How long can data breaches affect your call center security?

Posted on: March 26th, 2015 by Art Barger

How do data breaches impact contact centers? That’s a question we should all be asking ourselves. If we’re not careful, recent hackings like the one against health plan carrier, Premera Blue Cross, can threaten our call center security and business profits for years to come.

In the article, “Another Massive Health Data Hack,” Premera said it is notifying 11 million individuals about the cyberattack. This comes just weeks after another health data breach against Anthem, which exposed information on nearly 80 million individuals. A Premera investigation found that the attackers may have gained unauthorized access to confidential information including members’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, telephone numbers, member identification numbers and bank account information. This type of sensitive customer data can be used to socially engineer call centers for years to come.

Financial institutions still using knowledge-based authentication methods to identify callers over the telephone channel are putting their customers and their own business information at risk. Through the process of data gathering and buying personal data and banking credentials over criminal websites, thieves can leverage this information to trick call center agents in to divulging account details so they can access existing accounts, take over accounts, and open up new accounts in another person’s name.

As long as banks continue to rely on personal data to identify callers, they’ll remain vulnerable to criminal tactics and other costly operational procedures that, over time, can impact business profits as a result of damaged customer relationships and other fraudulent activity. Putting your customers through lengthy telephone interrogations can impact your profitable bank-customer relationships. Using KBA, you’re essentially telling your customers you don’t trust them at the start of the phone conversation. This creates an atmosphere of distrust that can lead to several other issues, including:

  • Frustrated customers who feel their problems are secondary to your own business needs
  • Harmful to your customer’s trust, goodwill and brand loyalty
  • Higher labor costs for each inbound call that’s answered by a telephone agent
  • Interrupts your ability to deliver excellent customer service

When it comes to providing great customer service over the telephone channel, financial institutions need to understand the impact KBA has on their business. Deploying real-time automated authentication tools that don’t require sensitive customer data to identify customers not only strengthen a call center’s ability to verify customers sooner, they help reduce fraud rates and build a stronger, more trusted customer environment.

The TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication solution is one way banks can instantly and invisibly determine the risk of each call without sacrificing the customer relationship or increasing operating costs. By verifying the authenticity of every inbound call, financial institutions don’t have to put customers through expensive, non-predictive KBA processes. Removing such dependencies to identify customers can help banks avoid years of call center vulnerabilities and other threats that result from sensitive customer data ending up in the wrong hands.