Keeping Philadelphia’s Businesses Protected While Remote
Remote and hybrid work is here to stay both across the country and here in Philadelphia. A nod to the work from home era, office space leasing in Philadelphia has seen a decline since the start of the year, as many companies reevaluate their physical office spaces to support a long-term remote shift. Even when the pandemic has subsided, it’s likely that the way we work will remain drastically changed.
New challenges and risks associated with IT infrastructure will continue to emerge for dispersed workforces – making preparedness that much more essential. Human error risks remain high as employees continue to access data from disparate locations and personal networks. Natural disasters pose risks to collaboration via the cloud, especially as our region faces hurricanes following winter storm season. Looking to the future, companies must ensure they are taking proactive measures to strengthen their IT infrastructure to overcome these threats – including optimizing their IT budget and protecting network accessibility from disasters, both man-made and natural.
Getting Your Team Up to Speed on Security
Managing and protecting IT infrastructure is a complex task – made no easier with the added wrinkle of employees working entirely in a remote setting. Where once IT teams had control over the networks being used to access data and collaborate, now they are relying on employees to use safe at-home Wi-Fi networks and VPNs. Working outside of corporate networks greatly increases the risk of a potential man-made lapse in security, opening the door to a bad actor that could result in downtime. Such downtime can bring all work to an abrupt halt, not just meaning lost time, but also very serious fiscal losses.
Avoiding a man-made disaster takes buy-in from the entire organization. IT teams need to prioritize keeping employees informed of cybersecurity best practices, designed to protect both the user and the company’s data infrastructure. IT teams should ensure their people are equipped with critical tools and safeguards, like VPNs and two-factor authentication, to ensure they’re accessing data in a secure way. In some cases, even providing executives with secure, dedicated, Wi-Fi networks can help mitigate potential for a security misstep and avoid costly damages in a time where budgets are already stretched thin.
Making the Most of IT Budgets
The pandemic has hit enterprise budgets hard across the board. As IT teams and leadership look to “spend smarter,” they should look to launch a business impact analysis to identify organizational pain points and develop a disaster recovery plan that matches infrastructure and budgetary needs. Such an analysis could show them that they need to invest more in backup options or consolidate services.
As we look ahead to a sense of regained normalcy, it is likely that budgets will expand. As they do, IT departments should work in tandem with leadership to ensure that employees have the tools and resources they need to be efficient and protected, no matter their location.
Protecting Infrastructure from Mother Nature
Coming out of the winter weather season, Philadelphia must now look ahead and plan for the late spring/early summer arrival of hurricane season. With teams dispersed across the region, the potential for a manmade disaster impacting corporate networks is greater than ever. Networks are not protected by office building generators and employee home environments could be affected differently by weather patterns. As such, IT departments should consistently be preparing and reviewing their systems to withstand a natural disaster or severe storm.
Knowing this, IT should be focused on backup and recovery. One of the most effective means for this is disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) and cloud-based data backup. DRaaS solutions are a simple, cost effective and quick way to help businesses maintain continuity. Cloud backup, too, is essential. Remote work depends on data that is often managed from a central location, so any disruption to that particular cloud infrastructure could cost massive amounts of data and lost time. Implementing regular cloud backups as part of a preparedness plan ensures that any data loss will be temporary and able to be quickly restored.
Predicting the Unpredictable
Whether a hurricane hits or an employee accidentally uses an unsecure network, the risks of remote work are complex and difficult to predict. For Philadelphia businesses, as well as those across the country, adapting to the world of long-term remote work requires that IT teams prioritize disaster preparedness and planning – from in the form of tools and knowledge. With the right tech solutions and a thorough plan in place, IT teams can feel confident that their organization is ready to take on any situation.
Flexential empowers the IT journey of the nation’s most complex businesses by offering flexible and tailored hybrid IT solutions comprised of colocation, cloud, connectivity, data protection, managed, and professional services. Flexential’s disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) offerings deliver custom, reliable, cloud-based solutions for businesses of all kinds, including those in need of added support and security in a remote work setting.
Patrick Doherty, Chief Revenue Officer