Your communications system is a direct gateway to your customers. Your phones, email, fax system, and everything in between, are all access points into your business. As such, it’s vital to make sure they are equipped with the latest safeguards in order to keep bad actors out of your enterprise and away from your customers’ sensitive data.
Research, after all, shows that hackers now attack once every 39 seconds. And in 2020, the average cost of a data breach will exceed $150 million. Cyber crime is getting worse with each passing year, and it’s not going to improve in 2020. In fact, cyber crime is evolving, as hackers are looking for ways to leverage next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence as a means of attacking corporate networks. We could start seeing attacks that are much more sophisticated, and dangerous.
Secure Communications In 5 Steps
So, what can you do to protect your communications endpoints? Here is a checklist that you can use to help reduce the likelihood of an attack:
Security and Information Event Management (SIEM)
If you are running a global enterprise with multiple contact centers and thousands of remote agents, it’s vital to set up a SIEM system to detect and eliminate suspicious activity. A SIEM system will be able to identify a potential intruder by their location and credentials.
For example, if someone tries to log into a backend customer database after hours from a country where you don’t typically do business, advanced security controls can be triggered to investigate the issue and restrict access. A SIEM system can act as your ears and eyes across a global network.
Regular Penetration Testing
Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities that they can exploit to gain entrance into your network. If your business doesn’t find these vulnerabilities first, you can assume that hackers will. The way to identify such vulnerabilities is by performing penetration testing, which can be done either automatically or manually. Ideally, you should have an automated system in place and a team of trained cybersecurity experts working to locate weak points.
Global networks will utilize many different connections, from numerous potentially insecure sources. Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) can provide encrypted connectivity, securing traffic while it is in transit. SD-WAN can also provide improved visibility and centralized management for IT administrators, empowering them to make changes to a global WAN from a single location.
Many organizations need to go above and beyond to protect their systems and data. Healthcare agencies, for instance, must follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Government agencies must buy from General Services Administration (GSA) certified vendors. And companies doing business in Europe must follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). IT administrators in highly regulated industries are strongly encouraged to buy from vendors with a proven ability to maintain compliance.
Companies typically embrace unified communications (UC) because it helps them improve productivity and reduce costs. But did you know there’s a security advantage to using this software, too? Without UC, businesses are left using disparate phones, fax machines, email systems, databases, and more. This often leads to shadow IT, where administrators may lose track of the systems that are being used across an enterprise. As a result, security issues can arise outside of the scope of IT. With UC, however, IT administrators can drastically reduce shadow IT, secure sensitive data, and maintain monitored databases instead of leaving data in various unauthorized locations.