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Biztech Jul 27, 2013

Managing Security Risks In The Contact Centre: Frost & Sullivan

By Staff

Every credit card transaction conducted over the Internet introduces a security risk for the cardholder. Data stores can be hacked, card numbers overheard, data streams might be vulnerable to interception; even contact centre agent integrity is not beyond question. To increase controls around cardholder data and reduce credit card fraud, the industry-wide Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council first defined its Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) in 2004 and updated it in October 2010 to current version 2.0.

Frost & Sullivan analyses the risks for data breaches and theft in the contact centre, and helps contact centre managers understand the actions that can be taken to increase agent vigilance and data security. Taking steps to identify and prevent cybercrime in customer contact channels involves a rigorous multilayered response. This includes meeting and complying with the PCI DSS standard by submitting to and passing periodical comprehensive scoping, assessment, validation, and reporting requirements, and by meeting the standard between assessments.

"Compliance with data standards like PCI DSS is entwined with preventing data theft. To manage both issues often requires expert advice and recommendations from experienced companies like SPS," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Brendan Read.

Strategic Products and Services (SPS) offer PCI DSS compliance consulting and advice. SPS also supplies a wide range of other services that support PCI DSS compliance including interactive voice response (IVR) and call recording solution selection and implementation.

"PCI considerations come up in many parts of a contact centre's business processes, many of which have implications on technology choices for encryption, recording, data storage and retrieval," said SPS Chief Technology Officer, Mike Taylor. "Requirements differ, based on the customer's industry and size of the data centre operation. SPS provides guidance to ensure that customer data management is PCI-compliant, especially in the areas of IVR systems and call recording. We tell them what is required and what is possible for an operation in their industry and size."

Frost & Sullivan released a white paper titled, Enabling Successful Social Media Customer Care, which is another goal for many contact centres that are engaging with customers through social media channels. Customers are already using social media to voice issues, obtain information and support, and to collaborate and network with other customers. Contact centres that successfully monitor and engage with these channels gain an opportunity to display highly proactive customer service. But integrating contact-centre systems with social media channels introduces new business challenges and opportunities, along with the significant IT integration requirements. Security concerns, confidence scams, and even implications for PCI compliance over social media can raise additional requirements.

"Social media is fundamentally different from all other customer engagement channels in that it transmits public conversations one-to-many rather than private ones one-to-one. This factor, above all, makes providing effective and secure customer care over the social channel challenging," said Read.
To be successful with social media, Frost & Sullivan recommends that firms create a single department responsible for customer engagement strategy across all media – one that has ongoing participation by other departments, including Corporate Communications, Marketing, and Legal.

Making use of customer social media usage requires advance planning, supported with the right blend of social monitoring software. Using such systems, customers are associated with targeted "social profiles" which enable the firm to pursue a strategic and customised social strategy that correctly targets individual customer contacts. Policies must also be put in place to govern what content may be published to social media channels by contact-centre agents.

"Blending social media into the wider picture of the total customer experience requires a thorough approach, combining business process consulting and communications technology," said Taylor. "A strategic communications partner like SPS can help you understand what's possible, develop and prioritise your plan of action, and provide a single point of accountability through implementation."

by Staff

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