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Written by: Laura Fitzgerald

Head of Brand and Digital Experience

Are you confident in the security measures in place in your contact center? Malicious actors are increasingly targeting call centers in a bid to steal important customer data and to cripple an organization’s support operations. 

Call centers are vital to any large organization dealing with customers and must be protected against numerous threats, including fraud, malware, cybercrime, phishing attacks, and more. 

Here’s our ultimate checklist to help you beef up the security in your contact center.

  1. Are You Using Voice Biometric Authentication Software?
    Modern contact centers use advanced technologies, such as voice biometrics, to improve overall security. Voice biometric authentication software offers a robust layer of security by analyzing a caller’s unique voice characteristics. It’s an effective tool for verifying a caller’s identity, greatly reducing the risk of fraud. Unlike traditional security measures like passwords or security questions, which can be compromised or forgotten, voice biometrics provides a seamless and highly secure verification process.Pindrop’s voice biometric authentication technology protects organizations from fraud, including deepfakes. Pindrop’s system analyzes various attributes of a caller’s voice, background noise, and other call characteristics to create a unique voiceprint for each caller. This identification method is highly secure and user-friendly, as it eliminates the need for customers to remember specific details or go through lengthy verification processes. Implementing Pindrop’s technology in a call center can significantly enhance security measures, ensuring that customer interactions are protected from fraudulent activities and that sensitive information remains confidential. This is particularly important in industries involving financial transactions, personal data, or sensitive client information, where the cost of a security breach can be substantial in terms of financial terms and customer trust.
  2. Have You Implemented Role-Based Access Controls?
    Role-based access controls (RBAC) are fundamental in ensuring the security and integrity of operations within a call center. This system is designed to restrict access to sensitive information and critical systems to only those employees whose roles require it.By implementing RBAC, a call center can significantly reduce the risk of accidental or malicious data breaches, ensuring that sensitive customer information remains protected. At its core, RBAC involves assigning permissions and access rights based on the specific roles within the call center.For example, an agent may access customer service databases and call records but not financial processing systems or detailed personal data unless their role specifically requires it.Supervisors or managers might have broader access, but this, too, is carefully controlled and aligned with their job responsibilities. This approach ensures that employees can access only the information and tools necessary to perform their job, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive data.
  3. Regularly Inspecting the Security Infrastructure
    The security infrastructure in a call center encompasses a range of elements, from physical security measures, such as access controls to the facility, to digital safeguards like firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems.Regular inspections help in identifying any vulnerabilities or weaknesses in these systems that malicious actors could exploit. A key part of inspecting the security infrastructure is conducting regular vulnerability assessments and penetration tests.These exercises simulate cyber attacks to test the resilience of the call center’s network and systems. They can reveal potential points of entry for hackers and areas where data could be compromised, allowing for proactive remediation before an actual breach occurs.Additionally, it’s essential to review and update the security protocols regularly. This includes ensuring that software and systems are up-to-date with the latest security patches and that the security policies align with current best practices and compliance requirements.The rapidly evolving nature of cyber threats means that what was secure yesterday may not be sufficient tomorrow, so constant vigilance is necessary.
  4. Data Protection Regulations
    Globally, call centers must adhere to various data protection laws and standards, depending on their location and the regions they serve. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union is one of the most comprehensive and stringent regulations.It mandates strict guidelines on collecting, processing, storing, and sharing personal data. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines and legal actions. In the United States, regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) govern the handling of health information, while the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) sets requirements for organizations that handle credit card transactions. State-specific laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), also exist, which give consumers more control over their personal information.Compliance with these regulations involves several key steps:

