The rise of coronavirus is literally upsetting labour organizations around the world. With the exception of large workers’ factories, digital technology allows HR managers to produce an agility of working time that is always known, but never tested at such a high level of demand.
In France, Level 3 is now clearly announced and, among the services mobilised, there is that of the Directorates of Information Systems. The latter is suddenly asked to issue VPN (Virtual Private Network) access and allow the administrative sedentary to work from home.
If, in times of strike, this type of service applies to a certain population, the coronavirus requires that the entire “non-essential” population be left at home on a site, with the sole aim of limiting as much as possible the mixing of staff on the premises of working and on public transport.
But this test of the resilience of IT managers will not be without difficulty. They will need to manage their Firewall licenses to allow employees to connect to the company’s information systems. It is at this time that we discover the agility of remote access solution publishers in their ability to deliver, in record time, a commercial offer and licenses. These will be limited to the number of laptops available to the company, which is probably insufficient in the vast majority of cases. It is likely that future desktop renewals will benefit the mobile devices market.
This action leads to another: the one suspended from the Firewall’s ability to suddenly manage so many remote connections.
Some equipment has been designed and acquired to deliver occasional service and will soon be saturated if half of the organization’s employees suddenly use a VPN. And this saturation will not be inconsequential on the company’s internet bandwidth. Indeed, employees working remotely use the internet to connect, but will bounce back on the company’s internet output to emerge. The bandwidth will suddenly be doubly requested. And, for companies that would like to increase throughput, they will face the natural inertia of telecom operators who do not have the reputation of being particularly agile on this service offer.
We therefore have a company that is relocated to as many remote offices as it has employees, with its information system whose security will be based solely on the rigor of a subtle setting, between the application rights of user and system permissions.
The VPN is generally reliable, as it is delivered sparingly, and involves special attention in its setting. But suddenly, it’s a mass use that settles with haste, and a huge internal pressure coming out of users in demand of immediate access to work.
The Information Systems Directorate is then asked to provide a service, often known to one or two employees who are called Network Administrator.
So we have thousands of companies that have and will undertake to relocate access to their information systems from anywhere! This is a sensitive and dangerous operation.
It is sensitive by its setting, which makes it request the security body essential to the organization. It is dangerous because it implies that each user has an up-to-date, verified and compliant operating system.
No technical debt would be bearable because it would instantly lead to an attack on the information system with the catastrophic consequences that this could entail.
Thus, among the thousands of side effects that coronavirus generates in our economy and our behaviors, there is one that will be a landmark as the passage of the year 2000: it is the relocation of millions of workers who must set up their offices at home. And for an IT management, it is a challenge as it is constrained by many players, more or less agile, and without any plan of this type being imagined before, while being forced to realize it in a few weeks or even days.
Telecom links will saturate, because this is without counting on the development of video conferencing which, constrained and forced, will introduce users to a new form of meeting with a reduced carbon impact.
This package, in the midst of transformation, will have the effect of outsourcing the production of the company’s information and thus exposing it to cyber risk, since it is not able to take control of the systems outside the organization. One sector will benefit fully from this change, it is mafia and state cybercrime that will, more than ever, be able to better intercept the company’s information and threaten it by all the more.
Thus, the Coronavirus 2020 will cause a break in our models of exchange and work that could not be possible without the technology so decried by its way of modifying human relationships at work. This time, it will help bind women and men to ensure the continuity of essential economic operations, provided that our computer antivirals are up to date.