The State of Security in Call Centers

At the end of 2016, it was revealed that AI Solutions, a Mumbai-based security firm, is under investigation for selling companies’ customers’ personal information to third parties for between $350 to $1,000. The information, which includes phone records and home addresses, was given to AI Solutions by employees at offshore call centers. The Sydney Morning Herald speculated that the information is likely being sold to companies engaged in corporate spying, private investigators and even organized criminals looking to steal someone’s identity.

This incident is just one example of the various modern security threats that call centers, and the companies that they do businesses with, face. There is no question that maintaining security and compliance in call centers is complicated. Security involves far more than just technology; it also involves people and processes. We, as individuals, are the most obvious weakness, and cyber criminals are already well aware of our human flaws and are honing in on call center operations to expose them. Mobile payments and digital wallets are certainly convenient, but when our bank information reaches the contact centers that facilitate these interactions, it can be a gold mine for fraudsters and cyber criminals. This information can either be stolen by individuals conning call center agents, or by call center agents themselves.

Unfortunately for U.S. businesses and consumers, things are likely to get harder before they get easier. The countrywide move to EMV chip card technology has the potential to grow the threat of these attacks and leaks. While the transition is intended to help reduce overall fraud rates — its introduction in the U.K. reduced card-present fraud by 32.5 percent in seven years — the reality is that it is more likely to simply shift the way fraud occurs. In fact, according the U.K. Payments Administration, fraud that leverages a contact center environment is exactly where most new fraud attempts are occurring in the U.K. already, and the U.S. is expected to see a similar trend.

In an effort to better understand the challenges faced by call center staff and how the business community can help, we are asking call center agents to provide anonymous feedback in a short survey on call center security. If you are a call center agent, your participation will help us broaden the discussion on data security best practices and gain greater insight into the challenges of call center employees. We will unveil the survey’s findings in the spring, but rest assured that your responses will remain completely anonymous.

To take part in the survey simply visit Participants can enter to win a $25 Amex gift card upon completion. We are grateful for your time and your willingness to help us conduct unique and important industry research.

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