In your call center, your customer always comes first and that means you have to make sure you protect them from cybercriminals who are after data.

It’s easy to get caught up in statistics, reporting , and SLAs, but as a call center manager, call center security really should be at the top of your list.

Call centers have a high risk of data breaches, as cybercriminals know all too well that all customer contact today takes place digitally.

It is more important than ever that you have your call center security in order, because you never know what kind of trouble is coming your way. We’ve created a detailed guide to get you started!

Why is call center security essential?

Call center security helps you avoid a lot of problems, such as data leaks. You keep your customers’ sensitive data safe and ensure that the reputation of your call center remains spotless.

In addition to the ethical side of the story, there are also a number of laws that you must adhere to at a call center:

  • The GDPR – With customer contact you are in all cases dealing with personal data and you must therefore be compliant with the AVG. Customers (and other people you have contact with) can stand up for themselves under the GDPR when it comes to the processing of their data. The GDPR also states that your personal data must be properly secured.

What security threats do call centers face?

There are actually two main types of threats that you as a call center manager and IT department have to take into account:

Internal Threats

Okay, most of these threats aren’t as insidious as the term makes them sound (barring that disgruntled agent hoping to cash in quickly through fraudsters), but the fact is, most data breaches are the result of call center agents.

For example, an agent may open a link in a phishing email sent by a cybercriminal to gain access to the agent’s computer.

Sometimes agents don’t pay close attention to documents containing customer data that have been left for other eyes.

Many internal threats are just coincidences and can be avoided with a good call center security training plan that all agents should participate in and keep track of.

External Threats

When a cyber criminal tries to infiltrate a call center’s security measures, we are talking about external threats.

There are many ways in which cybercriminals can obtain information, one that is gaining popularity in the call center world.

Account Takeover (ATO) is a part of identity theft where a cybercriminal pretends to be a customer to an agent in order to obtain personal information.

5 important call center security measures

The number of ATOs is increasing at a rapid pace and it is therefore important that you implement a number of safety measures. Below we give you five things you can do to keep your customer data more secure:

1. Use multi-factor authentication

Two-step verification is being used by more and more apps and websites as additional account protection.

The customer enters their account name and password and then an additional security code is sent to a device of their choice (usually e-mail or SMS). This code must then be entered when logging in.

For calls to live agents in the contact center, technology exists that sends a text message to the mobile number on the caller’s bill, asking them to verify that they are actually calling.

This provides an extra layer of security against cybercrime such as ATOs for peace of mind for both agent and customer.

Steam-connect can also be equipped with two-factor authentication as standard.

2. Encrypt all your data whether you use it or not

Invest in technology that can encrypt your data. This technology rewrites your data into an unreadable piece of text that no one can read without the unlock key.

If you need the data, you can access it with a password.

3. Determine who has access per user

Call center security starts with your permissions.

Not everyone in your call center needs access to all the information. Cloud technology often helps you with permissions per user(s) so that information is not seen by people who have nothing to do with it.

In Steam-connect you also determine which user has which rights. Obviously, a manager sees different data than an agent.

4. Not everything has to be verbal

You have a good chance of a data breach if you let your customers give their bank details and insurance numbers to your agents.

Make sure you set up your call center in such a way that customers have to enter the number on the keyboard when passing on sensitive or numerical data.

You never know who is listening in and this way is also a lot less error-prone.

5. Bring your entire call center to the cloud

The cloud is one of the most secure technologies of the moment, due to all the strict security measures. Data security is also always a top priority for cloud providers.

Steam-connect operates entirely from the cloud, simply because it is the easiest way to help customers and give the best experience. Bringing your technology to the cloud is always a good way for call center security.