The New World of Work: 6 Steps to Ensure Your Network is Ready
There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the workforce indefinitely. During the initial lockdown in March 2020, hundreds of thousands of workers left the office and logged into work at home, where they could safely social distance. While the pandemic continues today, newly lifted restrictions mean more workers are returning to the office and the future of the workforce is beginning to take shape.
Many companies faced significant change throughout the pandemic, whether they granted employees remote access for the first time or experienced growth and added to their team.
As some employees are now returning to the office, many companies are moving forward with a hybrid model to accommodate the fluctuating workforce and provide continued flexibility for employees. It’s likely that hybrid work will be considered standard moving forward. It’s time to consider if your network is ready and up to par with your current status.
We’ve put together a return-to-work assessment guide to help companies make sure their network is ready to support their present needs.
Return to Work Checklist
Here, we’ve compiled a list of the six aspects of your network that you should review to ensure you’re prepared for your current environment:
- Internet Bandwidth
Bandwidth is the maximum capacity for data transfer of an electronic communications system. Most of the applications that companies rely on today, especially SaaS offerings, require internet connectivity. Traffic flows have shifted from on premises east/west, to north/south egress of the company’s environment for most day-to-day resources.
It’s not only important that companies have enough bandwidth, but that they’re utilizing their bandwidth efficiently. Are your failover methods static? It may be time to consider SD-WAN to resolve these issues.
2. Wireless Capacity
If your workforce’s headcount has changed since the start of COVID-19, you’ll need to consider the amount of people logging onto your company’s WIFI. Further, the number of devices per employee may have increased as well.
If you scaled back throughout the pandemic, it may be time to increase your wireless capacity.
3. Proper Segmentation
Proper segmentation involves dividing your network into different segments based upon their individual function or business unit. This provides more granular control over your user base and the ability to apply security controls that are specific to the needs of each segment.
For example, you can add all IoT devices (such as cameras, door card readers, or HVAC systems) into a specific segment with stricter security.
Proper segmentation will provide visibility into user and server traffic flows. In addition, this acts as a tag for identification and ensures proper enforcement and dynamic assignment to these segments.
4. Port Capacity
Many businesses and organizations have grown since the start of the pandemic. It’s important to make sure that your existing switching environment has enough ports to support all your current users and devices.
If users are returning to the office, the switching environment will need to be prepared to handle the uptick in throughput and bandwidth increases. The wireless infrastructure will also need to accommodate increased users.
As your workforce shifts, maintaining the correct port capacity will help ensure your network runs smoothly.
5. Security Policies
Whether you have an on-premises, hybrid, or fully remote workforce, these configurations all require very different security solutions.
Back in March 2020, businesses and industries rapidly changed to accommodate the challenges associated with the pandemic. At the time, many adopted a fully remote model to allow employees to safely work from home.
Now, as employees are beginning to return to the office, it’s important to ensure your security policies are prepared to accommodate your current or changing configurations. For more information on securing your cloud, check out our blog: Prepping for Cloud Security in 2022: Is Your Business Ready?
As cyber criminals continue their onslaught of attacks with no signs of slowing down, it’s important to ensure that your cyber security posture is up to date, and any vulnerabilities are addressed.
6. Cloud Optimized Network
Today, it’s all about remaining flexible and agile. Migrating to the cloud offers several key benefits that help businesses remain competitive, including security, scalability, and cost efficiency. You’ll no longer need to purchase or maintain server equipment or system administrators.
Whether you’re considering a public, private, or hybrid cloud model, migrating to the cloud provides access to you and your employees to applications from anywhere in the world. In today’s changing workforce, migrating to the cloud is a logical step for a more flexible workforce.
Next Steps: Reconsider Your Network
Is your business prepared for the unknowns of the future of the workplace? Do you have the capacity for a hybrid workspace?
Contact Arraya for a full network assessment. This is a tumultuous time for cyber crime, and everyone is a target.
From ensuring your network has proper segmentation to helping you with bandwidth requirements, we can prepare your network for the modern workforce. In addition, we can review your licensing to ensure you’re not paying for things you don’t need. It’s important that your network is ready to both run efficiently and securely.
Reach out to an Arraya expert to start a conversation today.
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.
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