Coronavirus has dominated this year, consuming our attention, our time, and our lives. No matter who you are or what your plans were for this year, chances are that COVID-19 has derailed them in some way or another.
Social distancing and social isolation measures that have been rolled out in most countries around the world have meant that the vast majority of us have spent most of the past four months indoors, sheltering in place, to limit contact with others and slow the spread of the virus.
Here in the US, From a business perspective, this has meant that remote work has become the latest workforce trend—and it seems to be sticking around for the long haul. But with consumer spending reducing by a significant 7.6% in the first three months of the year alone, it’s critical that businesses optimize their technology to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances.
Without the technology and IT solutions to support new business operations while working remotely (and for the future), businesses will likely find that surviving the pandemic is nearly impossible. Here are some of the main things businesses have learned about their own IT during the pandemic:
1. Advanced Cybersecurity Is Critical
As many companies sent their employees to work from home in order to reduce contact with others and minimize the spread of the virus, security quickly became increasingly compromised. Hacking attempts are higher than ever because threat actors are exploiting the vulnerabilities in businesses’ systems who abruptly switched to remote work without addressing security.
As you can imagine, any business in this position would benefit from IT services that employ solutions such as firewalls, spam filtering and anti-malware software installation to minimize vulnerability to cyber attack.
Staff have also required training on safe password and responsible Internet use. This significantly reduces exposure and vulnerability to cyber attacks that could compromise security and reduce data breaches. When it comes down to it, advanced cybersecurity really is critical to not only your business’s success right now, but also for the future.
2. WFH, BYOD and Other Privacy Policies Are Essential
With the majority of businesses shifting to online work, it’s important for businesses to implement strict work-from-home (WFH), bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and other privacy policies to protect business data. These policies should include when and where employees can use devices, how they can securely access data, and who has authorized access to certain files.
All employers operating on a remote basis have had to thoroughly train staff in regards to cybersecurity to ensure that they don’t fall prey to hacker attacks or other cyber attacks, compromising company security. While carrying out this training on a remote basis may feel complex, it’s an absolute essential and shouldn’t be skipped.
3. The Best Investment Is in Managed IT Services
While many businesses were using some sort of IT support prior to the pandemic, the need for additional managed services, whether co-managed or comprehensive, is great. Not only are cyber criminals thriving off of easier access to businesses now that they’re remote—many companies are also struggling to maintain efficiency and uptime while out of the office.
Managed IT services don’t only ensure that your IT keeps up and running while your staff are working from home. It also increases business security and reduces your risk of experiencing a cyber attack or hacking attempt.
Sure, the coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm and has had a profoundly detrimental impact on many businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries. But businesses have also learned many lessons along the way that have helped them leverage the power of their digital assets more than ever before. These strategies can help your company thrive now and after the pandemic, ensuring you succeed in the generations to come.