Yettel Aims to Protect Smartphones With NetPajzs

Telco

Máté Pomezanski

The Budapest Business Journal talks with Máté Pomezanski, Yettel Hungary’s digital products director, about the company’s cutting-edge security app, NetPajzs.

BBJ: NetPajzs is capable of blocking suspicious websites and filtering unwanted content. Can you explain the technology behind it?

Máté Pomezanski: NetPajzs provides protection on Yettel’s network using a filtering system integrated at a network level. We are working with an internationally recognized partner who can filter suspected phishing websites relying on a database updated every 3-5 minutes. Yettel’s network-level filtering means that when a customer uses a phone on the mobile network or uses Wi-Fi with Yettel’s home service, OtthonNet, we can provide this protection.

BBJ: How does NetPajzs protect against phishing attacks?

MP: NetPajzs monitors and filters the address of the visited website, or more precisely, the IP address behind it. The filter engine built into our network will not let the customer through to the website if it is identified as a phishing site. The engine is a kind of intelligent system within NetPajzs that actively monitors and analyses websites visited by customers. This system is constantly updated with the latest phishing addresses and data from more than 20 databases to identify and block different phishing attacks.

BBJ: NetPajzs was launched in November 2022. How many Yettel customers have adopted the service so far?

MP: The NetPajzs service has proved to be very popular, perhaps due to the many product benefits in addition to its low price. Once activated, you don’t need to worry about updates; just enjoy the protection it offers. Unlike traditional apps, NetPajzs does not drain your phone battery or slow the device down, as it runs on the network, not the phone. Since its launch, NetPajzs has been activated by nearly 220,000 customers, with a very low churn rate, meaning that most customers continue to use it after the free trial.

BBJ: What are the most common threats that you see NetPajzs protecting Hungarian users against?

MP: Phishing attacks are by far the most common threat these days. “Your parcel has arrived,” “Immediate bank details required,” “You’ve won a luxury holiday;” everyone is likely to have received such suspicious messages. These are usually sent via SMS, but scammers have also targeted social messaging platforms and online marketplaces. E-mail-based phishing attempts are also widespread. Typically sent in the name of utility companies or banks, they look deceptively genuine. Such messages are often sent to randomly generated phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Sometimes, previous phishing victims are called by fraudsters posing as being from a bank, who know their personal data and gain their trust and even access to a specific bank account. NetPajzs helps ensure that customers are as unlikely to fall into the first trap as possible.

BBJ: Your recent survey revealed that people don’t protect their smartphones as much as computers. Why do you think that is the case?

MP: Smartphones operate in a far more secure environment than computers. It’s often said that the biggest IT security risk is people: the careless, ignorant users who either click the wrong way or install software from an uncontrolled source. For smartphones, Apple only allows verified applications to be published on its marketplace. Android does the same, but it also allows people to install apps from external sources, making it easier to receive malware that can steal data. Overall, computers are more vulnerable than smartphones when used by the average user. Although you hear about smartphone attacks, the public is less pressured to get extra protection.

BBJ: What other digital security products or services can we expect from Yettel?

MP: NetPajzs is less than a year old. It was launched shortly after our 5G-based home internet service, OtthonNet Pro. Recently, we have also launched Yettel TV, which offers a complete home TV service. We have been very busy and constantly ask for, listen to and process customer feedback while keeping an eye on market trends. We also see an opportunity to develop NetPajzs further, but I don’t want to give more details now, so there will be more of a surprise when the time comes.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of September 8, 2023.

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