Having understood the unique challenges being posed by rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, Munesh Jadoun, CEO and Founder, ZNet Technologies explains the best cyber security practices that enterprises should adopt to keep themselves safe in the remote working scenario
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 corona virus outbreak is a human tragedy. It has impacted hundreds of thousands of people. It is also increasingly impacting the global economy. Now, the near-term survival is the topmost concern for many organisations. These are uncertain times, there seems to be no end in sight and many, including us, are pondering over the question – what will be the new normal in the post virus era?
The situation is grave at the business front. New dynamics are being created, with lockdown of the physical boundaries and surge in workers engaged from their home locations. With COVID-19 spreading exponentially, it has wreaked havoc on both business supply chains and business demand.
All this brings us down to the fact that however hard we wish; external circumstances are beyond our control. However, we at ZNet, are trying to remain optimistic, motivating our team and working towards surviving these challenging times with optimism. We have prepared ourselves with multiple emergency scenarios, including enabling remote working, with secure access to emails, phones, files and the necessary systems and controls to support our customers.
We have powerful and time-tested infrastructure and have built in functionalities needed to manage disaster and business continuity challenges remotely. We have robust plans to provide continued service and do not foresee any issues in meeting our customers’ needs. Besides, we are prepared with scripted protocols that can be proactively activated for the multiple scenarios we have seen in other regions dealing with more advanced stages of the virus.
We have implemented the following 10 steps to maintain business continuity at ZNet Technologies during COVID-19:
1. Preparing a framework for pandemic preparedness
2. Ensuring safety of employees and their families
3. Embracing the digital lifestyle
4. Monitoring the situation closely
5. Real- time listening to detect shifting customer sentiment
6. Reviewing financial implications
7. Reviewing HR practices and policies
8. Establishing a communication program
9. Reassessing our IT actions
10. Reconsidering the security factor
How are you safeguarding your customers’ assets / premises in order to ensure continuity of their business operations?
For our customers, when their employees are working from home, the major question is how their valuable company data will be protected when it’s being shared remotely between vendors, teammates, and partners. As a security solution provider, we have strongly implemented measures to protect data, systems and applications at all times, irrespective of their location. Our partners can make use of enterprise -grade file sync and share technology to remain productive and safe in these challenging times.
For organizations that have employees working from home using their own devices, we suggest and for many, have got implemented Acronis Cyber Files Cloud that supports a wide range of systems and devices, while integrating security to ensure that organisation retains control and protect their data, on employee devices too. It enables organisations to implement remote-work environments quickly and painlessly.
To help maintain business continuity of our customers with remote working, we are also offering them Alibaba Cloud’s DingTalk, Hangouts Meet by Google, and Microsoft Teams. Teams is a part of Office 365. It gives unlimited chat, built-in group, and one-on-one audio or video calls, 10 GB of team file storage, and 2 GB of personal file storage per user. You also get real-time collaboration with the Office apps for the web, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
On the other hand, Alibaba Cloud’s DingTalk offers real-time multi-language translation, remote video conferencing and other functions, with which team in any country can communicate in real-time and exchange knowledge.
During this time of total lockdown, how are you ensuring 24×7 service and support to your customers?
Our customer and partner support are available 24×7 and the support and technical teams are working at full capacity from home. This is to ensure our employees’ safety. Our employees are equipped with VPN for secure network connectivity, Microsoft Office 365 for quick collaboration, Teams for videoconferencing, Acronis cloud for safe data backup, and a number of other tools to work productively.
We have established and maintained open lines of communication with sales and account teams so that they can report customer context and concerns from the front. We are also active socially and are monitoring our social media channels to listen in to our customers’ feedback.
Highlight some of the challenges being faced in providing service or support to the customers during this period?
We are more aware of security than ever before, as our employees are working from home and this opens up new avenues of risks. We have secured Wi-Fi routers, trained people to learn more about phishing and scams, and shared tips to protect our people from fraud. We take regular cloud backup of our data and recommend other organisations to do so as well. We all need to invest more in security controls and training to help protect both, our assets and employees. These steps are ensuring business continuity for us.
Soon we will witness business models changing, wherein there will be far more remote workers in any organisation. In such scenario, what’s the best cyber security practices that your customers should adopt? How would you, as a security solution provider, compliment in such a scenario?
Following are the cyber security practices that customers should adopt to keep their organisations safe from attacks in the remote-working scenario:
1. Don’t use public Wi-Fi or open internet
The public Wi-Fi and open internet are mostly unencrypted connections, which you need to avoid. Use a dedicated internet connection, like a personal hotspot, private Wi-Fi or broadband.
2. Use a VPN
The key role of a VPN is to encrypt the connection between your remote teams and the enterprise network. The right VPNs come with 256-bit encryption and no-log policy, and don’t impact your internet speed.
3. Back up your data to the cloud
Use a reliable and easy-to-use cloud backup solution. Having a backup of your data will ensure that all the data remains safe even if a data breach or a cyberattack occurs.
AI-enabled and cloud-based data protection and backup solutions like Acronis helps your remote teams to fight major cyberattacks, avoid data breaches, restore the data instantly, and recover from the disasters. It not only backs up your data and enables ransomware protection, but also secure other applications, virtual machines, endpoints, mobile devices, desktops, and cloud services.
4. Create security policy
In most of the organisations, only the IT teams know about the best security practices to reduce the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches. Hence, you should create a data security policy, document it properly, and share it with your employees through webinars, training, or meetings.
5. Use cloud-based productivity tools
The teams who are working from home need the right tools for productivity and communication to stay connected with other teams, collaborate on tasks, and do much more.
Use of traditional or cheap solutions for sharing confidential docs and other files may leave your data at risk of compromise. One should always opt for the best and reliable productivity tools like Office 365 or G Suite. These tools not only have numerous helpful features but are also great in terms of security.
6. Set stronger passwords
Educate your remote employees to set strong passwords, longer than 8 characters, and a combination of small and capital letters, numbers and symbols. Also, use unique passwords for every account. ZNet compliments the remote working by offering these solutions: Acronis, Office 365, G Suite and Alibaba Cloud’s DingTalk.
What’s your message to customers, so that they are assured of full support today and in the days to come?
We understand that the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation poses unique challenges for everyone. We want to help ease our customer concerns and ensure them that ZNet is well-equipped to keep their IT infrastructure and our professional technical support operating efficiently for them.
We are optimistic and continuing our operations as usual. We have prepared ourselves with multiple emergency scenarios, including enabling remote working, with secure access to emails, phones, files and the necessary systems and controls to support our customers. As always, ZNetLive Technical Support team is available 24×7, to help service our customer needs.