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Safeguard Your Customers and Data with Advanced Unified Communications Security

The bad guys will not stop… Cybersecurity challenges are never-ending.

This is a big concern in virtually every industry, especially those where most interactions have gone digital to meet customer preferences for self-serve and engagement through the channels they prefer – at the time they want.

While this is convenient for customers, it has created significant operational and cybersecurity challenges for contact centers. To provide excellent customer service experiences, contact centers must authenticate a customer’s identity, address questions and concerns, and process transactions quickly and efficiently.

Throughout the process, customers must feel like every interaction is secure, and companies must ensure they protect customer privacy during and after a call. With the proper unified communications (UC) tools, organizations can streamline and secure all contact center conversations to meet omnichannel service expectations before, during, and after a customer connects with a live agent.

Voice Authentication personalizes Service and Reduces Fraud

Large and small organizations are implementing digital transformation strategies designed to streamline contact center interactions. Since only some customers need the help of a contact center agent, these efforts are focused on automating processes with self-serve channels that lower costs. For example, chat and voice bots are being introduced to act as virtual agents, deliver services, promote new products, and provide personalized customer experiences — all without connecting the customer to an agent.

But regardless of which digital self-serve path is available, chances are that a caller will eventually want to go beyond simple questions to discuss a specific account. At that point, a live connection with an agent will be needed. When that happens, the agent must be assured of the caller’s identity before dealing with personal account information. While security questions were enough to protect the customer and the business in the past, today’s cybersecurity landscape is a lot more complicated. A disembodied voice on the other end of the line may not be who it claims to be.

Speech recognition systems can be integrated with existing UC platforms to add a layer of cybersecurity protection. These systems can identify the caller’s intent, authenticate the customer using voice biometrics, and then segment and route the call to the best agent to handle the request. With these digital workflows, companies can streamline the call management process and enable a more personalized interaction because the agent will spend less time authenticating the person on the other end of the call and more time dealing with the customer’s specific questions.

Integrated Voice Response and Recording Capabilities enable Advanced Cyber Protection

TCI offers contact center solutions that include an embedded, self-service Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system with an optional speech recognition feature that enables authentication before an agent is connected. With our customized UC platforms, businesses get a complete communications, collaboration, and customer experience solution designed to maintain the security of contact center interactions for any organization.

Organizations that want additional cyber protection for contact center calls can opt for Interaction Recording (IR) to record all calls and then search for, play, and interrogate call recordings for security and privacy regulation compliance. Advanced speech analytics capabilities built into the system enable companies to analyze recordings for potential fraud, categorize calls as “high risk,” and then suggest countermeasures that can be taken to avoid losses.

TCI’s advanced solutions can be applied to support both centralized contact center operations and decentralized organizations with multiple branch offices that manage customer calls.

Privacy Features that ensure Regulatory Compliance

Of course, in addition to maintaining a high level of cyber protection for all contact center interactions, companies must also comply with data protection regulations designed to protect the privacy of customer data. The changing and complex regulations surrounding data privacy and security compliance have created another challenge for both centralized and decentralized operations.

TCI offers solutions built to protect personal data captured during a call by contact center agents either on an agent’s screen or a voice recording. For example, information collected by workflows can be masked to protect personal data as it is being collected. To control access to stored data, information required by the system to perform certain functions (name, phone number, email address, and voice and multimedia transcripts) can be automatically deleted when no longer required to provide service. Plus, multi-level security privileges can be applied to limit access to all data based on user profiles.

Enable Great Customer Service while optimizing Cybersecurity

Ultimately, the cybersecurity protection that businesses build into their contact center processes should be seamless and efficient. Self-serve options should authenticate a customer’s identity before connecting to a live agent. Agents should be able to address customer questions and manage transactions quickly and efficiently without being bogged down by cybersecurity protocols. UC tools enable enterprises to achieve this level of protection without compromising omnichannel service objectives.

