Article

Security, Privacy and the Work-From-Home Contact Center

mature woman using laptop and headset
Andrew Casson Photo
Vice President
Content Guru

4 minutes

Cloud and other technology can help built trust for members and agents.

Sponsored by Content Guru

For credit union agents and their members, security and privacy are a two-way street. Members need to make sure their sensitive data is private and secure, while remote agents need to make sure their security and privacy concerns are met as well—especially when they’re working from home.

Credit unions can use their cloud contact center solution along with a combination of other technology and management practices for rock-solid security and privacy that builds trust for both agents and members.

Concerns from Work from Home Contact Center Agents

Recording contact center calls is not new. Office-based contact centers have long been making call recordings for training purposes. To ensure positive, productive agent interactions, supervisor barge-ins have been routine.

And when it comes to financial transactions, recording member interactions has been, and still is, important to credit union compliance requirements.

The difference now? Contact center tasks increasingly happen in a home office.

Since cloud contact centers must log all activity to fulfill their member experience mission, credit unions should not confuse logging with “bossware”—tools designed to monitor employees.

Cloud contact center solutions enable high-quality, modern member experiences. It just requires logging with date and time stamps to help ensure consistent, fast and friendly problem resolution. Logs are complete, regardless of whether an interaction is voice, email, webchat, text or social media.

However, WFH changes how agents work and live with your contact center.

Supervisors need to respect credit union agents’ time, boundaries and human needs. Consider the following best practices.

Establish trust with your WFH credit union agents. Encourage agents to take regular breaks – don’t expect anyone to work an 8-hour shift without breaks. Make sure agents keep their status up-to-date, so contact volume stays well-managed. Extend flexible scheduling to agents by using a workforce management application that gives them more control over their work schedule. Plan staffing to avoid frequent alerting or messaging to add extra agents to meet demand spikes.

Empower contact center agents. Give them more control over their interactions and allow them to tackle each member’s problem without a standard script. Self-service and artificial intelligence answer routine inquiries, making interactions less and less standard. By letting agents engage as they see fit, both members and agents enjoy a better experience.

Provide virtual private networks with split tunneling. This turns your connection into two. One goes through the VPN’s encrypted tunnel. The second is an ordinary home Internet connection—hence, “split tunneling.” It’s great for credit union WFH agents who need security for some things and speed for others.

Off-work, WFH agents use the unencrypted part for personal Internet activities. For work, WFH agents access credit union resources through the encrypted VPN. They use the home Internet connection and a browser for cloud contact center access—with its own security—through the unencrypted tunnel.

Protecting Member Data in Remote Cloud Contact Centers

For credit unions with a hybrid or remote contact center, it’s important to lock down security wherever agents work.

An integrated approach to security, specifically zero trust is essential. Zero trust is a strategy and an architecture that protects credit union infrastructure by following least privilege access or whitelisting for resource access. Specifically, users and devices must have explicit permission to access resources, even when inside the perimeter.

Identity is at the core of zero-trust, so rock-solid identity management using multi-factor authentication must be in place. In addition, credit unions need to deploy an endpoint protection platform that includes the array of endpoints an agent might use, such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

This way, there’s authentication for the agents and the devices they use—that, in real-time, determines whether to allow access.

For credit unions, encryption for both data-in-transit and -at-rest protects all member records, including interactions, credit card or personal identifying information. There can be no compromises.

In addition, your cloud contact center partner should follow these high-level architectural principles:

  • Works with identity/single sign-on (SSO) providers with native integrations using SAML2.0, like Active Directory, Okta, or Sailpoint
  • Uses multi-factor authentications and authenticates agent identities via email or text to a mobile phone
  • Encrypts all stored call detail record (CDR) data
  • Enables encrypted storage of recordings on either shared or dedicated storage drives
  • Allows cloud contact center agent access via secure, encrypted browser session that supports transport-layer security 1.2 for session lockdown and datagram transport layer security-secure real-time transport protocol for calls delivered into agent browsers
  • Monitors perimeter continuously with state-of-the-art firewalls, intrusion protection/intrusion detection devices
  • Protects servers deployed in clusters with anti-virus with virus definitions distributed daily
  • Scans for vulnerabilities; any detected are remediated according to their severity
  • Conducts regular, independent, external penetration testing
  • Provides audit trails to know who made what change to what application
  • Logs all changes by time, date and user for every credit union using the cloud contact center
  • Offboards departing users immediately to reduce insider threats

This list is long, but your credit union can’t take security and privacy shortcuts.

The Secure, WFH Contact Center Is Here to Stay

After more than two years of working from home, doing so has now become a way of life. Among its many benefits, agents love working at home. The big challenge is security and privacy.

However, the right cloud contact center can help credit unions confidently operate a secure, productive remote workplace.

Andrew Casson is a longtime network engineer and telecommunications and contact center architect. He’s currently a VP for CUES Supplier member Content Guru, Campbell, California, maker of the highly-acclaimed storm®, an all-in-one contact center-as-a-service solution with industry-leading functionality, performance, reliability and flexibility.

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