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Responding to the Change Healthcare hack: Strengthening healthcare security with voice AI

March 12, 2024


In the face of relentless cyber threats, even giants like UHG-owned Change Healthcare are not immune. The recent ransomware attack by the “Blackcat” group has inflicted significant financial losses, reaching over an estimated $100 million daily for some healthcare providers.

The aftermath extends beyond balance sheets, affecting patients who now face difficulties accessing lifesaving medications due to system outages in medical billing and insurance claims processes.

While there is speculation about how hackers accessed their systems, the “BlackCat” group is notorious for employing advanced social engineering techniques.

Exploiting the human element: Social engineering in cyber attacks

Social engineering targets the human element as a weak link in an organization’s security chain.

Attackers prey on people’s trust, curiosity, or fear to trick them into revealing confidential information and making impulsive decisions that compromise security, often with irreversible consequences, as seen in this case, putting lives at risk.

Attackers will use impersonation and deception to manipulate individuals into unintentionally helping in a cyber attack.

Enhancing security in contact centers: The role of AI voice assistants

Contact centers commonly use Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) as a security method to verify a caller’s identity. It is secure because multiple customers are unlikely to match against a combination of personal details (e.g., name and date of birth).

Customer service representatives want to help callers as much as possible; it’s what makes them great at their jobs and creates happy customers. However, the skills that make a good CSR can create vulnerabilities, as social engineers use fear, sympathy, and urgency to manipulate emotions and bypass security.

Call center voice AI solutions like voice assistants can handle the process by running callers through a series of security questions like a customer service representative would. Unlike customer service representatives, voice assistants aren’t susceptible to social engineering.

Integrating AI voice assistants into identification and verification processes enables organizations to ensure consistency, impartiality, and efficiency in verifying critical information, all while maintaining the natural flow of conversation.


In the wake of the recent Change Healthcare hack, it’s evident that industry leaders are not immune to cyber threats, and organizations across industries must be proactive to avoid these vulnerabilities.

By Integrating Voice AI with KBA, organizations can remove emotional manipulation from the authentication process to strengthen security measures and allow CSRs to focus on meaningful and more complex work that demands empathy and compassion.

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