Cloud contact centers: Avoid a costly security headache


19 Oct 2023

Why do many organizations hit unexpected turbulence when moving their contact centers to the cloud? Here’s an insight into a stormy issue – and how to avoid it.

The global cloud-based contact center market is estimated to be growing from $17.1 billion to $54.7 billion in the five years to 2027 – that’s a compound rate of about 26% a year, according to research.

Organizations are attracted by greater scalability, flexibility, simpler management, and the access to tools for greater insights into the customer journey.

There’s movement within the cloud too. Early adopters are switching providers for a better deal — or contact center features that align better with their roadmap.

In addition, large numbers of organizations are in the throes of trying to save vast sums by consolidating corporate data onto a single platform, often following mergers and acquisitions. Several businesses’ worth of telephony and communications can get swept up in a single cloud mega deal.

But sometimes anticipated savings are wiped out – before cloud-based contact centers take their first call.

What migrations teams mustn’t miss

Migrating your contact center can be a great move. But here are a set of facts that the C-suite, contact center leaders, and migration teams must have at the front of their minds:

  • The cloud is a sweet spot for criminals. Cloud environments were frequent targets for cyber attackers in 2023, according to the Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, an IBM study based on independent research by the Ponemon Institute. In fact, 82% of data breaches explored in the report involved data stored in the cloud.
  • Typically, criminals target customer personal identifiable information (PII) – which includes payment card details – commonly processed by contact centers. The IBM study found that 52% of all breaches involved some form of customer PII. This was the most common and costliest of data being stolen.
  • Cloud platforms have their own robust security. But this doesn’t extend to everything you do in the cloud with your contact center and its sought-after data. PCI DSS 4.0 security, GDPR and CPRA privacy requirements and other compliance demands are your responsibility.
  • Often, contact centers protect sensitive data in their existing environments using software and configurations that have been carefully tailored and evolved over years by specialists – to specific needs. This may relate to securing multiple contact channels, taking transactions, call recordings, transcriptions and more. But migration teams may lack any in-depth understanding of how the old set-up works.
  • The new cloud contact center package may promise to provide security across key areas. But, in reality, its out-of-the-box security can lack the critical features and nuances of the center’s previous bespoke set-up, such as integration with a payment platform and CRM. It could turn out that the new cloud service doesn’t offer a security equivalent.

The painful truth is that many of these factors we’ve listed can come together to create a nightmare scenario: An organization’s new cloud platform is unable to take payments securely.

This can be a show-stopper for cloud transformation teams.

Squealing brakes, costly renewals

Security shortcomings are often discovered on the eve of a phased migration – and panic ensues. Brakes are applied and the go-live date for the contact center could be put off for months, as migration teams scramble for answers.

Worse still, organizations then have to go back to their previous contact center vendors and plead for a short-term contract renewal. By now, goodwill has evaporated and the enterprise may get stung with a full 12 months of service and support – or maybe more. Any expected early cloud savings are wiped out.

Planning ahead pays off

Here are three steps for a smoother transition for your contact center to a new home in the cloud.

  • Step 1: Understand your current set-up
    If there’s nuance and complexity around your existing contact center stack, then it’s best to know this – long before you launch in the cloud. Your team can then pinpoint potential areas of risk. Don’t assume a simple tick-box from a CCaaS (contact center as a service) vendor will suffice.
  • Step 2: Engage early with specialist partner
    The best suppliers – in areas such as contact center security – will have ready-to-go integrations with the leading CCaaS platforms. You can then take your robust security with you, or find someone new who’s got a track record providing specialist security in the cloud. This can take a huge weight off your shoulders.
  • Step 3: Protect your migration, end to end
    Often, cloud migrations are phased. So you need a contact center security specialist who’ll be experienced in providing a shield of data protection before, during, and after you’ve made the switch. Migration itself will be challenging enough. Ensure someone else can save you from the added risk of a serious data breach.

Discover more

Eckoh has supported many contact center migrations to the cloud for a range of customers across industries. We understand the complexities and pressures involved. We’ll help to safeguard your migration and help to ensure your cloud strategy delivers benefits from day one.

Moving to the cloud?

Speak to one of our contact center security experts to discuss how you can make your migration to the cloud smooth, whilst maintaining ultimate security.

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