Hackers are becoming more difficult to detect, and their tactics seem more creative every day. And while there are those skilled hackers who attempt to breach sophisticated cybersecure systems, there are many hackers who rely on opportunity more than skill. Consequently, call center fraud has increased significantly in the past few years, resulting in data breaches coming from areas that organizations aren’t accustomed to managing.
The call center is a weak link.
There are several reasons why call centers have become a primary target for cyber-attacks. Online channels are more secure than ever, and EMV credit cards have made it more difficult for purchases to be made without the card or customer present. Therefore, call centers have become one of the easiest ways to gain access to privileged information. Organizations are so busy navigating cross-channel business platforms that they fail to realize the weaknesses that exist within their call center processes. If hackers want access to other networks, the call center is where they will likely start.
Technology makes it easier for hackers.
A single call center can offer many opportunities to a basic-level hacker, with technology that is easy to obtain. There are simple programs that will reset PINs and VoIPs to show a false caller ID or an unidentifiable number. Through such methods, hackers can attempt a variety of criminal activities ranging from account takeovers to the gathering of information about either customer accounts or the organizations they are attempting to breach. It only takes a small slip-up from an employee to offer basic information that will provide access to sensitive data.
The customer is always right.
The biggest vulnerability at call centers results from the fact that the primary focus is on customer service rather than identifying fraud. The entire premise of a call center is to solve customers’ problems, which is increasingly difficult when hackers are attempting to impersonate legitimate customers. Current methods of authentication are often ineffective, since they tend to prompt for basic information, such as a birth date or a social security number, which are easily stolen. If a hacker answers all the right questions, even with a bit of missing information, they can fraudulently gain access to an account.
Two-factor authentication and other secure methods of verifying customer identity are more important than ever. Not every hacker is a computer mastermind, and now, they don’t have to be. Call center fraud will continue to increase unless proactive measures are taken. Call centers are often on the frontline for an organization’s consumer base; therefore, protecting customer data is a crucial task that must be taken seriously.
The ITeam understands the cybersecurity issues facing Canada. We are committed to helping Calgary- and Alberta-based businesses develop proactive, cost-effective IT strategies that minimize risk and maximize efficiency. Contact us to learn more.