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Growing ModSquad’s Privacy and Information Security Teams

Every customer experience provider cares about privacy and security. It’s part of the job. But at ModSquad we’ve led the CX industry in both areas for more than a decade.  

Privacy consulting has been a key ModSquad service from the beginning. Our founder/CEO and COO — both attorneys — helped many kids’ games and virtual worlds companies understand and comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (“COPPA Rule”).

And we’ve been a remote work company since day one, all the way back to 2007. We’ve got well over a decade of experience securing a distributed workforce.

But the world doesn’t sit still, and neither do we. New privacy laws are being passed at a record clip and the pandemic has demonstrated that remote work isn’t just a perk, but a critical part of business continuity.

Recently, we’ve doubled down on privacy and security by adding two industry experts to our management team. Stephen Kline joins us as VP of Privacy and Legal Affairs, and Mark Olsen as VP of IT.

Privacy

Protecting privacy is critical to CX

We live our lives online now. We socialize and play, and so do our kids. We buy things. We get medical help. As we do, we share personal, payment, and medical information.  As CX service providers, part of our job is protecting that information.

Protecting privacy starts with a clear legal understanding of the regulations

If we’ve learned one thing about privacy, it’s this: There’s no substitute for looking at the various privacy standards and regulations from a legal point of view. Too often we’ve seen non-lawyer “privacy experts” misinterpret compliance requirements. The result? Companies either pay for solutions they don’t really need or, worse, fall short of compliance. 

Mapping a path to compliance requires starting with a clear, legal view of the matter. That’s always been a cornerstone of our CX approach.

The number of privacy laws and standards is rapidly increasing

With all the new privacy laws in place, and with more coming online soon, keeping up with their interpretation, application, and enforcement is a full-time job. Having a legal background is no longer sufficient — this is beyond the purview of the generalist. So we brought in a specialist.

Meet Stephen Kline, VP of Privacy and Legal Affairs

Stephen comes to ModSquad with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the consumer privacy area. From his time as Assistant Attorney General in New York to his most recent role as Vice President of Global Privacy at American Express, Stephen has been a leading voice in online consumer protection and privacy. He served as counsel specializing in privacy matters for such corporations as NBCUniversal and Nielsen. Also an expert on the COPPA Rule, Stephen was the first attorney to handle allegations of violation while working at the AG’s office. 

What’s on Stephen’s plate these days

In addition to Europe’s GDPR, California, Nevada, and Virginia have all passed comprehensive consumer data privacy laws. Numerous other states, including Washington, are considering similar legislation. 

With countries and states all passing their own privacy laws, Stephen sees the challenge of navigating multiple privacy regimes. In general, they follow most of the same principles. The default position is to simply comply with the strictest legislation, the highest bar. But things are going to get really interesting when these laws conflict. And they definitely will.

Protecting privacy is a balancing act

Aside from his acute legal mind, Stephen’s strength is understanding the context surrounding compliance: the business, the product, and the customer experience all require consideration. You also have to understand the limits of technology. People joke that lawyers only tell you what you can’t do. Stephen is the rare exception, like ModSquad’s founders, who sees solutions within the legal parameters.  

With Stephen on the team, clients can rest assured that working with ModSquad means having a partner who understands privacy and how to comply with the growing number of regulations.

Security

ModSquad’s three-tier security solution

We’ve been delivering secure CX services to the best brands in the world for quite some time now. Our current three-tier security solution is the best in the industry. And it reflects two core ideas.

Remote work is the key to great services. ModSquad has embraced the remote work model since we started — it’s part of our DNA. The remote model allows us to assemble the best teams, provide the most flexibility, and scale more quickly than our competitors.

Security should be customized. Every CX project requires security. But not every CX project requires specific standards such as SOC2 Type 2, or PCI, or HIPAA. Every project is different. From our standard distributed teams to operations centers, we deliver the appropriate security solution for each project.

But the world of security is changing rapidly

Covid-19 exposed the Achilles heel of the security approach embraced by most providers. The weakness? Security that relies on physical location. What happens when you have to shut down your call center or office? How do companies comply with privacy and security standards without controlling the physical location? 

Technology is changing, too. Even prior to the pandemic, the number of software solutions for securing remote networks, systems, and devices was growing. These days, that space is exploding. Software now affords a level of security that was unheard of even a few short years ago. Things like geolocation monitoring and continuous authentication are changing the game. And the use of AI and machine learning is just getting started.

Meet Mark Olsen, VP of IT

Mark recently spent 10 years as Vice President of IT for a Fortune 500 company, after similar roles in other tech-driven corporations. A developer by education, Mark ventured into IT when he helped establish that department at PeopleSoft (now Oracle). Mark enjoys big IT challenges, whether it’s building a department from the ground up, leading an enterprise digital transformation, or building out a logistics platform. Mark approaches IT as a strategic business partnership with sales and services. The end goal is customer success.  

Mark’s task? Making sure ModSquad’s security posture continues to be the best in the CX industry. 

The future of security at ModSquad

These days, Mark and the team are putting the finishing touches on the next generation of ModSquad’s security solution. The challenge is to evolve our remote security offerings in a way that complies with global and industry-specific privacy standards while at the same time maintaining the customization and flexibility that our clients have come to expect from ModSquad.

There will always be a need for operations centers — we just opened a new one in Costa Rica. But if the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that remote workforce is critical for business continuity. 

But our latest generation of security goes beyond improving the posture of our remote workforce. This platform is the foundation for our entire security infrastructure including our physical operations centers. This holistic approach means greater security, flexibility, and cost effectiveness across all of our CX services regardless of where they are deployed. “We’re putting the final touches on the platform now and we’re excited to reveal it soon,” says Olsen.

We’re excited, too. 

Welcome to the team, Stephen and Mark. Trust us: You’ll be seeing much more from these guys soon.

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