Critical Lessons the Coronavirus Has Taught Us: Dealing with the Digital Present

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The coronavirus has affected virtually every part of the world. Businesses across all industries have felt the impact, whether due to a reduced workforce because of social distancing, or going fully remote with no in-house presence at all. There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel, though, and it’s hoped that most businesses will resume “mostly normal” operations soon.

With that being said, the coronavirus has taught us many important lessons. It’s critical that we’re able to identify those and apply them before resuming business as usual. What are the most important lessons for organizations moving forward in regard to our fully-digital world?

Access Is Critical

One of the most important lessons taught by the pandemic was just how critical it is to ensure that your people can access critical tools, information, and capabilities. For example, when the pandemic first hit and businesses began going remote, they discovered that quite a few employees had left vital tokens in the office. These tokens comprised part of a multifactor authentication system that allowed them to access information and systems securely. Without them, access was denied. Needless to say, that simple omission left many organizations scrambling to find a workaround promptly.

What does that mean for businesses as we transition out of a fully-remote work world toward something at least slightly different? Simply put, it is more important than ever for managers to ensure that the right people have access to important tools and systems at all times. This is a chance to build in new safeguards and to implement new redundancies.

  • What happens when a key individual is absent from the office? How will the person filling their role access data, tools, or systems?
  • Do those employees who must step in and handle others’ responsibilities have the training necessary to do so safely and correctly? If not, how will you provide that training?
  • Is there a clear line of authority that explains who is involved with a particular area or what is required for normal business actions?

Consider Your Partners

Another invaluable lesson we learned from the pandemic is that our partners can often provide a great deal of help. That is particularly true when it comes to moving to a more fully-digital platform. For instance, a token manufacturer may be able to offer access to mobile tokens to avoid the prospect of physical tokens being left in the office and preventing an employee from gaining access to tools, systems, or information they need to perform their job.

No organization is an island. You have multiple partners that support your efforts and allow you to do business. That might include banks, security/hosting providers, and more. Take the time to speak with each partner and learn more about what they offer, how it might benefit your organization, and what must be done to take advantage of those offerings.

  • Which of your partners can offer additional services or technologies that allow you to streamline operations, implement redundancies, or improve efficiency?
  • Looking beyond access-related technology, do your financial partners offer access to tools to improve operations, such as mobile payments?
  • Have you fully explored all the options offered by partners so that your organization is prepared for the next widespread emergency?

Security Is More Important Than Ever

Finally, security (cybersecurity in particular) is more important than ever before. If your organization is like most, a large percentage of your workforce will likely remain remote or partially remote even once the pandemic has subsided. Understand that remote workers are at an increased risk of cyber threats, including phishing attacks. Remote work also complicates things like data access and security, data sprawl, and more.
The most important thing for organizations to do in the way of employee-related cybersecurity is to invest in additional training and awareness initiatives. A robust initiative will help employees understand phishing and identify potential attacks. It will also acquaint them with vital cybersecurity hygiene practices, such as changing passwords frequently, never reusing passwords across systems, best practices when it comes to handling email requests and file attachments, and more.

  • Do your employees understand the risk that phishing attacks present? Is the C-suite on the same page in terms of risk?
  • Do you regularly require employees to change their passwords? Have you implemented length and character requirements?
  • Have you implemented a multi-factor authentication system? If so, does it include physical tokens or mobile ones?

These are just three of the lessons we have learned from the pandemic. No matter your industry or niche, access, partner-delivered benefits, and cybersecurity are of critical importance. At Valenta, we deliver critical solutions that help you address challenges in all three of these areas (as well as many others).

We work with clients across all industries to outsource critical business processes. The result? Protection from challenges related to employee absences, forgotten tokens, and more. We build in redundancies to ensure that your processes never suffer while improving efficiency and reducing costs.

Our services also help improve cybersecurity. Our business process specialists are fully trained in cybersecurity best practices and are committed to ongoing training to ensure that we’re able to deal with emerging threats. From healthcare to payment solutions to back-office services, the team at Valenta delivers critical services and solutions designed to future-proof your business. Contact us today to learn more about our range of services and how they benefit your business.