Audio solutions are an effective way to enhance mobility in an office communications network, delivering sophisticated capabilities such as adjustable noise cancellation and directional microphones that contribute to a more productive workplace. Trends like collaboration and mobility have become intrinsic to the modern office. However, as with any type of business technology, security is a primary concern—and is too often overlooked when considering communications hardware.
Much of the industry’s cybersecurity fears are placed squarely on the shoulders of data-based networking equipment. However, audio headsets are the not beyond the sights of hackers. Media reports confirm that malicious parties are able to utilize unsecured, lower-quality headsets—and even simple earbuds—to infiltrate sensitive conversations and hijack personal data.
Here are some factors to keep in mind in selecting office headsets for secure environments:
Be future-proofed to anticipate the evolving demographics of the workplace. Flexibility is key, as workers continue to introduce multiple personal devices into their environments. This is especially true as tech-savvy millennials, who were raised with headsets, laptops and mobile consoles, step into key personnel positions. Such employees are used to switching from device to device over the course of a day. Fortunately, progressive developers of audio technology have devised new, high-end headsets with base units that offer a range of options, connecting a single headset to a choice of either a computer, desktop phone or personal mobile phone. This allows such users to manage all their calls via a single headset.
In addition, a suite of headsets should be manageable from one location through an easily configured, hosted IT management tool. For example, Sennheiser’s HeadSetup™ Pro Manager platform allows IT staff to manage, update and administer a fleet of headset devices from any workstation with an internet connection, saving time and labor costs.
Support a collaborative, mobile work style. The trend toward open-office floorpans, cubicles, collaborative spaces and new paradigms like job-sharing and “hot-swapping” of desks demand both headsets and audio conferencing solutions that can be portable and scalable.
Audio conferencing systems exist that can plug into any laptop and accommodate conference calls for anywhere from two to 24 people utilizing a series of small, puck-sized hubs that connect wirelessly to any laptop. High-quality, directional microphones in such systems, like Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Wireless solution, ensures that users in different vectors of the space will be heard with equally clear sound quality. Plug-and-play capabilities allow workers to set up these ad hoc conference calls in a variety of spaces.
Live up to the highest security standards. Sennheiser employs German engineering that has been developed over the company’s 70-year history. Its latest solutions incorporate 128bit encryption keys and DECT security certifications, which thwart hackers from intercepting audio transmissions during Bluetooth pairing—the crux of vulnerability in utilizing any headset. Such encryption is one of the highest standards available for such devices.
Deliver exceptional audio quality. Audio solutions must deliver the utmost intelligibility in order to provide superior customer engagement experiences. Purchasing agents should look for models that deliver wideband sound in high-density environments. High-quality office headsets will offer exceptional speech intelligibility with features such as multiple, ultra noise-cancelling microphones and voice detection technology.
As one can see, audio technology purchases for confidential environments, such as those in the financial services industry, are not a simple decision and can’t be treated as a mere add-on to a network. With some strategic thought and planning, however, managers can leverage these technologies to ensure the confidentiality of their clientele while future-proofing their audio systems and simultaneously enhancing the productivity and mobility of their workplace as we move into the future.