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Call centre security: 5 important steps

Cybercriminals are running rampant, so your call centre security should be a top priority. We list 5 important steps you really need to take.

Door Renée Müller

4.6 min read

19 January 2022

call centre security

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In your call centre, your customer always comes first, and that means you have to make sure you protect them from data-hungry cybercriminals.

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

Call centres are at high risk of data breach, as cybercriminals know all too well that all customer contact nowadays takes place digitally.

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

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Why is call centre security essential?

Call centre security helps you prevent a lot of problems, such as data leaks. You keep the sensitive data of your clients safe and ensure that the reputation of your call centre remains spotless.

Apart from the ethical side of the story, there are also a number of laws you have to obey at the call centre:

  • The GDPR – All customer contact involves personal data and you must therefore be compliant with the GDPR. 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 you must properly secure personal data.

DID YOU KNOW…

With Steam-connect you can choose two-factor authentication or login with a passgrid? That makes the chance of a data leak a lot smaller.

What security threats do call centres face?

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

Internal threats

OK, most of these threats aren’t as insidious as the term makes them sound (leaving aside that disgruntled agent hoping to cash quickly via fraudsters), but the fact is that data breaches are in most cases the result of call centre 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 do not pay close attention to documents containing customer data that have been left for other eyes to see.

Many internal threats are simply coincidences and can be avoided with a good call centre security training plan that all agents should participate in and keep up to date.

External threats

When a cybercriminal tries to infiltrate a call centre’s security measures, we are talking about external threats.

There are many ways for cybercriminals to get information, but one that is gaining a lot of popularity in the call centre world is ATO.

Account Takeover (ATO) is a part of identity fraud in which a cybercriminal pretends to be an agent in order to get personal information.

DID YOU KNOW…

The number of ATOs increased by 72% between 2019 and 2020. Source: Javelin Identity Fraud Study.

5 important call centre security measures

The number of ATOs is growing at a rapid pace, so it’s important to implement some security measures. Here are five things you can do to keep your customer data more secure:

1. Use multi-factor authentication

Two-step verification is used by more and more apps and websites as an 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 email or SMS). This code must then be entered when logging in.

For calls to live agents in the contact centre, technology exists that sends an SMS to the mobile number on the caller’s account, asking them to verify that they are really calling.

This provides an additional layer of security against cybercrimes such as ATOs, for the peace of mind of both agent and customer.

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

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.

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3. Determine per user who has access

Not everyone in your call centre needs access to all information. Cloud technology often helps you with permissions per user so information doesn’t end up in the hands of people who have nothing to do with it.

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

4. Not everything needs to be verbal

There’s a good chance of a data leak if you let your customers give their bank details and insurance numbers to your agents.

Make sure you set up your call centre so that customers have to type in the number on the keyboard when passing on sensitive or numerical data.

You never know who is listening and this way is also much less prone to errors.

5. Move your entire call centre to the cloud

The cloud is one of the safest technologies today, because of all the strict security measures. Data security is always a top priority for cloud providers.

Steam-connect operates entirely from the cloud, simply because it’s the easiest way to help customers and give them the best experience. Taking your technology to the cloud is always a good way to ensure call centre security.

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