Learn how TCI can help your contact center thrive in the digital age, improve your bottom line, and adhere to security, compliance, and fraud mitigation requirements.

Call us today at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 


In-Building Broadband Connections Made Easy with TCI’s Wi-Fi Service

TCI’s Managed Wi-Fi Service… Simplify and speed up your day-to-day operations. Our Managed Wi-Fi puts intuitive yet powerful tools in the hands of your network administrators:

  • Add wireless capacity in minutes with fully automatic provisioning
  • Manage complex, dynamic environments using Auto RF
  • Throttle bandwidth and block unauthorized applications
  • Streamline device onboarding with built-in Mobile Device Management

Wi-Fi 6 Support… TCI supports enterprise-class Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) access points to solve density and throughput challenges. With up to 8 transmit and 8 receive antennas, your applications will always operate at peak performance. In addition to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios, many APs offer a dedicated security radio that:

  • Continuously scans and protects against security threats
  • Senses the RF environment and adapts to interference
  • Automatically configures RF settings to maximize performance

Wireless Made Easy… From growing offices to large corporate enterprises, TCI designs, implements and maintains the wireless networks that keep local businesses connected and running strong. Our expertise includes:

  • Wireless site surveys
  • Wireless coverage testing
  • Access point cabling
  • Wireless security
  • Wireless network management

Whatever your environment and business goals, TCI can design, deploy, and support a cloud-managed wireless solution for you.

Our certified infrastructure experts will ensure your mobile workforce has access to the connections they need to stay productive. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 


Stay Safe and Keep it Simple… 4 Essential Actions to Take During Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The theme of CISA’s, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Cybersecurity Awareness Month is “Secure Our World.” They are asking all of us to do our part.

CISA offers helpful tips, videos and resources to protect yourself, your family, and your business from online threats here:

https://www.cisa.gov/secure-our-world

CISA recommends all of us – individuals, families and businesses – to keep it simple and focus on these four critical actions this month – and all year long.

  • Use Strong Passwords – Strong passwords are long, random, unique, and include all four character types (uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols). Password managers are a powerful tool to help you create strong passwords for each of your accounts.
  • Turn On MFA – You need more than a password to protect your online accounts and enabling MFA makes you significantly less likely to get hacked. Enable MFA on all your online accounts that offer it, especially email, social media and financial accounts.
  • Recognize & Report Phishing – Be cautious of unsolicited messages asking for personal information. Avoid sharing sensitive information or credentials with unknown sources. Report phishing attempts and delete the message.
  • Update Software – Ensuring your software is up to date is the best way to make sure you have the latest security patches and updates on your devices. Regularly check for updates if automatic updates are not available.

Your UC and Voice Communications need to be protected too. Need help with your UC or Voice communications security?

Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 


How RingCentral Provides Best-in-Class Cloud Voice Security for the Hybrid Work Environment

During the turmoil of the last few years, businesses of all sizes scrambled to put in place flexible communications and collaboration tools to enable their employees to work from their homes or office. Many pieced together several applications for video conferencing, messaging, and telephony without considering the importance of a holistic security strategy.

Security is essential for UCaaS which spans the cloud provider hosting facility, network infrastructure, applications, and customer business processes. This affords IT departments peace of mind and enables them to focus on core business requirements rather than spending time creating and enforcing security policies across the UCaaS environment.

What Does Security with RingCentral MVP Look Like?

Maintaining customers’ trust in their data handling practices, demonstrating respect for data privacy, and arming customers with dynamic admin controls are top priorities at RingCentral and TCI.

The foundation of RingCentral MVP’s best-in-class security is its secure cloud platform with end-to-end encryption and a robust portfolio of security and compliance certifications.

RingCentral MVP offers compliance with global privacy laws and frameworks such as GDPR and HIPAA, stringent information security protection, and privacy and compliance controls to safeguard your business. Compliance with various industry regulatory standards includes STIR / SHAKEN, Kari’s Law, RAY BAUM’s Act, FINRA, HITRUST, and PCI.

