With the continuous extension in lockdown and social isolation, it is probably the lengthiest and fastest switch ever watched by the world. With almost little or no prior notice, every company had to shift from the physical office spaces to a remote working structure.
Whereas the safety and security of the employees had been prioritized, handling business continuity in this sudden, but now normal procedure of contactless communications and business, is still a big challenge for most. This transition requires vigilant research and a thorough analysis of all the pros and cons, especially in areas like security and scale.
Starting with security, it had been an all-time crucial parameter for all businesses. With a huge pool of threats gaining strength with the onset of challenging times, security holds the topmost priority for keeping the business intact. Since the COVID-19 outbreak was announced, nations have witnessed a dramatic boom in several email attacks, mostly phishing campaigns.
As per reports, such attempts have given pretty good returns to the attackers. Even though people are working from home, companies are responsible for the regulation of data protection. Rather, stricter and more vigilant security services are necessary to curb the cyber risks and on the contrary, guarantee data confidentiality and integrity.
On another note, it requires more skills, creativity as well as related tools to maintain performance in such critical hours. Organizations have been combing their ways through possible ways of automation and scheduling to keep the operations intact. Organizations in which a minimum of 20-25% of employees are recently traveling to the offices for work are depending highly on automation for excusing the limited staff from the mundane jobs so that they can focus on the high-order security sector.
Even though some organizations had already had their employees working remotely (either part-time or even full-time), but the real challenge that sprung up during this lockdown in the path of business continuity preservation is related to the scaling of the same model.
As per a survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019, it was brought to the limelight that before the pandemic, a minimum of 7% of employees was already working remotely in America. In comparison to that, today the majority of employees are working from their homes. Under such circumstances, organizations had to ensure the availability of the critical staff and service providers to run the data centers and scale them quickly simultaneously.
None of the so-called remote work settings could work properly had it not been for the right tools brought together. The most important tool is Virtual Private Networks or VPNs.
Challenges attached to the VPN could also not be avoided as such an infrastructure or a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy had not been established in many companies before the pandemic. Most of the employees are working on personal devices and that raises the security concerns due to unpatched vulnerabilities. So, it has been proved beyond any doubt, that every company should have a BYOD policy in place so that in times of need, companies do not have to make desperate attempts to keep its business up and running.
As per the guidance of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), organizations should consider the cyberspace to be a hostile environment for operations every device as well as network to be compromised. So, security awareness is much more vital these days than it was anytime earlier.
So, not compromising on security and scaling needs has kept the businesses running somewhat successfully during this lockdown. This distanced business and communication are all set to be the new normal and in this new environment, work-from-home is a standard model. For the still struggling companies, identification of the problem areas would be the first step towards the seamless operation. With the most ideal strategies, effective tools, associated technologies, and proper controls, business continuity can go unhampered even during this lockdown and even beyond that.