How to tackle the problem of security breaches in call centers

Outsourcing is the mantra of the day. Today, many large MNCs, all across the globe, outsource activities like customer relationship management activities to cheap labor countries where English speaking skills are not a problem. A major concern in such outsourcing is the security in customer’s sensitive data.

It has been estimated by a research that the average cost of security breach is $6.4million in 2009 and this cost is spiraling up, growing as fast as 90% sometimes, YoY. Security breaches incur costs from the following heads:

  • Customer Notification and Follow-Up
  • Cost of Lost Customers
  • Legal Costs
  • Customer Restitution
  • Damage to Brand and Company Image
  • Regulatory Fines and Penalties
  • Increased Security and Audit Requirements
  • Employee Downtime


Call centers have to keep audio calls transcribed for meeting legal requirements as well as for training purposes. In such a scenario, the cost of a breach becomes very high. Privacy protection for voice recordings is a technology to detect and mask private information from the audio recordings of the conversations. It has been applied to in telephonic conversations between agents and customers in CRM centers. In such settings, the system picks up calls from the recording system and masks out sensitive data such as credit card details, social security details and other sensitive information before storing the recordings. It is customizable to other settings easily where different types of data needs to be masked out. This technology can be extremely useful comply with various security legislation and compliance standards applicable to voice recordings. Fewcompanies actually are not meet the masking requirements and so go for multilayered 128 bit encryption of transcribed call data.

Today, multiple companies provide such security solutions. Few such companies are IBM, Envision, NICE, Protegrity and Vontu Solutions. These solutions either  mask sensitive data before storing transcribed call recordings or provide multi-layered security through encryption  or both.

Author: Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science for business management domains. Professionally a professor (IIT, IIM) and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a Regular Contributor of Business Fundas and a blogging addict. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.