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But, What If It’s Just A SMALL Change?

February 1, 2021

We have some employees in India. Not many, just a few. We have thousands of employees in the United States. In fact, our India employees are not really agents. They are what you would call back office employees.

Our client has really strict security protocols. They include software and network protections, as you would imagine; anti-virus software, firewalls, etc. We also have physical security requirements. In our call centers, where we might three or four hundred employees, that means cameras, turnstiles, and various other security requirements. Since our agents have access to member information, we take the security of that information very seriously.

Our back office folks don’t access member data. Instead, they are concerned with schedules and hours of operations and balancing peak loads. The data is still valuable and still needs to be protected, but it’s not as critical as personal identity information, or PII.

Originally we got a variance for the India employees. But, as time when on, scope creep set in.

My lovely wife and I were once going to build a wall to divide our kitchen from our laundry room. It was just going to be a small wall, about 10 feet long with a door. We figured it would take about a month and cost $500.And then scope creep set in. I was not yet trained in project management.

When we finished, we had our wall. We also had an entirely new kitchen, including ceiling, cabinets, appliances, tile floor, even a new kitchen sink. We didn’t go straight from a short wall to a $5000 brand new kitchen. Instead, it was one change at a time.

I’ve thought about that kitchen as we’ve worked with our India employees. Originally they were in various desks around a cube farm.

We are going to need all the agents to sit in the same location, with their backs to a wall so no one else can see their screen.

Okay. That’s not hard. We have a building where company employees supporting other campaigns also sit. The building is secure. We have badge readers and cameras. But, we needed to isolate the five employees. Easy enough.

Oh, we’re also going to need to isolate the network traffic for these five employees separately from the rest of the traffic in the building.

Okaaaay. That’s a little more involved, but not terribly so. We rewire and reroute network traffic all the time. The next time we had an audit we got additional requirements.

It’s not really going to work to have them out in the open like this. Anyone could just walk by.

What are you saying?

We’re going to need them in their own room.

So we designated an office.

It needs to be a bigger room.

Okay.

With a badge reader.

Alright.

And anti-tailgating controls.

Right.

And we’re going to need a physical cage around the network equipment that services these employees.

Yeah.

And cameras. Don’t forget cameras covering the room and the door, but make sure they can’t see the screens. . .and the screens should not be visible from outside the room, either.

Work from home means that we don’t have a pressing schedule for getting the room done. Eventually, we’ll finish, I’m sure. After all, we eventually ran out of things to replace in our kitchen.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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