The RingCentral MVP platform also puts a comprehensive set of administrative controls across video, message, and phone systems at your fingertips. You can require meeting attendees to authenticate, limit who can enable screen sharing, and require waiting rooms for your users to approve attendees who can join meetings.

For existing Mitel cloud communications customers, our partnership with RingCentral makes upgrading to the leading UCaaS platform a convenient, cost-effective, and secure business decision.

Arrange a meeting with our Cloud Voice Experts to discuss security and start your upgrade to the cloud. We’ll help you at each step of your journey to RingCentral MVP. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 

Keep Your Guard Up! Another Softphone Breach Shows Why Mitel Software Assurance is so Important

Software maintenance and updates, often called Software Assurance, aren’t top of mind for many business leaders. And yet, when you fail to realize its importance, big problems can occur, like last month’s softphone security breach that affected millions of people.

Together, TCI and Mitel are determined to help our customers safeguard what counts.

We understand the importance of protecting against the unexpected – proactively monitoring for threats, installing the latest patches and fixes, and providing outstanding support whenever our clients have an issue.

Mitel is tracking the security posture of global companies

Research has found that only 37% of companies have implemented a proactive security strategy covering real-time and non-real-time applications and services. 30% say they’re either developing or evaluating a security strategy, and 33% of companies are approaching communications and collaboration security in a piecemeal fashion.

Mitel is a Global Leader in Secure Communications

Mitel’s Secure Development Life Cycle is a comprehensive framework that begins with new app development and extends through ongoing product security and data privacy assurance. Mitel’s framework includes proven governance, security practice standards and guidance, constant measurement, and continuous improvement.

Local Response. Global Resources.

TCI backs up our DC region response working with Mitel’s Global Product Security Incident Response Team. Time is your most valuable asset during a security attack, so the sooner you identify and mitigate a threat the more likely you are to minimize the cost and damage of that attack.

TCI customers also benefit from our global network of Mitel partners, engineers, and customers who help us understand security issues and quickly take proper remediation steps together.

Mitel’s commitment to software assurance can also be found in Mitel’s latest software assurance (SWA) levels: Advantage SWA and Premium SWA

Both offer Mitel’s industry-leading protection, including 24x7x365 tech support, rapid response times, enriched performance analytics, automated security and functionality updates, APIs, full access to CloudLink Gateway, and real-time support during security incidents.

Even the best software assurance can’t guarantee you’ll avoid being attacked. What it can do is make sure you’re prepared and fully supported so that attacks are deflected or mitigated before they negatively impact your business.

If you don’t have that level of confidence in your communications, let’s talk about Mitel Software Assurance. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.


Choosing the Best Deployment Platform for Your Business Communications

We don’t believe in “one size fits all.” TCI’s custom solutions are designed to meet the precise communication needs of large and small organizations. A variety of cloud and on-premises deployments are available to connect your company and every location in your enterprise, and we’ll help you find the one that fits you best.

Cloud Considerations

When it comes to the cloud, here are some of the factors that will help determine the best platform or combination for your business…

  • What goes in the cloud? What stays? Start by identifying the applications that really matter and check for redundant functionality across applications; then focus on the key business and technical reasons for moving to the cloud. Use those decisions to shape the specific criteria for determining which applications should move to the cloud.
  • What level of privacy and security do you need? If you’re in government or a highly regulated industry like financial services or healthcare, you may want to consider combining a private, onsite platform with cloud services. A hybrid solution enables you to keep control of your communications infrastructure while still reaping cloud benefits like scalability, resiliency, and cost management. If advanced features, privacy, and control are essential to your business, dedicated private solutions offer the customized tools and flexibility you need.
  • How important is reliability? If your workforce needs immediate and reliable access to complex data, like large multimedia files, consider storing your data using redundant onsite and offsite storage. If you operate a busy contact center, a dedicated private cloud solution combined with redundant backup can protect you from costly downtime – if you lose your onsite system, the cloud will be there. Likewise, if a network failure hits your cloud provider your in-house infrastructure will be your safety net.
  • Will the communications system grow and flex with you? For many small and mid-sized organizations, the public cloud environment can be very cost-effective. You typically pay on a flat, user-per-month basis. In addition, even though you may connect via a public Internet connection, you can overlay a private network service for added reliability. A hybrid solution gives you added flexibility to scale more broadband when needed, ensures reliability, and allows you to maintain control.

