Cyber Security built for a Call Centre - Business and Case Study

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1 Cyber Security built for a Call Centre - Business and Case Study 2015 [Type text]

2 There are two topics that should be uppermost in every CISO's mind, how to address the growing demand for Unified Communications (UC) and how to ensure that the organisation's compliance obligations are met. Responsibility for compliance extends beyond the CISO to the entire board. These issues are linked because any UC implementation impacts the deploying organisation's compliance status. This white paper examines the business and case study for a call centre operating across territories. Also, the UC compliance issues show how with the correct security controls, an organisation may realise the benefits of UC without compromising their compliance status. Introduction A European Partner of UM Labs R&D Group, has provided a customer reference, they have offices in the UK and Spain, who operate a call centre using Avaya Call Manager with Session Manager at its core. All PSTN connections are made via SIP trunks using two different trunk providers (one in Spain, one in the UK). The Spanish call centre makes mostly outbound calls, many of which are associated with debt collection. The UK call centre handles a mix of inbound and outbound calls. The customer chose UM Labs to meet a number of security requirements: To protect their SIP trunk connections, and specifically to block Denial of Service attacks and call fraud attacks. To enable call centre staff to work remotely, particularly in the UK centre. To maintain security and compliance for all calls, including those made by remote operators. To meet these requirements, UM Labs provided their Unified Communication Security Platform (aas) running in the customer's private cloud in Spain and in two locations in the UK. 2

3 Gamma SIP trunk Colt SIP trunk System Management Call Centre Users Remote Users Remote Users The UK call centre supports approximately 3,000 users and is served by equipment in two data centres, each housing an Avaya PBX installation protected by dual redundancy layered aas. The Spanish call centre is smaller, and is served by a single Avaya PBX protected by dual redundancy aas. In both cases, the call centre systems are connected to a SIP trunk service to handle all inbound and outbound calls. The UK calls centre also supports approximately 500 remote users (included in the total of 3,000 users). Remote users run a variety of access applications on laptops and on tablet/smart-phones (IOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows 8), but all remote users connect to the call centre via the aas layer. All remote users benefit from authenticated and encrypted connections. This level of security ensures that the call centre operates within applicable compliance regulations, set for Europe and if operating in the USA, the same. Where compliance regulations dictate 3

4 that call must be recorded, the UM Labs solution is able to provide this service for encrypted calls. The UM Labs aas provides resilient operation for both the UK and Spanish call centres. The deployed systems are also capable of implementing resilience and load sharing across national boundaries. If for example the Spanish call centre was at capacity or suffered a failure, then calls could be re-routed to the UK. In addition to providing security, the UM Labs aas includes a number of facilities to solve operational challenges. The Spanish call centre has used these facilities to randomise the caller-id on outbound calls. Colt, the trunk provider used in Spain has assigned a range of numbers covering major cities as well as some non-geographic numbers. The aas selects a different number from this range for each outbound calls made. As a high proportion of outbound calls from this centre are debt collection calls, this policy avoids the problem of calls with recognisable CLIs being ignored. Research support summary. Gartner has seen a steady increase in client interest in cloud-based deployments, ranging from CCaaS solutions to company-dedicated hosted solutions. Once primarily the realm of deployments of 75 agents or fewer, these solutions are increasingly gaining adoption in environments with up to several thousand agents. These solutions have also evolved from providing only basic call routing to supporting complex customer routing schemes, including those supporting multiple media and sophisticated customer segmentation, often security for UC traffic has been overlooked and now faces scrutiny and fines for noncompliance. For well over a decade cyber security and end-user companies have talked about the need to look at customer interactions from the customers' point of view with compliance and in the context of the goals they were seeking to achieve through a broad set of activities. With the emphasis on sales and marketing activities, this thinking has evolved in large part due to the emergence of other trends, such as multimedia traction, integration with social media engagement tools, mobile device support, big data analytics, proactive communications and workflow (among others), and has taken on the moniker of "customer engagement." However, it should be noted that, in many organizations, the breadth of customer interaction channels are not under the auspices of a single group, making it difficult to coordinate customer experience management across all channels and have an effective security solution, making legacy firewalls and Session Border controllers non-compliant as they only operate at the network level. Many companies have significant investment in Microsoft Skype for Business/Lync user licenses and IT support knowledge, and they are looking for ways to leverage these 4

5 investments beyond their enterprise UCC deployments and into their contact centers deployment. Despite vendor hype, few companies are integrating enterprise rich-presence capabilities in their contact centers, which would allow agents to pull non-contact-centers subject matter experts into contact centers customer interactions. Instead, many companies are focusing on the expected eventual maturity of Skype for Business/Lync as an enterprise voice/ip telephony platform, at which point these companies foresee the potential for Skype for Business/Lync to be the voice and multichannel routing infrastructure to which their contact centre applications would need to integrate, but have recognised large gaps in Cyber Security because legacy SBC s are now no longer providing security and to be compliant they need to be on three levels, network, application and content. Organizations in vertical markets, such as insurance and government agencies in which customer contacts frequently initiate process-intensive workflows, are beginning to investigate how they can extend the prioritization, routing and tracking capabilities of their CCI. These capabilities can range from managing customer contacts to managing the follow-up tasks associated with those contacts, to ensure their completion within defined service-level agreements and targets. 5

6 Mobile applications can provide customers with easier access to self-service information by supporting a visual interface to option selections and data that previously were available only to those accessing the company using a more traditional computer interface. These solutions can also provide customers with additional information and options based on real-time information regarding contact centre operations, such as expected wait times and call-back options, these all need to be encrypted and call captured for legal intercept. Mobility can also be used for internal-facing applications, such as providing real-time and historical performance dashboards and access to staffing and monitoring capabilities, while the contact centre manager or director is away from his or her desk. The aas application layer is accessed through any cloud Internet, Private (Hyper V or VM-Ware), Public (AWS, Softlayer, Azure) or Hybrid and the access charges are based on a formula normally based on a per user, per period basis, this aligns to the CIO expectations with UC systems at per user per month op-ex. This gives hosted solutions considerable advantages over in-house solutions in that there is little or no upfront CAPEX costs (for hardware or software), no requirement for technical support or operations staff, no annual maintenance fee, and upgrades come as part of the package, compliance is supplied from the cloud layer as a premium. Your data (and potentially your customers data) is being transmitted around wide area networks. You need to be sure that the data is physically secure and that remote working doesn t punch gaping holes in your defences. Does investment in a hosted application make sense financially? It is probably worth doing a total cost of ownership (TCO) comparison over a period of time reviewing On- Premise costs versus hosted costs. This will provide a clear business case covering the financial aspects which can then be used to achieve board level buy-in. But now the Cyber Security risks are so great this must also be accounted for in the TCO, being fined for breaking EU compliance is set at up to 5% of your company turnover and in this the provider of the hosted call centre is liable along the value chain, so having a premium security layer service will pay for itself. 6

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