Historically, Remote or Home Working was reserved for a handful of more senior job titles or just a small number of forward-thinking industries like Tech Start-Ups that reaped the benefits of a more agile and productive workforce, however the challenges of 2020 came and businesses had to find innovative ways of connecting their work force during the Pandemic.
Readdress your IT strategy
Organisations were forced to readdress their IT strategies, especially since these new ways of working could be the ‘new normal’ post Lockdown and moving forward. IT teams have had to adapt significantly to accommodate home and remote working which has not just impacted IT systems, it has also seen changes in security measures plus core services have been moved to the Cloud to allow organisation-wide access. However, with the massive increase in remote working, the Pandemic period has also seen an uncomfortable increase in ransomware and cyber-crime.
Computerweekly.com reported that over 30% of organisations have experienced some sort of video-conferencing attack, with more sophisticated opportunistic cyber-criminals targeting businesses that had a sudden and dramatic increase in remote workers. This change in working practices has ultimately given additional opportunity to illegally access networks whilst companies tried to adapt and, at the same time address all aspects of Business Continuity within their organisations – including IT infrastructure and Disaster Recovery. Both areas continue to be massively important elements of the IT strategy because without a strong contingency plan, a business will be at a major disadvantage should the unthinkable happen. Unfortunately, in the past Disaster Recovery has not been planned sufficiently to accommodate such high or rapidly changing levels of remote working leaving Remote Access open to exploitation.
Could remote working become a permanent option?
Remote Working has previously been a temporary measure for many work forces however many organisations are unlikely to return to their former pre-Pandemic working practices despite the technical challenges that some may face. Price Waterhouse Cooper has advised that around 50% of companies plan to make remote working a permanent option for staff if their roles allow it. Several global businesses have already done this including Twitter, Salesforce.com, Amazon, Dropbox, American Express, VM Ware, HubSpot and UpWork. However, some organisations may look to adopt a more ‘hybrid’ working environment with a mixture of home or remote working alongside office ‘hot-desking’ or certain business functions become office based and others remote. Unfortunately, with these bold moves come additional challenges to a company’s Disaster Recovery – how to allow access to applications… how to protect company data… what backup solutions will give maximum protection? According to research, a large proportion of companies have, or are looking to increase their data security budgets by at least 20% to meet the Pandemic / Post-Pandemic needs of their business.
Forrester Research divides Disaster Recovery in to four categories: People, Processes, Technology and Governance, and have advised that organisations should be focusing on technology associated with Disaster Recovery and Resilience. Low grade and outdated security measures, aging hardware and unstable broadband connections no longer meet the needs of an evolving business and should be addressed as a priority. So, how resilient is your DR plan? When was the last time you revisited your strategy? Are the original teams in place that can share knowledge? Have you tested the plan? Do you even have a plan in place? These are important questions that your IT teams should be asking and acting upon.
Protect your business from cyber attacks
Forrester Research have also advised that they have seen an increased connection between Cyber Security and Disaster Recovery. In 2019, cyber attacks went from being ranked 4th in importance to 2nd however in 2021, it may even become top of the security rankings. Maybe now is the time to readdress your IT strategy because you do not want to find yourself in a position where you are forced to dust off the strategy at the point of a security breach. Complacency could cost your business a lot of money, time and effort. Unfortunately, many organisations during the Pandemic had to look at major cost-cutting measures and one area that may have been addressed in your organisation is people resource so as a result, specialist expertise may not be readily available to address all areas of the IT strategy. If this sounds familiar, 101 Data Solutions is waiting to hear from you. We will work in partnership with your business to understand your challenges. We will propose a solution that meets your business needs and work with you to implement the changes to ensure that your business is resilient and future proofed.