Contact Center Security: Your First Priority

By Nicholas McAuliff - 3 min read

A 2015 study by the Ponemon Institute found that 47% of data breaches are caused by malicious or criminal attacks.

In addition to making you sit up straight, that fact should it clear that you need to prioritize your contact center security.

You have established your CRM and picked a cloud-based solution. Now, you need to focus on contact center security. There are major concerns when it comes to client security and privacy. These include whether you will employ on site or off site credit card storage, or if you will even store the data to begin with. Your contact center is responsible for meeting PCI compliance, which is a must for any company dealing with credit card data. Most importantly, it is responsible for preventing data-breaches. That means staying on top of security at all times, and staying one step ahead of cyber criminals and hackers. Without that commitment, you risk fines from credit card companies as well as crippling civil lawsuits. Your contact center security can make or break your reputation for customer care. Thus, it’s a topic that warrants serious discussion.

Documentation

Be sure that you are documenting the entire training and onboarding process. Keeping proof of training and security protocol instruction may lessen your liability in the event of a breach. In addition, store your customer’s data in an organized manner. Sensitive customer data can include medical records, social security numbers, financial and credit histories. Many companies opt out of storage except in cases of explicit permission. Also, documentation entails tracking employees’ use of your system. This includes log in times, access points and financial transactions with customers. Without a go-to record, you’ll be powerless in the case of a data breach.

Role-based contact center security

Role based security enhances your overall contact center security. By scaling access according to employee hierarchy, you control who sees what. Failing to regulate access to sensitive data increases your risk of a data leak or breach. Target’s 2013 data breach drove this point home. In that case, hackers were able to breach Target’s firewalls and steal customer credit card data. Further, they were able to encrypt the data themselves. That leads to a loss of customer confidence, which is devastating to any customer service company.

Credentials & updates

With the convenience of the cloud also comes frequent security risks. Therefore, credentials are extremely important. They increase your security by ensuring that only authorized personnel access certain data. Better yet, you control that entire structure, making it easy to pinpoint unauthorized points of access. Typically, employees in a managerial capacity are granted updating and editing permissions. Lower level employees like CSR’s usually have read-only rights. Further, anything sent over a network needs to be encrypted and use appropriate SSL security. Data exchanged with a third party CRM should never be sent over an open network. Some additional practices that you can implement include:

  • Mandatory screen lock when employees step away from the monitor
  • Automatic idle screen (password protected) after elapsed inactivity
  • Vigilant monitoring of all work systems by a well-staffed IT department
  • Encrypted passwords

With the innovation that comes with cloud based contact centers, it can be easy to lose sight of security. However, losing focus can lead to disastrous data breaches from in-house negligence or outside malicious attacks. Build a healthy contact center security model that you can use for the long-term. Finally, instill a sense of security in all contact center employees. Set mandates in place, such as role based security, and document security training and always encrypt sensitive data. Prioritize the above security practices to reduce your risk of a breach.

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