Protecting your contact center from fraud

smiling call center rep

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4 min read

Article highlights:

  • Contact center fraud is a growing issue that can cost companies and customers millions of dollars every year.
  • Contact centers must adopt several layers of security to protect against potential fraudulent activity.
  • Using powerful cloud-based software can both add an element of security while improving communication with customers.

Wherever potentially valuable data is present, fraudsters are lurking, looking for an opportunity to access sensitive information. Contact centers are particularly vulnerable given the sheer volume of customer data that is handled every day.

According to research from TransUnion, contact center fraud rose a whopping 350% between 2013 and 2019, and the global pandemic has escalated that trend even further. In 2020, contact center fraud was up nearly 40%. Fraud.net reports that the average contact center-based fraud exceeds $500 per transaction, with very little recourse for the contact center when fraud is detected.

The recent health crisis has made things especially attractive for those with nefarious intentions. Times of disruption can potentially make it easier for fraudsters to access data that is otherwise kept confidential and secured.

Financial institutions, in particular, are especially at risk for breach of data. Fraudsters often hack bank and e-commerce accounts by cracking passwords or stealing login credentials. But they’re also tapping into this sensitive data via fraudulent calls made to contact centers. The telephone communication channel is quickly becoming a weak link in many contact center security systems.

In this environment, it’s crucial for contact centers to adopt tactics to protect their operations from fraudulent activities.

Why boost contact center security?

Adding several layers of security to prevent your customers from becoming victims of fraud may come with an element of cost, but it’s well worth it. Here are just a few reasons added security is needed in contact centers:

  • Maintain your reputation in your particular industry
  • Gain the trust of customers
  • Avoid fines or penalties for not adhering to regulatory standards
  • Avoid costs of having to repair systems following fraudulent activity
  • Retain business through positive customer experiences
  • Improve agent retention and avoid high turnover rates

How to protect your contact center from fraud

Although fraud is a real and imminent threat to contact centers, there are several measures centers can adopt to protect all data.

Ensure thorough employee training

Contact center agents already go through a robust training regimen to equip them with the skills needed to properly and effectively use contact center tools and technology. They learn how to  effectively communicate with customers to arrive at a solution quickly and promptly answer questions. But agents should also be trained on how to be a line of defense against potential fraud.

In many cases, agents may lack awareness on the issue of fraud. It’s important for contact center supervisors to fully train staff on the different security policies and procedures to remain watchful for any suspicious behavior coming from customers who may or may not be legitimate.

Adopt basic security features

Technology is the best line of defense against tech-savvy fraudsters, so it’s important for contact centers to practice basic security. Software should always be up-to-date, anti-virus protection should be enforced, and password management should be implemented.

Take advantage of two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication can also help. System codes sent to mobile phone numbers or registered email can markedly boost security.

Control access to data

Digital document management solutions designed to control access to documents by role are also available to contact centers. This technology encrypts documents that exit the contact center in the event that they are intercepted by bad actors.

contact center reps

Limit sensitive transactions

Certain types of transactions should be limited or even denied altogether in the absence of authentication. For instance, a change in address or other contact information should not be done without the proper level of authorization.

Ensure vigorous access controls

Preventing access to contact center data from outsiders is one thing, but guarding such access against those who previously had legitimate ties to the company is another.

Turnover rates tend to be somewhat high among contact center agents, which means there is a pool of individuals who no longer work at their respective companies. These people may still have some form of access to contactl center platforms and could potentially be a threat.

There are plenty of stories of ex-staffers who still retain access credentials and have criminal intentions to steal the identities of customers. Companies should have a policy in place that involves revoking access to these individuals, but human resources doesn’t always have control over the network. Organizations should develop measures that ensure robust access controls to prevent situations where previous workers still have a way to access company data.

Use voice biometrics

Voice biometrics relies solely on a customer’s voice and could be one of the strongest defenses against fraudulent activity. It works by using a person’s voice as an identifying biological trait unique only to that individual to authenticate them. This technology allows for quick and secure access to information in the form of telephone calls, mobile applications, and chatbots.

In this way, voice biometrics makes it nearly impossible for criminals to call in and impersonate anyone in an attempt to access sensitive information.

Be proactive with firewall software

Firewall systems are nothing new, but they’re an effective way to guard against potential attacks early on. More specifically, firewalls designed for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections are especially effective thanks to their ability to filter and redirect customer calls that are deemed to be a potential threat.

Cloud-based solutions for your contact center

Security should always be a top priority for contact centers, and there are all sorts of tools available to provide optimal protection. Innovative technology should also be implemented to ensure positive outcomes with every customer call, and omnichannel cloud-based software from RingCentral offers this solution.

RingCentral provides contact centers with the tools needed to effectively and efficiently handle multiple communication channels and self-service options, regardless of the call volume at any given time. With seven layers of security embedded in our contact center solution, you can rest assured that your customer information is and will remain secure.

Get in touch with a representative from RingCentral today and request your free demo.

Get in touch with a representative from RingCentral today

Originally published Mar 09, 2022, updated Mar 14, 2022

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