    • Data Minimization and Purpose Limitation: Collect only the data that is absolutely necessary for the specific purpose for which it is obtained. This aligns with the principle of data minimization advocated in many regulations, such as GDPR.
    • User Consent and Transparency: Ensure that customers are informed about what data is being collected, how it will be used, and whom it will be shared with. Obtain explicit consent where required, especially for sensitive information.
    • Data Security Measures: Implement robust security measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access, breaches, and leaks. These measures include encryption, firewalls, secure data storage solutions, and regular security audits.
    • Employee Training: Regularly train employees on data protection policies and procedures, and the importance of complying with regulations. Employees should know how to handle personal data securely and the protocols to follow in case of a data breach.
    • Regular Audits and Compliance Reviews: Conduct regular audits to ensure ongoing compliance with data protection laws. This should include reviewing and updating policies and practices in response to legislation or business operations changes.
    • Data Subject Rights: Respect the rights of data subjects, such as the right to access their data, the right to request correction or deletion of their data, and the right to object to data processing under regulations like GDPR.
  5. Cyberattack Contingency Plan
    Do you have a cyberattack contingency plan? And do you regularly update it?The cornerstone of a cyberattack contingency plan is robust prevention. This involves deploying advanced cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, and intrusion detection systems and ensuring regular software updates. Equally important is the human element – training staff to recognize and respond to cyber threats effectively. Employees should be well-versed in recognizing phishing attempts, practicing secure password protocols, and understanding the importance of safeguarding data. Quick detection of a cyberattack can significantly mitigate its impact. Therefore, the plan should include systems for monitoring and alerting staff to unusual activities that could indicate a breach. This rapid detection is crucial for initiating a swift response to contain and control the attack. When an attack occurs, a clear and efficient response strategy is vital. Immediate actions typically involve isolating affected systems to prevent the spread of the breach, assessing the extent of the impact, and following a pre-established communication protocol to inform all relevant stakeholders, including management, customers, and possibly regulatory bodies. Recovering from a cyberattack is a delicate process that involves securely restoring data and systems. Prioritizing the restoration of critical operations is essential to reducing downtime and limiting business disruption. This stage often requires backups to recover lost data and might include reinforcing security measures to prevent future incidents.
  6. Exit Protocols for Departing Employees
    Exit protocols for departing employees are a critical aspect of call center management, ensuring the security of sensitive information and the smooth transition of responsibilities.Firstly, access control is a primary concern. As soon as an employee’s departure is confirmed, revoking their access to all company systems and databases is crucial. This includes deactivating their login credentials, email accounts, and access to internal networks or data repositories. In call centers, where employees often have access to sensitive customer information, timely revocation of access rights is essential to prevent potential data breaches or misuse of information. Secondly, the return of company property must be managed efficiently. Employees in call centers may have company-issued equipment such as headsets, laptops, or mobile devices. Ensuring the return of all such items is crucial in maintaining asset control and security. A checklist can be helpful in tracking the return of all company property assigned to the employee. The transition of responsibilities is another key aspect of the exit protocol. This involves identifying and reassigning the departing employee’s duties to other team members. It may also include a handover period, where the departing employee trains or briefs their replacement or colleagues on ongoing projects and responsibilities. 

    This transition process helps in maintaining operational continuity and minimizing the impact of the employee’s departure on the call center’s operations.

  7. Continuous Employee Training
    Do you regularly hold training sessions with employees? Continuous training primarily focuses on keeping agents up-to-date with the latest products, services, and company policies. This is particularly important in sectors like technology, finance, and healthcare, where updates and changes can be frequent and substantial. Regular training sessions help agents to stay informed and provide accurate and relevant information to customers. Another critical aspect is the development of soft skills such as communication, empathy, problem-solving, and handling difficult situations. These skills are vital in the context of a call center, where interactions can often be challenging. Role-playing exercises, workshops, and e-learning modules can effectively enhance these abilities, ensuring that agents are well-equipped to manage diverse customer scenarios.

Prioritize Call Center Security to Prevent Major Incidents

As we head into the era of deepfakes and more sophisticated means of committing crime, security must play a critical role in any organization. In a call center, it’s of paramount importance, especially considering that they deal with sensitive information. 

That’s why you need to prioritize call center security above all else. Pindrop plays a significant role in enhancing call center security by offering advanced voice biometric technology

This system provides an additional layer of security by verifying callers’ identities based on their unique voice characteristics. 

To detect potential fraud, Pindrop’s technology analyzes various aspects of a phone call, including the voice itself and the type of device being used. Request a demo today.