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Managing through disruption

The current global pandemic has changed the way the world does business, almost overnight. For a lot of companies, there was a mad rush to try and get set up for the ‘new normal’ – trying to get VPNs installed, ensuring workers had remote desktop access or company laptops and for contact centers, ensuring that agents were able to service customers and process payments remotely etc.

The businesses that found it easiest to adapt and thrive during the disruption were already embracing the use of technology. When businesses need to adapt and change, it isn’t always about reinventing the wheel, it is just as much about improving existing solutions and technologies, so that they remain fit for purpose.

The last four months have pushed us all further in to the future of technology and we had no choice but to embrace it. For a lot of us, this meant a new way of working to keep our businesses running day to day. Most of this cutting-edge technology already existed, but Covid19 saw mass adoption, moving us all forward faster than ever.

We are all talking about ‘when the world goes back to normal’ (and with no vaccine in sight, who knows how soon this will be). But are we really going to give up all the progress we have also made over the last 4 months?

It seems extremely likely that the remote workforce is here to stay. Not only have we proved that it is doable but also that it can have many advantages. It can give employees a better work-life balance with less commuting stress, as well as yielding financial savings for staff and employers alike. It may not suit all circumstances, but remote working can provide a happier and healthier workforce.

One of the most important things we shouldn’t lose when our workforces do start returning to offices and contact centers, is the entrepreneurial mindset – we cannot go back to saying “we have always done it like this”. Businesses must embrace change – If there is one thing that we can be certain about, companies that have survived long term have changed and adapted over the years!

Of course, some things that have always been important will remain to be so, to name just a few:

  • Trust and relationships (often the result of meeting and maintaining compliance)
  • Knowledge and expertise
  • Culture and community
  • Flexibility
  • Innovation and development
  • Remaining connected to each other and customers
  • Compliance

Whilst there are numerous advantages to the ‘new normal’, working remotely has also made us all more susceptible to cyber security risks, with plenty of new opportunities for fraudsters. Neglectful employees are the number one cause of cybersecurity breaches and the risk is dramatically increased when working remotely.

A few of the security risks that have increased whilst we are remote working are listed below:

  • Phishing attacks – the fraudulent attempt to gain sensitive information and data by disguising as a trustworthy source.
  • Loss/theft of devices – putting confidential data at risk
  • Call center agents being required to take customer payments whilst working remotely – this can leave agents exposed to customer payment card data, and their remote working environment in scope for PCI DSS.

So, what can we do to improve our security whilst working remotely?

  • It is always advisable to make sure that all of your employees complete annual mandatory security training and that they only have access to the resources and data they need
  • Ensure that employees are using corporate laptops/tablets/phones, with at least 2 factor authentication.
  • Make sure employees are using end point protection and that all security software and tools are installed and up to date
  • Ensure remote access IT support is available to your staff during working hours
  • When opening any emails, users should ensure the email domain matches the website of the company it comes from
  • Check any suspicious URLs within received email. Users should not click on links in unsolicited emails
  • Avoid responding to emails requesting personal or financial data, particularly from an unknown source

How can Syntec help?

Here at Syntec we have been helping contact centers meet and maintain PCI DSS compliance for over a decade and we are experts in our field. We support the increasing array of multi-channel communication options that are required by contact centers involving payments by phone, email, live chat, SMS and social media platforms. Our award-winning CardEasy solution reduces risk, compliance burden and cost related to taking card payments from your customers.

For more information about how we can help you enable secure payments please get in touch.

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