Remote Communications During A Crisis Can Be Challenging – Some Things To Think About

Author
Paul H. Mauritz
President, CEO

With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, NetCraftsmen is working with many of our Clients to help them enable their workforce to work remotely as part of their social distancing efforts.

NetCraftsmen has been advising our clients on their technology needs for almost 20 years, and has spent that time designing robust, scalable, and secure IT infrastructures that help our Clients serve their Customers.

As more of the workforce prepares to work remotely, there are a few areas that need to be considered to make telework a good experience:

  1. Increased bandwidth – Your organization may have ample Virtual Private Network (VPN) infrastructure but are scrambling to deploy more bandwidth in (and out). True collaboration with remote employees involves moving much more data. Having multiple providers of data circuits can help ensure connectivity when a single provider becomes overwhelmed.
  2. Adequate authentication infrastructure – Some organizations are considering ‘relaxing’ security requirements temporarily so that security does not become a bottleneck, but that is obviously not recommended for the mid to long term. Rapidly implementing increased user authentication has become easier with major vendors making licenses available for free during the pandemic (https://tinyurl.com/rwpn2hw).
  3. Remote phone capabilities – There may be concerns about your infrastructure’s ability to handle the majority of the employees simultaneously forwarding calls to cell/home numbers. Additional call management capabilities and technologies like mobile and remote access from Cisco can help (https://tinyurl.com/rgoowmd).

At NetCraftsmen, we have always utilized technology to enable our workforce to work from anywhere – securely. Not just to connect, but also to collaborate. We leverage video as part of our collaboration on a daily basis – in fact, video on is a requirement for NetCraftsmen meetings.

Over the years, we have learned a few things about collaboration and the use of technology that may make employees’ experience better:

  1. Have a standing meeting scheduled at all levels of the organization in smaller groups. Regular communications allow people to feel more connected to each other.
  2. Organize working sessions where employees can join a video meeting and work “together” – not necessarily talking to each other about a joint topic, but being able to see each other, and chat. Again, it promotes a sense of connectedness.
  3. It is important to be all-in on video. From the Chief Executive to the entry level. Have every remote meeting follow the same rules and require that everyone have video on during your meetings.

We believe in designing, building and managing an IT Infrastructure that enables business to be conducted the way it needs to be. That is what we have done for ourselves, and that is what we do for our clients, every day.

NetCraftsmen Consultants are available to discuss secure, remote connectivity solutions to help you protect your employees, and as a result, your business. Let us know how we can help by contacting us here.

Be safe.

Paul

#TheNetCraftsmenWay

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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.

 

Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.

 

John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.