The methods of electronic communication have changed considerably over the past decade. Hitting breakneck speed in the last 2 years due to the COVID-19 response. Technology has supported this progress by developing more and more ways to communicate. By integrating these separate communication tools, the concept of Unified Communication has been created.
Unified Communication (UC) is a concept where business communications that are exchanged via a network are integrated into a single user interface. This includes services such as instant messaging (chat), voice (including IP telephony), mobile telecom services, audio, video conferencing, and many others. When integrated with CRM database access, you have an efficient customer/vendor/employee service tool.
The researchers at the research-based advisory and consulting firm Nemertes specialize in analyzing the business value of emerging technologies. They found that 67% of businesses are moving significant portions of their UC solutions to the cloud. This cloud based communication model is known as Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS).
UCaaS allows employees to work anywhere. A critical feature given the remote office world we are living in now. When businesses had to rush to provide collaboration to their employees, security may not have been part of the decision-making process.
When it comes to implementing a secure UCaaS solution, the ins and outs can be overwhelming. Unless you’re an expert on secure connectivity, you’ll be working with a service provider that should be able to adequately answer the following questions.
1. How is access to your service controlled?
It is important to know how the systems are managed. Beyond knowing what all configuration settings are available, it is important to know who has administrator access to assign user permissions, add and delete phone extensions, managing extension PINs. All modifications need to be logged and reviewed.
2. Data Center
The service provider should be able to tell you where the servers running the communication tools are located? How is access to these servers controlled and recorded? To ensure maximum data protection, you may want to check if your provider’s data center uses Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). MFA requires three layers of security not only for physical access to the property but for virtual access to your platform as well.
3. End-to-End Encryption
The Service provider should guarantee End-To-End Encryption (E2E) for all network traffic. This means that only the parties involved in the communication (voice, video, messaging, & more) have access to the data. Even the provider shouldn’t have access if they aren’t part of the interaction, nor does anyone else. Only involved entities have the encryption keys.
A good UCaaS implementation will become core do your business. As such, it needs to be reliable. The Service provider needs to be able to explain how they build reliability into the service. How often do they test their backup and fail-over systems.
5. Two-Factor Authentication
Administrators set user permissions. Two-factor authentication for user log-in insures access permission only to authenticated users. When prompted, this type of validation requires the user to enter a code generated through a third party authenticator.
Does the service allow administrators to customize verification frequency to your organization’s needs? Some applications may need two-factor authentication every sign-on. For other others, less frequent validation may suffice.
As your company’s data and information needs to be more internet accessible to support remote work, it is important to protect it. When contracting with service providers, make sure that they are treating your data security with the same level of focus as you do.
Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.
John Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or his team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise based solution.