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TeleCommunication Systems Partners with Symantec to Deliver Trusted Location

by david.nunes
TeleCommunication Systems Partners with Symantec to Deliver Trusted Location
Solution Thwarts Spoofing for Financial Services, Online Gaming, Connected Cars and Other Applications

ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 8, 2015 TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS), a world leader in secure and highly reliable wireless communication technology, today announced a partnership with Symantec enabling TCS to provide financial services firms, online gaming companies and other organizations a powerful new tool for identifying fraud, confirming location compliance, and preventing “false positive” denials of services.

The resulting solution enables organizations to confirm the true location of a device and determine whether the device has been tampered with, or that the location has been spoofed. The combined TCS Trusted Location™ and Symantec’s Mobility Risk Detection technology provides a comprehensive solution for avoiding fraud. TCS will make the solution available in the third quarter of 2015.

The TCS – Symantec partnership targets the growing problem of smartphones and other mobile devices being hacked to convey a false location. This type of spoofing facilitates a wide variety of fraud, including online payments, Point-of Sale (PoS) payments, account creation and access, and location compliance. Reliable information about the location of an individual’s mobile device is a high- value risk indicator, even when the mobile device is not used to initiate or complete a transaction. It is widely accepted that the location of an individual’s mobile device is an excellent “proxy indicator” of the owner’s location.

TCS Trusted Location uses cellular, satellite, Wi-Fi, and other data sets to verify and validate the device’s reported location. This approach works nearly anywhere in the world, unlike alternative platforms that use only one technology or one wireless carrier’s  network and thus work only in limited geographic areas.

Symantec’s Mobility Risk Detection technology adds a key element to the process by determining whether devices have been compromised (e.g., the device has been jail broken or rooted). The combined solution then presents the customer organization with a Trust Score – a ranking that presents the probability that the device is actually at the reported location. In addition, a device that has been tampered with may be indicative of potential risk, even when the location is accurate.

News Facts:

  • Global financial card fraud is over $11 billion and represents approximately $.05 per every $100 in transactions, according to a 2013 Nilson Report.  Mobile financial fraud is approximately 23% higher than all merchant related fraud, according to a LexisNexis 2014 study.
  • Existing solutions for identifying mobile fraud have a variety of drawbacks that undermine the value of the information they offer to businesses:
    • GPS can be spoofed to report a fraudulent location
    • Cellular-only solutions deliver limited geographic coverage because they tie to specific wireless carriers
    • CellID and Wi-Fi lookups from third-party databases can be expensive, are often out-of-date and may be imprecise.
  • TCS Trusted Location solution is a platform that avoids those drawbacks by using cellular, satellite, Wi-Fi and other data sets to identify, verify and validate a device’s location nearly anywhere in the world.
  • Symantec’s Mobility Risk Detection technology instantly determines whether the operating system of a mobile device has been hacked or improperly modified.
  • The combined solution presents a convenient Trust Score that organizations can use to quantify fraud threats and integrate into existing risk scoring systems.
  • The TCS-Symantec partnership enables TCS to combine these platforms to provide businesses and other organizations with a comprehensive, industry-first solution for thwarting fraud based on spoofed mobile device locations.
  • The combined solution is ideal for a wide variety of verticals and applications, including:
    • PoS transactions, such as determining whether a cardholder’s phone is really at the store where a purchase is underway
    • CNP transactions when credit cards are used for online transactions.
    • Verification of an attempt to create or access a bank account that originated from a location where the account owner logically should be.
    • Internet-of-Things (IoT) services, such as connected vehicles and asset tracking.

Symantec Corp. Vice President, Solution Product Management, Michael Lin said:  “It’s imperative to our customers that we protect sensitive, corporate and customer data, while also providing as much mobile agility as possible for end users. Symantec’s mobile security and app protection technology, combined with the technology of TCS to validate device locations, will provide one powerful solution for our joint enterprise customers to better secure their apps.”

TCS Commercial Software Group Vice President of Mobility Solutions, Dr. Keith Bhatia said: “In Symantec, TCS has found the optimal device security partner. Our partnership with Symantec is enabling financial services firms, online gaming companies and other businesses to instantly quantify fraud threats involving mobile phones, tablets and IoT devices anywhere in the world. This combined solution is ideal for organizations seeking higher confidence than GPS-only and operator-specific platforms can provide, with the backing of the world’s leaders in mobile location and information security.”

About TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.

TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS), headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, is a world leader in secure and highly reliable wireless communications. Our patented solutions, global presence, operational support and engineering talent enable 9-1-1, commercial location-based services and deployable wireless infrastructure; cybersecurity; defense and aerospace components; and applications for mobile location-based services and messaging. Our principal customers are wireless network operators, defense and public safety government agencies, and Fortune 150 enterprises requiring high reliability and security. Learn more at www.telecomsys.com.

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