Cybersecurity Europe

Talkdesk on Preparing Your Call Centres for the Cyber Security Threats of 2021

A rise in employees using their home internet connection and working from different environments has lured cybersecurity hackers to newfound opportunities, making data breaches an increasingly likely prospect. This certainly presented some challenges for businesses in 2020, with the protection of customer data staying right at the top of the agenda.

With UK police and banks recently announcing they are extending fraud prevention schemes to online and telephone banking, Edgar Pimenta, information security director at Talkdesk, here discusses some of the tools that can be deployed to help contact centres better equip their staff and protect customer data in 2021.

Now more than ever, information security should be the top priority on everyone’s mind. According to cybersecurity expert Check Point, Covid-19-related phishing and malware attacks increased dramatically from under 5,000 per week in February 2020, to more than 200,000 per week in late April. This is an alarming rise and has presented businesses operating in the financial services sector with a number of new and pressing challenges.

Managing New Workspaces

Dealing with highly sensitive information can be part and parcel of the role as a call centre operative, needing access to customer’s information, key data or even bank details to help resolve complaints or queries.

Pre-Covid, businesses had strict preventative measures in place to ensure staff were following codes of conduct when dealing with customer data and could keep a close eye on the team. Open-plan office spaces could help managers identify any suspicious behaviour, as well as keeping track of performance.

The alarm would soon be raised if a member of the team was caught using their mobile phone or taking notes covertly during a customer call, leading to rigorous questioning and investigation. As PWC recently highlighted, cybercrime comes in many forms and more recently we’ve seen a rise in crime from internal sources such as insider trading, theft and cybervandalism.

Due to the nature of the role, firms will regularly onboard contractors and temporary workers. Now, with operatives working from home, the onboarding and management challenges have become far greater, with specialist technology and detection models and social engineering increasingly viewed as reliable alternatives.


AI tools can also be used to help identify any suspicious activity that, left undetected, could result in a security breach. Regular calls to strange numbers, staff logging in from different locations or logging onto the system after hours could all be signs of dubious activity. Designed to pick-up on any abnormal trends or habits, AI tools can bring to your attention any suspicious behaviour, promoting an investigation and hopefully preventing an attack.


As the cybersecurity landscape continues to change, with new threats emerging every day and with hackers developing new MOs on a daily basis, it’s important to explore new strategies to keep employees engaged and aware.

One of the most common strategies is to pair colleagues up through a mentoring program to develop a certain skill or coach on an important topic. Individuals with a mentor are promoted five times more often than those not in the program and retention rates are much higher for mentees (72%) than for employees who do not take part in it (49%).

By making your employees feel like part of a team and instilling a culture of trust, as well as providing robust and engaging training you are likely to notice a big improvement in overall performance, even while remote working continues.


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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