Are you unknowingly rolling the dice when identifying callers?

Posted on: February 12th, 2015 by Art Barger

When a telephone agent picks up an unauthenticated customer call, your entire contact center operation is essentially rolling the dice on who they are talking to. Sure, they’re armed with a list of security questions designed to verify the caller’s identity. But today, those challenge questions are about as effective as trusting the name on the Caller ID or ANI. If you are still identifying customers over the phone, you’re putting your customers’ accounts and confidential business information on the line.

When it comes to managing and protecting your call center operations, this is a gamble

banks and enterprises cannot afford to take. For companies solely using knowledge-based authentication (KBA) solutions to identify customers over the telephone channel, that’s exactly the risk you are taking.

If your caller authentication system is not proactively verifying the level of risk an incoming call poses to your business, then every time a representative answers the phone you are playing the odds. And these odds can have an impact on your call center well beyond security. It can also affect operational efficiency, customer confidence, and your brand integrity.

My guess is not many companies would knowingly put themselves and their important business assets at such risk. The problem is, with KBA many companies unknowingly do.

By relying on vulnerable data to identify customers, you are lowering your odds at accurately authenticating each call. This can open the door to fraud, raise already increasing operating costs, and ultimately damage the trust you’ve created with your loyal customers.

At TRUSTID, we’ve expressed our concerns of trusting knowledge-based tools to identify callers over the telephone. The danger is not in the information you are validating. Rather, it’s in the method you are using to validate the data.

Social engineers are experts at collecting data and using it to their advantage. Once they’ve got the goods on a real customer, KBA can actually work to their advantage. Once they pass the telephonic lie detector test by way of security questions, they’re given the keys to perpetrate fraud and other unwanted activity within the system.

This is just one of the reasons why deploying a pre-call telephone authentication solution can help call centers stop fraud before it happens, as well as speed up the customer service process.

To criminals, telephone fraud is very much a game of cat and mouse. And the most dangerous kind is when a contact center can’t identify the authenticity of the call before they are on the phone.

Having a second factor of authentication that goes beyond using potentially mishandled customer data to validate callers is paramount to creating a more secure, trustworthy telephone environment. The TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication solution is one way banks and businesses can automatically identify high-risk calls pre-call and remove them from the phone system before bad actors have the opportunity to impersonate good customers over the phone.

The real risk to your contact center is when you give a criminal the opportunity to socially engineer an agent. But by invisibly validating callers while the phone is still ringing, you can stop rolling the dice on customer authentication and start taking real-time action against criminal activity and improve how you serve good customers over the telephone channel.