You thought you had a great business continuity plan, right until disaster hit. If that disaster is COVID-19, you are not alone in the consequences of the pandemic. From skyrocketing unemployment numbers to small and medium-sized businesses being forced to close, businesses have faced several challenges due to coronavirus.
Now more than ever is the time to implement a thorough business continuity plan before things escalate towards a worse scenario. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses experienced a rise in online threats, from attacks on banking software to security threats against international health organizations.
While this isn’t exactly surprising, since hackers take advantage of vulnerable companies in any crisis, it is a good reminder to look into what can be done to improve your business continuity plan so that you’re in a better position for the next emergency.
Below are three of the top things you should implement or investigate to keep your business up-to-date to reduce the impact of potential threats against the digital side of your company and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Automation Using the Latest Tools
When the majority of Americans migrated to working from home, businesses are seeking out the most efficient remote technology solutions. From video conferencing software to automated workflow tools, your company may have had to consider a slew of new work patterns, applications, and software solutions that you probably did not anticipate needing prior to 2020.
Using the latest tools allows for your business to utilize technology as it evolves. A business continuity plan should rely on using the best tools so that workers can do their job most efficiently, whether it continues to be remote, or whether it slowly integrates into an office position again.
Automation for processes such as email communication, employee onboarding, and more is the ideal way to improve the efficiency of your employee’s workdays. It is critical to implement tools to smooth out bumps and to make the most out of the technology available for your company.
VPN or Cloud Solutions for Remote Working
As of March 27th, 16 million Americans started working remotely from positions that had previously been in offices. Two months later, that number is likely much higher. If your employees are part of those 16 million people suddenly scrambling for appropriate technology at their makeshift home offices, a great place to improve the security of your technology is via a virtual private network (VPN) or cloud solutions.
A VPN or Virtual Private Network allows your team to connect to in-house servers securely rather than send or access data over their at-home Internet connection. This ensures that the security protocols already in place on your servers—such as encryption or multifactor authentication—are maintained and your data is kept secure.
If you don’t rely on in-house servers, cloud solutions can be a great option, and many businesses are already harnessing its impressive remote power. Some well-established businesses may cringe at the idea of moving their information to the cloud, with fears that it is not secure. However, the reality is that migrating to a cloud solution with secure hosting is an ideal option to keep your data and information secure. Many hosting companies offer automatic data backups and other security services to ensure your information remains protected at all times.
To learn about the risks and security precautions of these services, and to better understand how they could be implemented for your business continuity plan, you can learn more at Pluralsight’s article “Top 3 Types of Cloud Services.”
Partner with a Managed Service Provider
The final step to implementing a thorough continuity plan is to consider using an outsourced managed IT service provider, which can help pinpoint security risks and suggest tools to better your business. A managed IT services company can help reduce the IT disruptions to your business and help implement tools and cloud solutions as mentioned above.
The most obvious benefit of using an outside source is that a managed service provider is an expert in the field of technology. While your business focuses on a specific niche, so does an IT services company. A managed service provider can decrease threats to your company, decrease any down time, and help you create a plan to improve security and accessibility for your employees. Not to mention, a whole team of professionals through an MSP is often much cheaper than hiring even a single in-house IT professional.
If you are experiencing repercussions of COVID-19, you should consider adding these services to either your current operations or your business continuity plan to reduce any chances of major losses to data theft or accidental data loss when working remotely.