Insights|MAXhubs: Security Comes Standard

MAXhubs: Security Comes Standard

If you’re committed to reinventing the contact center - and associate experience - one of the first steps is rethinking your approach to compliance and security.

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by David Slaviero July 8, 2020 - 3 MIN READ

Security is one of the biggest challenges to delivering a differential customer experience (CX), whether in a contact center, our Sitel at Home environment or our new MAXhub sites that blend the best of the virtual and physical worlds of customer experience delivery.

Sitel Group’s MAXhub initiative is a global plan to redefine the contact center to reflect the realities of modern business and reflect the needs of our employees and the wider community. We have already opened nine in the Philippines and are preparing to open more in Colombia and Greece in the coming months.

Each MAXhub is a physical destination that draws inspiration from co-working spaces where employees and their families and friends can come to develop professional skills, engage with others and benefit from a host of resources, from educational libraries to sports facilities.

And of course, by taking a new approach to developing contact centers we also need to take a new approach to security.

Compliance alone is not enough

For certain industries and certain processes, there are existing regulations and prescribed security measures that must be taken – the most commonly known being PCI compliance – and in these instances the challenge is actually simplified as it’s clear what steps need to be taken to ensure a contact center can handle credit or debit card information.

But there are more risks to security than those set out in compliance guidelines. No matter how complex the regulations, simply meeting them shouldn’t be the ultimate aim. It should serve as the starting point.

Lead by example

We have a responsibility, to our people, our clients and to our industry to lead by example. Being one of the largest organizations operating in the BPO space makes us one of the biggest potential targets for cybercriminals. We need to act, not react and we need to treat security as a never-ending conversation between our own experts, our clients and cybersecurity thought leaders.

For example, immediately after social distancing measures were introduced in the U.S. and with it the need for us to transition the majority of our agents – not just in North America, but around the world – from physical sites to virtual locations, we worked closely with our clients to allay their concerns regarding not just security and compliance but also performance and quality assurance in relation to the work-at-home model.

Addressing client concerns

They knew that due to the hardware we supply our agents it was only possible to access systems during the hours of a shift and if the IP address matches the one on record and that physical USB plug-ins essentially disable the agent PC’s operating system. But of course, that is simply being compliant. This is why in addition we  leverage our expertise in speech analytics to add an active layer of protection.

Leveraging speech analytics

To guarantee compliance and consistency of customer experience delivery, we employ our own system called iCoach. It leverages speech analytics technology to track and monitor agent performance in real time – whether they’re working remotely or on-site. With iCoach, trainers and managers can spot any deviations from a script or isolate any individual conversational or emotive error and immediately coach the agent in question to remedy the situation.

And now we’ve taken these capabilities much further and have developed a system for active fraud prevention – including the ability to identify and flag attempts at social engineering in real time.

Engineering a response to social engineering

Just as with phishing, social engineering can be a serious issue at any time, but at the moment, when there is a pandemic, such nefarious activities step into high gear. Attempted attacks such as calling a bank on behalf of a customer who can’t come to the phone, because they’re in the hospital suffering from coronavirus, are expertly conceived to play on the other party’s emotions and concerns.

Every time a company suffers a data breach and a new list of passwords are exposed, all serious hackers integrate this new data into their existing toolkit so they’re more successful when attempting to access online accounts.

Our system follows the same principle. It is constantly updated with every new type of attempt at, and approach to, social engineering so that it becomes more intelligent and more effective every day.

Real-time compliance

Meanwhile, on the agent side, our system actively monitors each interaction to ensure every authentication step is always followed and all information an agent might give is in line with the corresponding regulation. So, for example, if the agent were supporting a client operating in the financial services industry, we could ensure compliance in relation to securities, investment, mortgage sales or loan protection.

But our use of speech analytics for compliance goes further still. Our systems are also populated with all pricing, fee and product information. It knows in real time if a customer is quoted the wrong price for a service or a product; and this feature can be applied to a work at home network serving any industry or sector, not simply financial services.

To learn more about our MAXhubs and why we believe it represents the contact center of the future, join us for a live webinar on July 16 featuring our co-founder and COO Olivier Camino.

David Slaviero
written by David Slaviero Chief Technology Officer
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