Reliable network, technology are key in meeting demands of remote work
Pandemic brought challenges, concerns to the fore
With remote work here to stay, businesses of all sizes have many new challenges to consider. They have to solve for network reliability, cybersecurity and privacy issues, and require solutions to support a hybrid workforce and address security concerns.
As IT teams and businesses continue to adapt, here’s how they can lean on technology to prepare for what’s next:
Many of the initial challenges faced by IT leaders stemmed from the almost-overnight shift to a remote-work environment. Businesses that had already invested in cloud-based applications and collaboration platforms were better positioned to pivot, whereas others were forced, in some cases, to roll out new technologies in just a few days – compared to the months or years they previously were afforded for tech rollouts.
Businesses also had to quickly ensure employees had fast, reliable access to data, networks, and applications. This meant that some organizations had to be flexible about helping employees who lived in areas where faster, more reliable connections weren’t available. It also led some to provide employees with dedicated, in-home connectivity separate from their residential networks.
Overcoming Security Challenges
The shift to remote work and increased cloud reliance also created cybersecurity concerns. While securing an organization is hard enough when everyone is in one place, it’s even more complicated when a workforce is distributed. And with employees continuing to work from home, often connecting to a company’s data and applications via home networks or using personal devices, it can be more difficult to authenticate legitimate users. In fact, a recent study conducted by IDG and Comcast Business found 98% of businesses said securing applications, data and infrastructure in the cloud is “very” or “somewhat” challenging.
To mitigate these challenges, businesses should consider:
- Rethinking security policies governing remote access to sensitive business applications, and adding security protocols such as secure gateways, site-to-site VPNs, application-aware firewalls, and network access controls.
- Ensuring employees have the right security features on any devices that connect to a company’s network.
- Providing training and education on various threats and how to prevent them. Since employees are a first line of defense against bad actors, awareness is key.
Network reliability is especially critical. Throughout the pandemic, Comcast Business has helped businesses of all sizes – from local restaurants to large enterprises – stay connected. Our network quickly responded to spikes or shifts in usage and help keep businesses agile, regardless of unexpected events in the outside world.
We also continuously test, monitor and enhance our network to stay prepared, and have engineered for peak capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns.
While there’s always the chance for power outages (New England weather!), businesses can easily add back-up connectivity to navigate the unexpected with offerings such as Comcast Business Connection Pro. Connection Pro offers seamless, wireless back-up in the event of an unexpected power issue, keeping businesses moving forward.
Technology has proven to be even more critical and essential through the events of the past year-plus, and as businesses continue to navigate and look for ways to thrive in a post-pandemic world, they should invest in solutions to ensure they stay connected – no matter the challenges.
Barry Bader is regional vice president for Comcast Business’ Greater Boston Region.