Adopting VDI a better option during remote working: Muneer Ahamed, MD, DigitalTrack

Muneer Ahamed, Managing Director, DigitalTrack

As part of the business continuity plan, organisations generally ensure safeguarding their assets or premises. Taking a cue from the COVID-19 crisis, Muneer Ahamed, Managing Director, DigitalTrack Solutions feels that enterprises must look beyond data centre and disaster recovery when it comes to business continuity plan

As a security solution provider, how do you assess the current scenario and the lessons learned?  What’s your preparedness to handle such unprecedented situation?
The current outbreak was never experienced by the world. This crisis has made us unlearn as well as re-learn the way we do our business with customers. The present scenario has also compelled us to think and prepare for the worst of the situations.

Traditionally, for organisations, business continuity plan (BCP) used to just revolve around data centre (DC) and disaster recovery (DR), but the current outbreak has taught us a lesson to think beyond DC and DR.

At the beginning of last year, we had moved most of our core support tools to cloud. This move enabled us to continue providing support to our customers during these difficult times. Besides, our team members are working round-the-clock to ensure most of our customers are able to connect to their network securely.

How are you safeguarding your customers’ assets / premises in order to ensure continuity of their business operations?
During the consulting phase with our customers, we always strive to touch upon the point of safeguarding their assets or premises, which we believe is crucial from the perspective of business continuity plan. This unprecedented outbreak has taught us to secure the work from home environment by enabling host check through VPN, hybrid proxy, and zero trust access technologies.

We also offer comprehensive advanced threat management solutions to achieve cyber resilience by both fending off threats and ensuring continuity, even if threats are successful. Our solutions for advanced threat protection deliver multi-layered protection to combat threats, keeping intrusion detecting systems and firewalls in place, providing least privilege access, processing shared account management, user activity reporting, server hardening and virtualisation security.

The management services transform data from multiple global sources into actionable intelligence that promotes rapid responses, strengthens the security posture and protects against targeted attacks.

With the sudden rise in cyber threats and attacks in this period, how are you ensuring your customers’ data is safe and helping them mitigate risks?
We are considering two types of work-from-home scenarios in the current situation – the first one is working through the company-provided assets and the other one is BYOD. Under both the circumstances, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) would be a better choice when it comes to security as well as the performance – mostly for the on-premise applications.

In addition to VDI, we will have the hybrid proxy (office asset) and host check to ensure the client is compatible enough to connect to network and have restricted access, irrespective of any internet service provider.

During this time of total lockdown, how are you ensuring 24×7 service and support to your customers?
Considering the outbreak and the subsequent lockdown, we have given work-from-home option to all our employees in order to ensure their safety. The teams are equipped with certain tools to support our customers 24×7. Our managers and team leads are proactively reaching out to customers to extend our support during these difficult times. Most importantly, we conduct daily review calls with respective teams to ensure that there is uninterrupted support and service being provided to all our customers.

Please highlight some of the challenges being faced in providing service or support to the customers during this period
The current crisis has forced every industry vertical to implement work-from-home. Traditionally, IT and ITeS companies have been allowing work-from-home; however, other industries or departments like administration and accounts are not familiar with this new style of working. Initially, we faced a big challenge in terms of educating them about the complete process and how this is going to work. But now, we have successfully enabled them to continue their work from home environment without any hindrance.

Soon we will witness business models changing, wherein there will be far more remote workers in any organisation. In such scenario, what are the best cyber security practices that your customers should adopt? How would you, as a security solution provider, compliment in such a scenario?
There are two aspects to it. The first and the primary aspect is to protect the organisational assets and this can be achieved by creating security awareness among all level of employees. Under security awareness, the focus has to be on preventing attacks like phishing and ransomware among other threat vectors.

The second important point is from technology perspective, where the current capacity planning has to be done to address limited remote users. However, in future, technology capacity planning will play a major role in this kind of situations. And also, technologies like zero trust, VDI, and hybrid proxy can be adopted to ensure security for users working remotely.


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