklisting, and rate limiting solutions will help secure SMS messages, notifications and OTPs from fraud and prevent unnecessary costs for our customers.

Want to know more about how SMS messaging can help you secure your business, or how we at CM.com safeguard your online traffic? Contact one of our experts! We're always happy to discuss your specific use cases.

Protect yourself and your customers from cyber fraud with SMS

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Christel Brouwers
Copywriter at CM.com. Passionate about language and getting CM.com’s message out there. Shares content about CPaaS, Payments and more.

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