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A New Normal – Dealing with Disruption at Work

Disruption. A word commonly used in the tech world that carries a positive connotation regarding the change in status quo. Fail Fast. An expression commonly used in the tech world that embraces failure as a guiding direction, allowing navigation towards success. Pivot. Yet another word commonly used to describe a change in business direction, usually followed by Fail Fast. The above-mentioned have been used for years to help encourage risk-taking and spur innovation but it’s been used as a directive from leadership in organizations that focus on such things. Now, globally, companies are being forced to do so without first having the opportunity to prepare themselves for such a journey. Disruption, in this case, is seemingly terrible. Even moreso, it’s nearly impossible to Fail Fast if you weren’t prepared and never planned for a secondary or even tertiary strategy. It just feels like failure. So, how do you pivot and in what direction do you do so?

Many companies are now struggling with a directive that forces employees to work remotely when there was not a cohesive plan in place to execute this and there are many items that need to be addressed before being able to do this well. How do your employees remote into a secure connection to transmit sensitive company data? Should everyone have the same access once they do remote in? What’s the best physical setup for an employee to work from home? How do you manage BYOD devices? What do you do about external threats? How do you protect company data? How do you protect against internal data exfiltration? This could all seem very daunting if you’ve never before looked into these topics but there are specific steps you can take to deliver a comprehensive and safe work from home solution.

According to the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), guidelines have already been established. And while the Guide to Enterprise Telework and Remote Access Security was created nearly a decade ago, these standards still hold true today. Any business can use this guidance as a roadmap to getting their workforce fully functioning while remotely deployed. This publication covers various topics of the remote working environments and remote access, such as VPN, Remote Desktop, Virtual Machines, Authentication, Access Control, Client Device Security, Data Encryption and a summary of recommendations per topic. Failing isn’t foreign to anyone or any company and it’s never a bad thing as long as we use it as a teaching moment, treating it like a tuition payment for future preparedness. Collectively, we can use our failures and misses to push us towards a picture of what success should be. Ultimately, if you’re certain of where you don’t want to be then you’ll have a better idea of where you want to end up.