The call center, be it a department or agency, works with data every minute of every day. Thus, it cares deeply about data security and privacy. Safeguarding information ensures the organization’s longevity. Customers, clients, and patients, after all, won’t stay long with an organization that fails to keep their personally identifiable information (PII) private and secure. Here are seven trends to help your call center stay at the top of its game.
1. Regulatory Compliance
No matter how the FTC and FCC change in 2017, you can count on one thing: compliance will matter. Regulations and standards govern how you collect and use data. They also dictate the fines and penalties for not following the guidelines.
On the inbound side, you have things like the Payment Card Industry (PCI) rule and SOC compliance. HIPAA laws also perform a role, as do ISO/IEC 27001 information security standards. On the outbound side, you see the TCPA. The number of standards could ostensibly grow as the state and federal government continue to work to protect consumers and their personally identifiable information.
2. Authentication and Authorization
Confirming consumers’ identities will become increasingly critical in 2017. The call center will need to authenticate and authorize people before discussing health information or bills. This process has been occurring to a certain degree already with simple checks like birthdates or the final four digits of a Social Security number.
New methods may be employed to further protect consumers and prevent data thefts. Some possibilities include voice recognition and biometrics. They may sound like concepts out of a science fiction novel, but interest in biometrics and their security capabilities is growing. In addition, voice recognition software is improving—just ask Siri.
3. Data Security
With data breaches on the rise, all companies look to improve their data security measures. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that breaches increased by 40 percent between 2015 and 2016. The Aite Group also shares a worrying fact: growth in card-not-present (CNP) fraud during the same time period.
For call centers, both points cause concern. The call center deals with personally identifiable information regularly and, depending on the organization, offers CNP transactions. Taking proactive steps to secure and protect data will become increasingly critical going forward.
4. Application Security
Call center agents may use company-approved software to complete their work, but a number of employees turn to other applications to maintain peak productivity and efficiency. The “rogue” apps, while good for the agent, can jeopardize the company’s security. Security professionals also worry about personal devices compromising network security.
Most security experts recommend carefully outlining security policies and standards. In addition, call centers should employ technology that meets the needs of their agents. TCN’s, for example, offers secure remote access, SSL web encryption, and IP lockdowns so that data stays private and secure.
5. Integrations with Third-Party Platforms
Cloud-based call center platforms often integrate with third-party platforms. It’s a good capability—critical, in fact. By pooling data, agents have immediate and easy access to needed information about customers and patients. It also reduces data entry errors and hours of time- and labor-intensive work.
Integrating APIs, however, poses a vulnerability: the outside applications. Security and privacy are often matters of weakest links, meaning that even if your cloud-based software is secure, it could be breached if a third-party platform isn’t. Because of that, many call centers will take a closer look at their third-party applications and conduct security audits on them in 2017.
6. Business Continuity
2017 will also bring an increased focus on business continuity, which relates to security trends at the level of redundancy and uptime. Breaches and data losses sometimes occur when software fails. In other instances, a lack of redundancy, a process that mirrors data across geographically dispersed, Tier-One Telco servers, could result in data losses, too.
Such losses don’t merely cripple the agency or business. They often expose data, as in the case of the U.S. voter database in 2016. When that happens, you have no idea who’s swooping in and gathering the data. It’s scary stuff, which is why the call center will likely emphasize business continuity, from the software purchased to the security practices followed.
7. EU GDPR
Finally, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) continues to put pressure upon businesses and call centers around the world. The regulation goes into effect next May — and includes hefty fines and penalties—so companies processing EU data feel an acute concern to comply.
Fortunately, if you follow the GDPR, you will likely mitigate the other six issues. The regulation comprises stringent rules and guidelines for personally identifiable information. If you take steps to implement the GDPR now, you’ll safeguard your call center well into the future.
Security concerns and trends are on the rise. That’s not going to change. But, you can solve for them with the aid of TCN. Take a demo of our platform today to learn about our security practices and protocols.