Network abuse teams deal with an immense amount of pressure. IT security is set to become even more of an issue, with global Internet provider networks supporting 10 billion new devices, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index™ (VNI) Complete Forecast for 2015 to 2020.
With so many connections to deal with, service providers will be further strained with increasing network security risks. Abuse desk managers will not only require better resources and tools to help curb abuse but psychosocial support too.
The following tips will help abuse managers succeed in handling their abuse team.
Manage Abuse Desk Employees That Are Technically Proficient But Lack People Skills
While abuse technicians can be high performing employees, not all individuals are sufficiently skilled in people Dynamics and Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Often, conflicts within teams and poor customer interactions arise as a result of stress and poor interpersonal skills.
According to a paper published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, highly effective communication is one of the most highly sought after workplace skills, illustrating that a shift towards soft skills development is a key criterion for business success. An M3AAWG best practice paper suggests that abuse employee roles should be realigned to place individuals with soft skills at the forefront of customer relations. These candidates can act as role models and coaches for abuse employees who lack EQ and relationship building skills.
Address Abuse Employees Concerns
Employees across all demographics and industries have personal and professional concerns at some point or another. Individual concerns, such as family, relationships, or financial matters, almost always affect work performance and productivity.
A major concern for abuse managers is the irresponsible handling of customer privacy, with organizations disclosing personal information to other companies. As of March 2017, service providers in the US are legally allowed to sell customer data. While little can be done to prevent an organization from selling data to third party companies, responsible service providers should instill trust by communicating with abuse teams how customer data is to be used.
Develop An Abuse Employee’s Career
Abuse Desk work is not for everybody. It involves long hours and dealing with an on-going stream of network security abuse reports. An abuse desk job can serve as a career start within a service provider—experience gained here could be applied elsewhere in the company. Employee rotation from one role to another within an abuse team can also stave off stagnation and offer fresh perspectives. Abuse desk managers and Human Resources should also identify and recommend training courses for employees within the company.
Motivate Abuse Desk Employees
Finding new abuse desk employees can be a hard task, as it is a demanding role with a substantial workload. Training new employees can also be costly, so it is essential to motivate staff by keeping lines of communication open at all times. Abuse teams are also exposed to obscene and often disturbing content, such as child exploitation. This stress can take its toll, so it’s vital that service providers provide sufficient psychological support.
Senior management should involve them in network abuse decisions, acknowledge their recommendations, and appraise their work publicly where possible. Abuse teams also need tools to thwart and manage abuse, such as specialized products like AbuseHQ, which help them prioritize, aggregate, and organize abuse incidents.
Illustrate The Consequences Of Not Fully Staffing Abuse Desks To Management
With the growing rate of abuse reports to contend with, abuse teams are often understaffed. This is only exacerbated when senior management is far removed from the reality of the abuse team’s workload. Bring metrics to senior management and provide them with a cost expenditure analysis with data showing loss of revenue from customer attrition. Illustrate blocked or slow traffic incidences due to an increase in spam, staff attrition rates, extra man-hour costs, unattended customer issues, and blacklisting from spam reporting.
Managing an abuse team correctly is a necessary process that requires effort, resources, and buy-in from senior management. Motivating and ensuring that abuse employees are supported will directly impact an abuse team’s ability to handle network security. AbuseHQ from Abusix integrates with existing network systems, providing necessary insight to identify network abuse deep within a network, making the work of an abuse employee that much easier.