Addressing the Security Risks Associated with a Remote Workforce

September 9, 2021 | Call Center Industry | Security | Blog

Over the past year, many businesses were forced to adapt to remote operations. With this new reality, security personnel across a vast number of industries were asked to step up and learn new tools and techniques to keep their clients’ sensitive data safe and secure.

Thankfully, at Liveops, we were already one step ahead. Since its inception two decades ago, our security team has been keenly aware of the unique challenges that arise from a predominately remote workforce. Throughout our time facilitating Liveops’ independent contractor community, our security team has seen it all. And we have come to understand the most common—and potentially dangerous—safety and security risks associated with remote operations. Risks that not only pose a threat to our clients and their data, but to agents and their devices as well.

Below are just a few examples of how the security team at Liveops, in collaboration with our community of independent agents, are equipped to address such security threats.

Verify the Agent’s Identity

Since tracking our agents remotely through their home devices would be intrusive—as well as impractical—, we require that they take steps to verify their identity before starting each shift. This is why multi-factor authentication tools and apps have been such a life-saver for our team.

With apps such as Duo Mobile, agents take identity verification into their own hands. Duo offers an immensely secure platform that utilizes our agents’ own mobile devices, providing our platforms an extra layer of protection. Simple to use, difficult to compromise.

Screening, Screening, Screening

Before contracting with Liveops, our agents are screened through background checks and further identity verification. These barriers to entry—along with a comprehensive cybersecurity course which agents are required to pass—ensure that our calls are handled exclusively by those who have displayed the highest level of trust and professionalism.

Employ Virtual Desktops When Appropriate

For our clients who request more robust cybersecurity systems and data classification, virtual desktops are available for agent use. These desktops allow agents to access data exclusively on the terms set forth by our clients. At the highest level, virtual desktops isolate agents’ computers and eliminate the risks associated with remote operations. All client data is fenced off and cannot be accessed outside of the virtual desktop.

Encryption is Key

In order to secure agents’ connection to client data, end-to-end encryption is a necessity. Standardized encryption scrambles and encodes data so that only authorized parties are able to access it, thereby protecting our clients’ sensitive data from attack, including man-in-the-middle hacks.

While our team is confident in and proud of the cybersecurity infrastructure we have developed over the years, we also understand that online environments are constantly changing and evolving. Those who seek to gain access to sensitive and valuable data regularly develop new techniques in order to achieve their goals, whether that be through the use of crypto viruses or social engineering that exploits individual user behavior.

Our job not only involves ensuring that agents and our software are fully trained and equipped to face these challenges but also to stay one step ahead of those with malicious intent. And speaking from our performance so far, we like to think that we are up for the challenge.

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Paul Leavens

Paul Leavens, CISSP, is the SVP of IT and Security at Liveops. He has over 20 years of experience leading IT organizations with a passion for innovation through technology.