05/9/16  |  Leave your thoughts

When investing in technology for your call center, security should be the focus

By Art Coombs, CEO of KomBea Corp.

Within a call center, there are three different avenues where breach of consumer information can occur. First, someone inside the call center can intentionally share or sell sensitive information. Second, someone inside a call center can inadvertently write down sensitive information on paper and then throw that piece of paper away without the intent of compromising information, yet leave a door open for it. And finally, someone outside the call center can use social engineering to extract information from a call center agent and then use that information elsewhere to access accounts, steal money, or steal an identity. This article will focus on the latter and how the call center can close the gaps and strengthen procedures.

Both large and regional banks know that fraudsters now turn to call centers to garner sensitive information in their quest to commit fraud. Because cyber security is becoming stronger, call centers have become an easier channel for fraudsters to extract information. Layer on the fact that call center representatives are trained to provide excellent service and provide solutions, it doesn’t take much for the fraudster to create a story and emotionally convince the agent to help them.

A recent article in AmericanBanker Magazine stated that last year, one in every 2,900 calls coming into bank call centers was fraudulent. This year, it is around 1 in 700. That’s an alarming rate of growth. In the same article, according to a study in 2014/2015, the magazine stated that the average amount of fraud exposure caused by these hackers was $7.6 million.

After years of working in the call center environment, we know that fraudsters will continually adapt and find ways to break through the system. Call centers have to be constantly improving their systems to stay ahead of the curve. For example, tapping into new technologies that literally require an agent to follow protocol will eliminate the ability for human emotion to take over.

One example of this technology is SecureCall, one of several products offered by KomBea. When a fraudster uses emotion to extract information from an agent, any agent who wants to provide customer service might be tempted to bend the rules.  SecureCall stops this.  For example, customer information is not accessible until the caller enters required information on their phone keypad, thereby opening the customer record.  The agent cannot skip this step because they don’t have the information. And while this may seem cumbersome for the customer, it actually improves customer satisfaction. The only individuals who are truly inconvenienced are the fraudsters.

Think of it like the difference between a fingerprint and a password–only the real customer has the fingerprint, which in this case is a piece of data that only a true customer would know or have, and can unlock their record. This stops the fraudsters from phishing for details or information by playing off of emotion, because the agent has no access to the information unless the customer unlocks it for them.

KomBea Corporation, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been helping call centers become more compliant, secure, and efficient for over 12 years.  More information is available at

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