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Cybercrimes Rising; Voice Biometrics Can Help in the Fight

September 15, 2014

According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (News - Alert) 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey, economic crimes such as fraud, IP infringement, corruption, cybercrime, or accounting fraud have a considerable impact on business processes by eroding the integrity of employees and tarnishing the reputation of the company. The survey pointed out that 18 percent of respondents who were victims of fraud reported the financial impact was anywhere between $1 million and $100 million. Criminals are able to perpetrate these crimes by exploiting different vulnerabilities throughout an organization's operational procedures; this even includes stealing information from live customer center representatives from call centers.

A new Gartner (News - Alert) report, “Preventing fraud in the call center: Use voice biometrics, phone printing,” addresses the issue of call center fraud and the steps operators can take to mitigate this threat. It was written by Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

The report notes that these criminals use different types of information about account holders in order to convince customer representative operators to give them access. Once they have access, they begin to use the account, which on average amounts to losses of $42,546 per financial account, according to an analysis conducted by Pindrop in the second half of 2013. That report also revealed one in every 2,500 calls to financial institution’s call center is fraudulent.

Although the vast majority of call center operators are aware of these activities, not everyone deploys authentication technology that is readily available in the marketplace. The Gartner report indicated call center fraud perpetrators exploit knowledge-based authentication, PINs, Caller IDs and vulnerable call center agents to give themselves better odds to achieve success.

While there is nothing call centers can do regarding how these criminals get ahold of the information  to use knowledge-based authentication, PINs and Caller IDs, operators can implement strict agent training systems to ensure they will not fall prey to the tactics the fraudsters use.

Additionally, voice biometric technology now makes it extremely difficult to overcome this type of security protocol. This is the same technology used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. However, the Gartner report says even this system can be exploited, which is why it recommends a strategy that also uses phone printing to prevent fraud.

Phone (News - Alert) printing technology gives customer representative agents information that can verify the exact location of the caller even if they use anonymizer services that hides their true phone numbers.

As Avivah points out, the best security platform is one that incorporates a multi-pronged approach to make it as difficult as possible for the criminals while not inconveniencing legitimate customers.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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