The call center has become a key entry point into many organizations for fraudsters and cybercriminals, and enterprises have discovered that protecting that channel is not the same as defending a corporate network.

The phone channel has its own unique traits and peculiarities that make it a challenge for security teams, particularly the involvement of humans as a key part of the defense. Fraudsters develop and hone tactics to influence call center agents and trick them into granting access to a target account. Defending this channel becomes even more difficult when enterprises outsource their call center operations, an increasingly popular option.

Now, Amazon is making this option even easier with the availability of Amazon Connect, a cloud-based call center system that’s based on the company’s own internal system. Amazon said the service, announced Tuesday, will incorporate the voice-recognition and natural language processing technology that runs the Alexa AI inside its Echo devices. The system is is designed to allow enterprises to get call centers up and running within a matter of minutes and scale them up and down as needed.

Amazon Connect also will take the burden of call center security off the shoulders of customers. Amazon partnered with Pindrop to integrate the company’s fraud-detection technology into Connect.

“We are excited to become part of the APN and be one of the first technology providers to support Amazon Connect. Today more than half our customers are Fortune 500 companies, but working closely with AWS allows us to deliver our risk assessment technology to companies of all sizes,” said Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO and co-founder of Pindrop. “As we move beyond the initial implementation, we look forward to exploring additional capabilities we can provide Amazon Connect customers beyond risk intelligence.”

Fraudsters know that the call center is not as well-defended as other potential avenues in most enterprises. As network and endpoint security technology has evolved over the years, criminals have had to find other ways to get to the information they want. The same effect has come from the shift to chip-and-PIN technology on credit and debit cards, which has forced more fraud into the phone channel. That makes defending the call center a key for any enterprise that holds customer data or assets.

Image: Thomas Cloer, CC By-sa license.

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