CTO Guide: Remote Work During the Crisis

MARYNA DEMCHENKO

Published: 19 Oct 2020

Building Virtual Teams

We are experiencing an unprecedented shift in our way of life and work as we adjust to the new normal. Companies have uncovered new challenges in the way they work. Solving those challenges falls on the shoulders of CTOs who need to reinvent the ways people and technology work together. 

Many companies have put a lot of effort into enabling virtual cooperation. It seems like the right time for CTOs to use technologies as the driving force of business transformation. This post will take a look at essential things to consider when adjusting to the new ways of work caused by the pandemic, as seen by Vishal Gupta, a Forbes contributor. 

Address the human side

According to Amy Morin, psychotherapist and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, empathy is rising during the pandemic. Leaders who reflect on compassion will come away with more strength than ever before. The situation calls for a personalized approach and building trust - the right approach during these uncertain times. Unfortunately, there is no proven way to navigate the situation, but honesty, sharing, and hearing concerns can go a long way. Essentially, leaders need to communicate their decisions and show that they do everything in their power to ensure the teams adjust to the new reality. 

Recreate the comfort of the office at home

Before the pandemic, you probably have never imagined your company would be a distributed one. Today, leaders strive to help teams set up and work effectively from home. Some are snapping up laptops, desks, chairs, and other office paraphernalia. Others let staff take home their monitors from work or compensated for home office costs. 

The situation calls for considering both elements - people and technology. That means CTOs need to think about what the staff needs to be productive and comfortable working in a distributed environment. That includes collaboration and communication tools, computers, webcams, LAN cards (for poor broadband), and more. 

Read also: Working With Remote Teams: A Guide on Transitioning From Office to Remote Work

Building and promoting team camaraderie 

Company leaders are putting a lot of effort into maintaining morale during these uncertain times. Tools like MS Teams, Zoom, Slack have become our virtual headquarters. These tools help recreate camaraderie when team members are away from each other. They allow us to mimic a typical day at the office with daily meetings, watercooler talks, team lunches, and more. Most importantly, they help establish an operational rhythm where teams work as one and team members get to know each other, which alleviates the pressure of a sudden transition and helps build a strong culture. 

Securing your network 

Virtual access to your company network comes with significant challenges. In many instances, corporate VPNs are not designed for such a load. Employees often aren't familiar with cryptographic tools and work through weak household routers from an unprotected home network. All of this removes all the stops for hackers. 

According to Zdnet, companies that run Pulse Secure VPN servers are still at risk of getting hacked, despite patching vulnerable systems, cyber-security agencies from the US and Japan have warned this month. 

VPNs are a significant target for cyber con artists. It's incredibly vulnerable since they allow hackers to access any part of the enterprise. Remote security policies may include: 

  • Thorough authentication of all users and devices;
  • Following the Zero-trust principle, which implies a total absence of trust to the users, even inside the network. The principle dictates that each user or device must validate their data every time they request access to resources inside or outside the network.
  • Constant monitoring of activities inside the environment to identify threats early on. 

Ensuring scalability and security 

Even during the pandemic, organizations want to grow and evolve. As such, there is a need for scalable and secure solutions. In terms of security, it makes sense to limit remote employees' access to the internal network, letting them only access areas they require. That decreases the number of vulnerabilities in the network. Combined with the zero-trust principle, companies can increase security and prevent cyberattacks. With the cloud in place, such security measures can be established throughout an entire organization. 

Read also: Transition to WFH: The Cost of Security

Accelerating Cloud Adoption

There is no denying that the cloud provides the necessary scalability and security for distributed teams. With a cloud solution in place, you can add and remove resources securely and implement your security policies. 

At the same time, it is essential to form cloud and data strategies from the standpoint of long-term remote work. 

From a security standpoint, it's recommended that company leaders use the cloud onboarding factories to achieve the highest levels of transparency as to cloud workloads, optimization ways, reliability, and security. Cloud navigators help make the most of cloud efforts and eliminate the risks of a cyber attack. 

Unfortunately, joining the movement of remote work comes with massive security challenges and risks. Therefore, today is the high time to secure employees' access to the internal network, data, applications. It's also the right time to establish a strong communication and collaboration culture to thrive during this turbulent time. It's incumbent on leaders to interweave new tech to ensure end-to-end security, scalability and address people's needs while enabling a smooth transition to the secure and comfortable work from home. 

Overcome the Tech Talent Shortage with NCube

Building virtual teams for companies worldwide, we at NCube have long since adapted to the remote mode. Today, when the tech world is working from home, we can help you reap the benefits of remote work by building your own virtual tech team in Ukraine. Our teams support critical projects of CrossEngage, Flighright, Encore, FRST, and many more. Contact us via the form below, and our experts will help you with your project. 

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