As we enter another COVID-19 lockdown, it is beginning to feel like Groundhog Day.
However, we need to keep our hopes up as the vaccine is offered to the most vulnerable people around the country and there is a chink of light at the end of a very long, bat filled tunnel.
As a nation, we know what lockdowns have in store and are now much more prepared to deal with the challenges arising. For example, in the outsource sector, we know that lockdowns over the past year have resulted in significant spikes in contact centre activity across all channels, voice and digital, as people adapt to remote working.
The industry is booming, and we expect that this trend will continue throughout the current lockdown and into the future.
However, many businesses are still being overwhelmed by the number of calls they are receiving, citing COVID-19 and working from home in cases of lengthy waiting times. But what's even more precarious is that there is also a real risk that, where there are staff shortages and a lack of resources, businesses could find themselves open to serious data breaches.
The potential for a breach in the confidentiality, integrity or availability of data has been magnified by the speed at which many businesses have implemented teleworking without the necessary risk assessments and security controls being in place. It's an almost perfect storm.
Indeed, many call centre workers globally continue to work from home, and the EU foreign affairs wing found high levels of pandemic-related cyber-attacks in the previous lockdowns. This means that data security and protection need to be stepped up and strengthened quickly.
Data Protection Act requirements have not changed with the pandemic, and at Lemon we have made sure that we continue to deliver the same, if not better, data protection as we have introduced teleworking in to our business model.
Since the introduction of GDPR legislation in 2018 the ICO are now able to impose significant global fines and it is therefore advisable for other businesses to also think seriously about their own information security policies and that of their outsource partners.
With a mixture of staff at Lemon working in the office and remotely during this lockdown, as they have done throughout the pandemic, we have invested in our data protection controls to ensure that our clients retain their trust in the level of data security that we provide.
At Lemon, we take data protection very seriously and are certified to Information Security Management (ISO 27001), the global gold standard for securing information. ISO27001 is a framework that helps our business to establish, implement, operate, monitor, review, maintain and continually improve our information security management system.
Our ISO27001 certification provides confidence to our clients and callers that their data remains private and secure.
Lockdown is no longer a new thing and it is imperative that we continue to provide the highest quality information security for our customers, whether we work from home or from the office.
As an industry, we can’t allow data security controls to slide, pandemic or not. Ignorance is not an excuse.