Call centres are critical components of many businesses, handling customer interactions and transactions over the phone or through online chat and email. Regrettably, call centre data breaches are increasingly prevalent and consequently jeopardizing PCI Compliance, especially with regards to the illicit acquisition of sensitive information such as credit card data. To read more about the risks of non-compliance, refer to our previous blog post ‘Risks of Ignoring PCI DSS Compliance‘.
Call centres are exposed to various risks that can impact their operations and reputation.
Risk #1: The Insider Threat
One of the biggest risks that call centres face when it comes to credit card data theft is the insider threat. Call centre employees often have access to sensitive customer information, including credit card details, and can use this access to steal data for personal gain or to sell it to third parties. In some cases, employees may be coerced or blackmailed into stealing data by criminals or other bad actors.
The consequences of an insider threat can be severe. Not only can the theft of credit card data result in financial losses for customers and the company, but it can also damage the company’s reputation and lead to legal repercussions. For example, companies that fail to protect their customers’ data may be subject to fines and other penalties under data protection regulations.
To minimize the risk of an insider threat, call centres need to implement strong security measures and policies. These can include limiting employee access to sensitive data, monitoring employee behaviour for signs of suspicious activity, and conducting regular training and awareness campaigns to educate employees on the importance of data security.
Risk #2: External Attacks
Another risk that call centres face when it comes to credit card data theft is external attacks. Criminals may attempt to breach call centre systems or use social engineering tactics to trick call centre employees into revealing sensitive information. These attacks can be difficult to detect and prevent, particularly if the criminals are using sophisticated techniques.
To mitigate the risk of external attacks, call centres should implement strong security measures such as firewalls, encryption, and intrusion detection systems. Additionally, employees should be trained to recognize and report suspicious activity, and security protocols should be established for handling sensitive data.
Risk #3: Third-Party Breaches
In addition to these risks, call centres may also be vulnerable to third-party breaches. Many call centres use third-party vendors for services such as online chat, email support, and payment processing. If one of these vendors suffers a data breach, the call centre’s customer data may also be compromised.
To reduce the risk of third-party breaches, call centres should carefully vet their vendors and ensure that they have strong security measures in place. Additionally, call centres should establish protocols for handling third-party data breaches, such as notifying customers and regulators and taking steps to mitigate the impact of the breach.
Call Centre Data Breaches & PCI Compliance
Call centre data breaches can pose significant risks to an organization’s reputation, finances, and legal compliance. One of the most critical areas of concern for call centres is PCI compliance. Any organization that processes or handles payment card information, such as credit card data, must meet PCI compliance standards to prevent data breaches and protect customers’ sensitive information. Unfortunately, call centre data breaches are becoming more common, especially with the insider threat. Employees who have access to sensitive customer data can intentionally or unintentionally cause data breaches, risking PCI compliance.
To protect against this risk, call centres need to implement strong security measures and policies, including limiting employee access to sensitive data, monitoring employee behaviour for signs of suspicious activity, and establishing security protocols for handling sensitive data. Additionally, call centres should be aware of the risks posed by external attacks and third-party breaches and take steps to mitigate these risks. By taking these steps, call centres can help to protect their customers’ data and maintain their trust and loyalty.
Ivrnet is in the business of helping businesses achieve security compliance and ensuring they protect sensitive customer data. A leader in payment security, Ivrnet is a Level 1 PCI DSS certified Service Provider. Visit ivrnet.com to learn more, watch a webinar or request a demo of our Call Centre PCI compliant solutions for online and over the phone credit card payments.