Having the right systems and platforms in place is fundamental to ensuring that companies can adapt to the remote working culture adopted by so many during the global pandemic, explained Stefano Sordini, CEO of NetShop ISP.
Discussing how NetShop ISP was one of the first companies to offer relief packages for those forced into working remotely, Sordini gave his insights on maintaining security while working from home, how its [email protected] bundle allows companies to operate without the typical office infrastructure and whether this new normal is here to stay.
SBC: NetShop ISP was one of the first companies to roll out a relief package for companies looking to adapt to working from home. Can you tell us a bit about what the [email protected] bundle is?
SS: When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Europe, the business operations at NetShop ISP were only impacted slightly thanks to the swift actions taken by our team.
Although our working patterns were forced to change, we accepted the challenge and immediately switched to remote work to guarantee our employees’ health and safety. Our staff’s transition from working in the office to working from home was made possible by using the very same tools we are using for our daily work; an online-hosted documents/files collaboration platform and our existing Internet-based PBX Telephony, both of which are backed up in our Acronis Cloud infrastructure.
The only addition that we made for our employees to be able to access these systems securely and remotely was to connect all laptops with the company’s dedicated VPN server.
The decision to combine these tools into one bundle which could be offered to both new and existing clients was made two months later, after realising that the four tools which we have been using on a daily basis helped us significantly in the ways that we were collaborating, even when everyone was at home.
Those using our [email protected] Bundle gain access to a business VPN with Static IP Address (compatible with Android, iOS Devices, Linux/Windows/MacOS computers), a cloud-hosted 3CX PBX Telephony system, an OwnCloud platform for small and large teams to share resources and 500GB of cloud storage for backup and disaster recovery purposes.
SBC: Obviously as further restrictions are being introduced across the world, more and more companies are having to work remotely. How does the [email protected] bundle ensure that businesses can keep their operations running smoothly without the infrastructure available from the office?
SS: When a business operates from one or more offices, they are all accessing the internet, emails, and other company online systems through a static/dedicated IP address from their ISP.
This means that the first obstacle that an employee will encounter when transitioning to a ‘work from home’ scenario is accessing these systems via their home (and most of the times non-static) IP address.
This problem can be tackled with the Business VPN that is included in the [email protected] bundle which includes one static / dedicated IP address that is sharable among all employees / VPN users within the company.
Finally, the OwnCloud Files/Documents Collaboration platform is essential when considering the transition from office to home working. In a typical office day, employees usually exchange large documents via USB sticks, e-mail or use the office printer for any documents requiring a signature. The OwnCloud software can help employees to upload, edit, share and store files without the need for physical interaction or heavy-loading the company’s email server with large attachments being sent back and forth.
SBC: How important is it to ensure that companies are protected from DDoS attacks while working remotely?
SS: DDoS Attack is a common threat for online businesses. The distributed denial-of-service attacks increased dramatically in the second quarter of 2020, having increased by 217% when compared to Q2 2019. This is most likely due to the shift towards remote working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But as remote working is now becoming the new normal, online businesses need to ensure that their infrastructure (email servers, website hosting, client-facing online applications, etc) is well protected from a potential DDoS attack.
For us, at NetShop ISP, security matters. The infrastructure that holds the [email protected] applications is fully protected by our Anti-DDoS appliances to offer peace of mind to all of our customers.
In addition to the preventive protection that is enabled in our network perimeter, NetShop ISP’s Technical team is operating on a 24/7 basis and are hands-on to mitigate any noticeable attempts for an attack.
SBC: With the availability of these, do you think that working remotely may become a more viable option for companies in the future?
SS: For sure! As previously mentioned, working remotely is now the norm, it’s no longer a trend. With the proper use of technology and, of course, the correct Change Management procedures, a company can see positive results in productivity, staff loyalty and a significant savings in terms of operational expenses.
For large organisations with established multinational operations, remote collaboration is not something new. Those companies already have the necessary procedures in place to manage their teams remotely, as well as the secure exchange of documents between one office and another.
One of the biggest changes that COVID-19 has caused in the business world is that small teams (Freelancers, digital marketers) and SMEs have to adapt to the remote culture in order to ensure long-term business continuity and smooth operations for their day-to-day business.
By deploying the right tools to allow for effective remote working, a business can now provide uninterrupted support for its clients and set the foundations to expand globally without disrupting the already-established policies and workplace culture.