On-Prem Still Makes Sense for Many Industries

Many TCI customers continue to choose on-prem based on control, reliability, security, customization capabilities, and complex integrations with other business applications. In some cases, Cloud providers either simply do not support these customizations or, if they do, they require the use of additional third-party platforms and complex custom application development.

A preference for CAPEX over OpEX and forecasted Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are financial factors that drive some organizations to go with on-premises platforms or complement what they have with cloud apps.

Making the Right Decision

TCI can help you refine your communications strategy and will design, deploy, and support a solution tailored to your specific requirements – on prem, cloud, or a blend of both.

Get started today. Contact us at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.

 

The Power & Business Benefits of a Single Platform UCaaS Solution

Create new opportunities to boost efficiency, improve employee experience, and better serve customers.

For all the power we now carry in our pockets with our phones, many businesses still struggle with enabling seamless communications and collaboration in the world of remote and hybrid work.

Apart from the fact that talking — real-time audio conversation — has become one of the least popular communication methods, and collaboration platforms are incredibly diverse, there’s a wide variety of solutions for messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, whiteboarding… the list goes on.

Many businesses have invested in a Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) platform to replace their old fragmented systems. The next step is to integrate communication and collaboration into one platform.

The Benefits of Bringing it all Together

Bringing communications and collaboration into a single, purpose-built platform delivers four key benefits.

1. Remote work. Recent research from the SMG Group shows that hybrid work environments are a crucial differentiator when people are looking for jobs. This helps businesses attract and retain top talent and makes it easier for employees to collaborate.

2. Business-app integration. Having communication and collaboration tools all on one app makes it much easier to integrate with your other business apps and processes. Why? It gives you a single integration point rather than having to integrate with multiple apps in a patchwork solution.

3. Cross-channel communication. A universally compatible platform works, regardless of device or operating system. This lowers the burden on your IT staff to troubleshoot compatibility issues and is another enabler of productivity and collaboration for your employees.

4. Asynchronous and live communication. Real-time communication is sometimes essential. But not every discussion or workstream must, or can, happen in real-time. Asynchronous chat helps everyone stay current between live calls no matter the time zone or hour of the day.

How to Choose the Right UCaaS Solution

Once you’ve decided to move to UCaaS that combines communication and collaboration tools on a single platform, remember that not all of these solutions are created equal.

Here are the must-haves to consider as you evaluate moving to a new UCaaS solution…

  • Ease of onboarding. Is the platform easy to use, with a friendly user interface? Will the vendor help with change management as you migrate?
  • Security. How does the vendor address issues like encryption and authentication? How do they keep your data safe from cyberattacks?
  • Reliability. Does the service have guaranteed uptime? How robust is their customer service in the case of an adverse event?
  • Versatility. Is the solution compatible with the other business programs you use every day? Do they offer a comprehensive suite of integrations and/or API availability to draft your own?
  • Global integration. Will the platform be as reliable and responsive in Europe and Asia as it is in the United States?

Together is Better

If your business is experiencing barriers to working together across the office, remote and hybrid work environments, your local TCI team can help bring your communication and collaboration together. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Keeping Up with Data Security & Privacy Regulations… They’re Complex and Changing

Because larger enterprises are highly visible, serve a large customer base, and typically have deep pockets, they need to adhere to the highest standards of compliance. But that becomes more challenging when policy and regulations are a moving target.

