Your Business Continuity Plan Isn’t Working—Now What?

The global coronavirus pandemic has highlighted some major flaws in the business continuity plans of companies large and small.

No industry is safe from lost revenues and mass furloughs—not even health care. While the fact that everyone is working from home may seem to offset the potential problems remote working presents, there are still concerns you should be aware of.

Forgetting to set up a VPN or VoIP service properly can open you up to cyber crime by threat actors who are actively looking to attack businesses who’ve had to make abrupt transitions to remote working setups. The quick transition often means businesses aren’t fully prepared to address the security and productivity concerns associated with the change, which makes them more vulnerable targets.

The FBI is joined by several large financial institutions and other businesses that ban the use of Zoom for video conferencing, for example. This is because several major security flaws have been uncovered that allow unauthorized people to join calls, much less accusations of the company recording and storing private meetings.

Further, COVID-19 caused a surge in digital threats, as cybercriminals have turned to more sophisticated phishing and hacking techniques to exploit organizations around the world.

To mitigate these potential threats and protect your business, you need to find proactive solutions right away. Here are a few things you should do to improve your current business continuity plan and prevent future damages.

Set Up a Secure VPN

If you’re going to allow remote workers to connect to in-house servers, you need a virtual private network, or VPN. Connecting personal devices to your business network can compromise data integrity if not done properly. A VPN is an encrypted tunnel that enables direct connections to send and receive data with your private network. Even though your employees are at home, they’ll remain connected as though they were still working at the office.

This is a cornerstone of a business continuity plan, as employees will often need to work from an alternate location during emergencies. It’s not limited to a global epidemic—natural disasters, political unrest, and other issues can force your company to work remotely. Even under the best conditions, remote workers having a secure connection is a necessity, especially as the trend for remote work continues to grow even following the pandemic.

Move Your Business Operations to the Cloud

If you want to access data securely without the use of in-house servers, it’s best to transition your business to the cloud. With cloud-based applications, you can scale to meet the demands of business as needed.

Cloud storage also provides an off-site backup for your important data, making sure you have access to it at all times. Lacking these technologies makes it difficult for brick-and-mortar businesses to transition to online work

Adopt Online Collaboration Tools

Implementing Office 365, Microsoft Azure and other online collaboration tools makes it easier to stay productive and connected while working remotely. Your team members need to be able to easily access and manipulate a variety of reports and documents without burdening their personal data networks.

Not only do Microsoft’s cloud-based tools help with productivity, but they enable a new normal for connectivity and interaction. Microsoft has long worked with enterprise and governments on secure connections to ensure that conference calls and other interactions are kept secure. Team messaging, video chat and conferencing tools are vital resources to continue business as normal.

Implement Secure VoIP Telephony

Telecom services, such as Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP), are also important resources to ensure safe communication between team members and clients. These data lines are more secure and reliable than analog lines, avoiding crossed signals or interference and saving your business money by not requiring any on-site wiring.

Work with a Managed Service Provider

Managed Service Providers are the backbone of any company’s operations. They can offer new strategies, technology updates and custom solutions for your unique business to help it thrive. And they can help you pinpoint the aspects of your plan that failed and offer consulting for improving efficiency, cost-effectiveness and more.

With a Managed Service Provider handling your business continuity and other digital efforts, you’ll be well positioned to weather this storm. The effects of the novel coronavirus on the 2020 economy are many, but while some businesses are collapsing, others are rising to the occasion. You can be one of the businesses that thrives as you implement these technology resources and work with a professional to find the best business continuity solutions for you.