Stormy weather: Compliance and security in the cloud

With Microsoft’s announcement on the 1st July about the general availability of ‘public switched telephone network’ (PSTN) Calling as part of Skype for Business Online, agile working just got made even easier. As more businesses embrace agile working this means that staff are increasingly working out of office, bringing their own devices into the workplace, or using their mobiles to make calls as well as sometimes even arranging deals.

In the never-ending battle to reduce costs and increase margins, businesses are looking at all options with many turning to cloud solutions, such as Skype for Business for making and receiving calls, as a cheaper alternative. The benefits however, are far more than simply commercial – a key feature of cloud solutions are their flexibility and scale. For example, it can make working with overseas colleagues, partners and customers much more seamless, as well as making business expansion into new regions far more ‘instant’. It allows organisations to flex up and down based on its needs.

[easy-tweet tweet=”A key feature of #cloud solutions are their flexibility” hashtags=”security”]

However, as with all new technologies, there comes a certain amount of uncertainty, misunderstanding and fear. In the case of the cloud, many fear the potential compliance and security risks that come with the freedom to work anywhere at any time – but should they?

On the one hand, the agility that these solutions provide is perfect for staff, particularly with the ever increasing number of mobile workers. They’re not bogged down in the office and can freely travel between meetings, clients and in some cases countries. From a business perspective, giving your workforce this level of flexibility results in a more productive, engaged and happy workforce.

However, it may give lead to internal IT headaches, since it could open a debate over the levels of security, compliance and data protection that cloud solutions such as Skype for Business provide online.

The financial services industry has had to deal with these issues for a while. It has been a requirement for some time that calls relating to trades need to be recorded to prevent any potential market abuse. MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) will be extending this to calls from everyone in the advice chain, an additional burden on compliance departments. In addition, the US has been recording mobile calls since the introduction of Dodd Frank. In the past, a large number of firms simply banned client communication from mobile devices as they could control their own fixed landlines.

However, it’s not just financial services that need to monitor and record calls. We have seen a rise in non-financial service businesses looking for call recording solutions to increase staff productivity whilst improving the customer experience. Any business that buys or sells over the phone might find themselves one day dealing with an irate customer contesting an order. This means someone has to find out which side originated the mistake, if any. If the call wasn’t recorded then it can become a battle of ‘he-said, she-said’, with no real possibility of getting to the bottom of the issue or being able to learn from any incidents. The only way to do this is making sure that every call is recorded, no matter the device or location.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Where can businesses store the high volumes of call data being collected?” hashtags=”cloud, security, business”]

Recording mobile and online calls are crucial for compliance but once the call is recorded, what next? An average day on a trading floor or in the sales department of a busy company can result in hours and hours of conversations. Where can businesses store the high volumes of call data being collected?

All of these have to be stored and easily retrieved when an issue arises. The sheer expense and computer-intensive nature of storing hours of calls can be beyond many businesses, especially when margins are already being squeezed. The cloud is an obvious solution but some businesses are still concerned about security. If it’s not tangible and easily locked away like sticks upon sticks of memory, it’s not hard to see why it doesn’t feel particularly safe to some.

The challenge then arises for any business of how to store the valuable data being collected whilst meeting regulatory compliance whilst also protecting the business from online security threats. An increasing number are looking to encryption services to prevent any mishaps or leaks of customer and trade data.

As businesses become more and more flexible they are still having to deal with continued waves of rigid regulation and an increasing number of online security threats often in the form of illegal hacks. Making sure that there is a solution that will keep companies compliant and protected is of paramount importance – no matter the device, there must be a simple way for staff to record their calls and encrypt the data in the cloud. There may be stormy weather, but a solid solution should keep companies in the clear.

Register for Cisilion and TeleWare’s joint event on 17th August, where speakers will be talking about security and compliance in the cloud, ROI and Skype for Business.

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