To avoid penalties for non-compliance, enterprises must thoroughly research the data privacy and security laws of each market they operate in before placing sensitive and critical data in the cloud. The more geographically distributed they are, the more research they need to do, and the more requirements they must comply with to avoid ending up on the wrong side of regulations.

The TCI and Mitel Solution

For example, TCI’s Mitel-powered solutions allow enterprises to deploy their unified collaboration and communication solutions in their data center, in a partner-managed data center, or via a dedicated instance private cloud environment that uses data center companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Azure – or any combination – to achieve compliance with local data privacy laws.

Selecting a serverless private cloud option using AWS, Google, or Azure enables the enterprise to keep control of its data without owning its hardware. This option also removes the complexity of maintaining hardware, simplifying management, and reducing costs. Finally, using the private cloud option increases flexibility to grow or reduce capacity, based on changing business needs.

Our customers can also leverage hybrid cloud scenarios, where the on-premises solution can be deployed using a private cloud in combination with cloud applications. This approach provides the ability to either remain on a current on-premises solution using dedicated hardware, use a private cloud while taking advantage of cloud applications, or migrate or expand a part of the business using a public cloud solution.

It’s All About Choices

When the stakes are high and complexity looms large, many enterprises are turning to TCI and Mitel. Talk with our experts about how to find the right communications solution deployment for each market and how to ensure they all work together.

Learn more about how TCI can help you successfully navigate the complex data security and privacy environment. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Need Wi-Fi Support Help? Simplify Management & Secure Your Office Network from the Cloud

Wireless connections are a critical element of today’s network infrastructure and one that consumes a growing share of IT resources to secure and manage. To support your wireless connections, TCI offers cloud-managed Wi-Fi solutions that enable you to streamline switching, routing, and security tasks via the web.

Protecting your Wi-Fi networks

You can arrange to dynamically grant or restrict network access to a device based on its security status, location, installed software and OS version, and more. And when a user fails to comply with a set security measure – such as disabling the antivirus program, jail-breaking a device, removing a passcode, or leaving a given territory – that person’s access to your Wi-Fi networks will be automatically revoked.

Need Wi-Fi support help?

TCI’s certified network experts can optimize and manage the hosting of your entire Wi-Fi infrastructure by offering:

  • Immediate implementation and expansion of Wi-Fi, switching, and security to new sites.
  • Upgrades, patches, and maintenance.
  • Support to allow mobile and remote workers to become as productive on the road as in the office.
  • Tiered services to suit the needs of any sized organization.

TCI’s cloud experts are ready to help you secure and manage your Wi-Fi network. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 


The Bad Guys Are Listening… Preventing Desktop Phone Hacks

Many offices have IP phones, but unknown to most users is that hackers can actually listen to everything that’s going on in the room – whether or not you are on a phone call.

Hackers from a remote location have been able to exploit some IP phones’ vulnerable software and firmware to gain access – even phones sitting behind a firewall.

Here’s some of the mischief hackers do when they ‘tap’ your IP phone:

  • Listen in on your phone conversations and identify who you’re calling.
  • With access to the phone’s microphone, hackers can feed the conversation into a speech-to-text engine and post the transcript to social media.
  • Since the microphone never shuts off, hackers can listen to everything the phone hears, such as conversations in a company’s board room.

IP phones are basically computers and manufacturers periodically issue software and firmware updates to plug security holes. The trouble is that smaller businesses – and many larger ones – are still lax about keeping their systems updated with the latest patches.

The most effective way to stop hackers from taking control of your IP phones – or any other computer – is to keep the software and firmware current with the latest patches from your phone manufacturer.

Ignoring these patches – or waiting too long to implement them – could leave your business exposed to hackers bent on doing it serious harm.

Concerned about possible IP phone vulnerabilities at your location? We have security and communication solutions that can protect your business. Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.