How Tech Leaders fighting Covid led crisis  


A crisis of this scale calls for businesses to relook at their existing protocols and facilities and identify opportunities to fine-tune their infrastructure. Read more to know how tech leaders coping their business challenges..

Business continuity initiatives 

Ravi Chhabria, MD, NetApp India

Our IT team has worked swiftly and surely to deliver business continuity through our always-on infrastructure. Our seamless Virtual Private Network offers connectivity across all enterprise networks. We deployed NetApp Virtual Desktop to enable easy access into our infrastructure for employees. Our ongoing focus on security is paying dividends in our ability to enable a remote workforce while securing our intellectual property. Custom tools such as NetApp NAC (Network Access Control) enhance network security at every end point. A Multi Factor Authentication approach has become the rule of the day in ensuring secure connectivity to the corporate infrastructure.

Our employees are well informed to steer clear of any opportunistic phishing attacks. We have also ensured availability of replacement assets that can quickly be shipped to employees in need.

Anil Bhasin, Regional vice president, India & SAARC, Palo Alto Networks

We are walking the talk by fully leveraging our own cloud-delivered network security product, Prisma Access, to securely connect all employees to the applications they need. The majority of apps and infrastructure we use are SaaS or hosted in public cloud infrastructure like GCP, AWS and Azure providing resiliency and scalability as needed.

We have also transitioned our internal Security Operations Center (SOC) to a remote model in which all our analysts are working from home—the SOC is fully operational and continues to monitor for threats as our own user population shifts to remote work via Prisma Access.

Our business continuity plans are consistent with industry best practices and include workarounds for possible disruptions to our people, facilities, applications, dependencies, and vendors. The all-hazards, multi-scenario approach is designed to ensure the continuity of not just ourselves, but the remote workforces of our all customers.

 Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head, Acer India

As a global PC brand, we are looking to be predictive and proactive in all our decision-making to preserve business continuity and build enterprise strength. At Acer, we are navigating the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and there are a number of initiatives and steps that we are taking not only to react to severe business shocks now but also to reshape our business and plan for recovery.

While this sounds all easy and comforting, it all comes down to if and how are organizations going to sustain work productivity in times like these. The burden inevitably falls on IT teams to establish and implement sound strategies to organise a synchronized virtual workplace. This is the first significant step that involves organisations enabling their IT teams to build a fool-proof and efficient foundation for a remote workplace. This includes taking stock of company assets, systematically encrypting on-premises, mobile devices and applications such as through a secure virtual private network.

Also, ensuring that employees have the right collaboration, data access and productivity technologies to enable a baseline remote work experience. At Acer, we make sure employees have up to date passcodes, know how to authenticate to their systems, and are aware of increased scams and phishing attempts that are happening around COVID will also be a top priority for our company.

Challenges to ensure Work- from- Home Policy

Ravi Chhabria, MD, NetApp India

A robust infrastructure is essential for business continuity. Some of the challenges in working from home include unstable home Internet connections, occasional broadband bottlenecks, power fluctuations and outages and sometimes, hardware failures. As work and home life get integrated, other challenges are emerging. School and home life is also integrating, multi-worker households are also integrating, work days are getting flexible, and the lines between personal time and professional time are blurring.

Our teams are constantly sharing work-from-home best practices to maintain balance while remaining productive, being tolerant of intrusions that are inevitable when this situation exists for a sustained period.

Anil Bhasin, Regional vice president, India & SAARC, Palo Alto Networks

The nature of our business means that our team has a deep understanding and awareness of what it means to secure our enterprise. However, we know that our customers can face a number of challenges in their respective industries.

The availability of SaaS and cloud-based applications has made it easier for several organisations to facilitate remote work. However, to deal with the challenges and risk factors of remote working, organisations need to adopt a preventative approach to security to ensure long-term operational efficiency, especially during this period of uncertainty.

To do so, organisations require having complete visibility of every device connecting to the network for effective security management. A great way to achieve this is by increasing the levels of security automation. This can help organisations detect and respond to threats near real-time allowing unusual or unauthorised activity to be neutralised swiftly and accurately.

However, technology is just one aspect of cybersecurity. The importance of cybersecurity hygiene cannot be underestimated and should be a shared responsibility between organisations and employees.

Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head, Acer India

Remote working is more difficult than it seems. During the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic like many organizations, we are also recommending and requiring staff work from home. Here are few key challenges one might face during remote working.

Problems with technology may not get resolved as quickly as they would in the office and can make it difficult to work remotely. While the flexibility of remote work can be excellent, but challenge comes when your WiFi connection drops.

Less productive: Without co-workers around, employees may not be as productive when working from home.

Communication with coworkers or clients can easily be misconstrued.

Prioritizing work: Remote workers need to be self-motivated experts at time management because we don’t have others constantly overlooking our work or managing our time for us.

Lessons learnt during this crisis

Ravi Chhabria, MD, NetApp India

The biggest lesson is a pleasant one – we are capable of bringing our best infrastructure forward when in times of need, we are able to be productive and focus on making our customers successful in these challenging times.

Business continuity will fall apart if employer and employee fail to maintain the same level of security as at the usual workplace, states

Anil Bhasin, Regional vice president, India & SAARC, Palo Alto Networks

Cybercriminals have been exploiting fears around the COVID-19 outbreak to conduct email scams, phishing and ransomware attacks. These emails and messages entice users to open malicious attachments by offering more information related to the COVID-19 situation, but instead contain malicious files masked under the guise of links, pdf, mp4 or .docx files.

As a first step, employers need to prepare employees who are unaccustomed to remote working to navigate the challenges involved.

This can be done through the development and implementation of an educational framework to teach staff how to identify and avoid risks, as well as outline the clear procedures to follow in case of a cybersecurity incident.

Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO, Acer India

Last week everything has changed. Before March 16, corporate executives were keeping an eye on the coronavirus crisis and the instability of the stock market, but it was mostly business as usual. When the government issued stay-at-home orders, everyone had to shift their priorities. As a leader, I would say lesson learned from this crisis is that a pandemic is not your normal business disruption, it is always good to identify and prioritize your risks and develop appropriate responses. However, there are measures that can be taken now even if you’re not fully prepared.

And although its long-term consequences are yet to fully play out, the coronavirus outbreak already provides some lessons about how you can better prepare your company to deal with future large-scale crises. As the current pandemic appears just to be starting, so we will undoubtedly have to learn more lessons in weeks to come.

(The original content was first published in Express Computer.


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