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Flexible and remote working a business necessity in the post Covid world


Regardless of how long the current situation persists and as countries, communities and businesses limp back to some sort of near normalcy, what is certain is that there will be the emergence of a “New Normal” , says  Kunal Kaul, Director Enterprise Business, Cisco India, in an interview with CIO Axis.

1. What are the tools Cisco is providing to enable business continuity during these days of CoronaVirus outbreak? 

Most large organisations have always had some sort of a BCP strategy in place, but no one ever envisaged a global lockdown of the magnitude that we have seen. Hence Business Continuity had to be recalibrated in an entirely different way and that too at a war footing. We at Cisco worked very closely with our customers to activate BCP taking into consideration the following 5 outcomes : 1. Access 2. Authentication 3. Segmentation 4. Security 5. Experience. We help our customers build software based and full virtual or cloud delivered platforms to allow remote users to connect securely to the corporate network, remotely access their applications with the right levels of authentication and security, protect users from a wide range of threats from the internet and allow users to collaborate and communicate seamlessly from home.

2. How is Cisco Webex enabling remote working? 

Cisco Webex is a Virtual Collaboration and Conferencing platform that allows users to conduct meetings from any where and any device with one touch of a button. Users and participants can join meetings from their Laptops, Smartphones and Tablets at home, or from Room Based VC Units in office and also dial in or take call backs to their mobile phones or home landlines with the same ease. It enables users to share content and documents and engage with their team members across cities and countries as if they were all in the same conference room.

3. How does Cisco ensure the operation of business through its Smart Net Total Care Service?

Cisco has always had a lot of focus towards customer experience and customer success which is directly proportional to the smooth running of IT Operations. Smartnet Total Care helps improve Business operations by reducing downtimes and risk from unplanned outages, through a combination of best in class Technical support services, proactive management tools and multiple hardware replacement models to suit a customer’s business requirements . All this is provided along with smart capabilities to manage inventory , obtain end of product life cycle inputs and critical updates related to the customer’s network .

4. What are the cyber security solutions for remote work being offered by Cisco? How do you keep data safe when using videoconferencing services?

When users are inside an office, they are protected by the highly robust Security infrastructure that has been put in place in Enterprise Networks and Datacenters. However when the same user is now connecting from a broadband internet connection, they are openly exposed to attackers and hackers and no amount of investment in the corporate security infrastructure is enough if that user gets compromised. It is now critically important to build an integrated security architecture which provides authentication to both the users and devices they use and also monitors and protects them from connecting to or accessing malicious internet domains. This also needs to seamlessly work in conjunction with the  malware detection and prevention software on the device for this framework to be effective. Cisco is able to offer Internet & DNS Security from our Umbrella Cloud and Device & User Multi Factor Authentication using DUO MFA. In addition to this we provide Malware protection for the End Point Device using our AMP for End Point client which bow becomes the first line of defence for any user.

5. How does SecureX introduced by Cisco in February address security complexity,

Most mid sized to large organizations traditionally have followed a point product centric best of breed approach for putting together their CyberSecurity infrastructure. However that has led to a combination of increased complexity and the inability of the different elements of this multi vendor set up to co relate with each other during critical incidents. Cisco Secure X solves this problem by creating a built in experience for a broad spectrum of Cisco Security Products and Technologies to allow them to work in an integrated manner. This integration across the different layers of a Security Set up allows customers to automate and complete workflows, share context between tools and teams and standardize policies across the ecosystem. Cisco’s unrivalled Threat intelligence analytics, comprehensive approach to Zero Trust and the ability to deliver integration and openness at scale with Secure X allows customers to build a highly robust and effective Threat Defence Framework for their businesses.

6. According to you, what certain practices instituted during this period of forced telework will continue?

Regardless of how long the current situation persists and as countries, communities and businesses limp back to some sort of near normalcy, what is certain is that there will be the emergence of a “New Normal”. A new normal where in-person and face to face interaction will be minimized, and transacting digitally and conducting business through virtual platforms is going to become increasingly prevalent and eventually a de facto standard. The digital disruption is inevitable. Crisis will create opportunity and adversity will drive change. But only those organizations which have the ability to unlearn and embrace change not because it was imposed but because it presented an incredible opportunity to transform, will emerge as the leaders in their respective domains. Regardless of how one sees it, Remote and Flexible working is here to stay


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