Is Your Call Center Secure?
With the evolution of untraceable cryptocurrency, it’s easier than ever for international cyber criminals to get paid for their vicious activities. The scope of cybercriminal activity continues to expand in terms of the numbers of attackers and the sophistication of their attacks.
Can your call center survive a ransomware attack in which your data is unavailable for hours or days? We strongly suggest investing in network security to protect your business. It’s worth the cost to ensure you are protected instead of facing the risk and consequences of a ransomware attack.
Good Security Starts at the Border
For small businesses, purchasing a firewall at the local electronics store and setting it up in an hour is not an acceptable approach to network security. Network firewalls are a call center’s primary form of border security.
Firewalls, internal and external facing, should be installed by trained consultants who can identify, design, and configure all your needed network security measures:
- VPN (virtual private network) external access
- Universal packet inspection
- Intrusion detection that blocks malicious code and brute force attacks that can compromise passwords
The border you need to protect is very elastic. With the evolution of cloud applications, this border where your critical business data resides may be located in data centers in countries around the globe. All the cloud applications your call center utilizes need to be cataloged, and all appropriate security measures should be applied for each and every cloud service.
For all your border security devices, you will want to maintain annual service contracts that include prompt security updates, free software upgrades, and technical support. Border security devices come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. It’s beneficial to spend time upfront determining the best solution for your call center’s needs.
Internal Security Keeps it that Way
Despite all the effort you invest securing your border, malicious code and suspicious users will penetrate your first line of defense. You can prevent malicious code from getting a foothold on your internal network by incorporating and maintaining an anti-virus solution and a spam e-mail detection solution.
Spam e-mail is still the most common delivery method used by attackers for their phishing and ransomware attacks. Provide education to employees about your call center’s policies and procedures so they can protect themselves from spam and phishing e-mail attacks.
You should also make it a priority to install all operating system and software application patches promptly. Take the time to change or remove the default administrator and root log-in credentials in every system in your call center since most brute force attacks target these usernames.
Least Privilege System
Implementing a least privilege system for network access by granting users access only to the data they need, protects against malicious code accessing your critical business data. All network usernames should be unique with passwords that meet appropriate complexity requirements. Make sure you have a password policy in place that enforces dual-factor authentication for all remote access logins.
You can apply the least privilege concept to your network by segmenting it according to business functions:
- Service and support
- Customer operations
- Research and development
- Business and administration
Extend the least privilege concept to your wireless network as well. Mobile devices that get used on public networks away from the office can expose your network to malicious code that inadvertently was acquired on other networks. Isolate your staff’s personal cell phone access from company-assigned device access to minimize your call center’s exposure to any problems.
It's Worth the Cost
Something as simple as a data backup plan can protect your call center from ransomware attacks simply by making your kidnapped data expendable. Your business continuity plan should encompass every aspect of your call center to make it effective.
Any security measure costs money, so consider adding cyber coverage to your business insurance plan to protect your investment. Whatever your security measures cost, it’s worth it if you take into account the cost to clean-up after an attack and to address the fallout, public and private, in the wake of a data breach that exposed your call center’s customer data.