Have your contact centre agents been working from home, some or all of the time, since the pandemic began shutting down industries and workplaces?

Remote working has been critical to business continuity for thousands of Australian organisations, some of which were ill equipped for the change and faced a sudden scramble to ensure agents had the tools they needed to carry on from home.

The change in modus operandi has been a positive one in many quarters, so much so that some of the country’s largest companies plan to allow their teams to continue working remotely, even when the threat posed by the pandemic has passed.

Benefits and risks

There’s lots to like about remote working. Agents are able to claw back the hours lost to travel and work more flexibly. Meanwhile, businesses can slash their overheads, recruit new employees from out of area and reduce the risk of disruption if an agent falls ill or is forced to self-isolate.

However, there’s also a very real danger your contact centre platform will be hacked and your customer data compromised or stolen if you don’t take steps to secure them.

There’s no shortage of parties, both homegrown and foreign, keen to have a go. 2020 has been the year of the hacker and Australian organisations are in their sights. Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised them to improve their defences back in July and more recently Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned of the prospect of devastating cyber-attacks on vital infrastructure.

Re-examining security

Many contact centres do have cybersecurity measures in place. The trouble is, they may be designed to protect a centralised operation, not a team of agents scattered across the city or country. There’s a higher chance of data breaches, both accidental and deliberate, when agents are off-site because management can no longer police rules banning personal emails and mobile phones and must trust agents will do the right thing. The consequences can be serious if they don’t, especially if financial data and payments are involved.

Keeping it safe in the cloud

Adopting cloud-based contact centre software from a reputable vendor can help ameliorate these issues. Once you do so, securing the platform becomes their responsibility – and their liability, should a software breach occur. Given today’s rising threat levels, it’s a straightforward way to strengthen your cyber-security posture.