Three ways to strengthen your remote work offering

Sean Campbell, Director Canadian Channels, Fortinet

With each passing day, it’s clear that some Canadians won’t be returning to their offices anytime soon. That means the transition phase is officially behind us. Businesses are now focused on making the adjustments they need to effectively maintain a remote workforce for the foreseeable future.

The opportunity this presents for partners is to provide the strategy and solutions that these businesses need to navigate the process of planning and improvement. Starting with their existing resources is one of the easiest and most effective ways to start these conversations. 

Here are three areas to focus on as you help your customers plan their long-term remote work approach.

Cloud migration security

March 2020 was a major turning point for most organizations. To respond to the sudden surge in remote work, companies likely accelerated their transition to cloud applications without the luxury of proper planning. That means some businesses are, right now, functioning in a less-than-ideal state, with IT teams lacking the visibility, access control, or data protocols they need to ensure smooth operations. Adding to this is that many newly remote workers turned to “lift and shift” when it came to their workloads – simply transferring a massive amount of data to the cloud with little to no thinking as to long-term compliance or security issues. 

Partners should zero in on this issue. Leaning into cloud migration and security expertise will help you demonstrate precisely where there are possible cloud vulnerabilities – and outline approaches that will yield quick wins.

Packaged up cloud-based service assessments

Even before COVID-19, most IT departments grappled with resource constraints to some degree. Since March, however, their lives have become even more complicated and their time more scarce. The result is that many businesses now lack the time or people resources they need to fully explore and address the vulnerabilities in their cloud infrastructure.

This is the ideal time for partners, and especially MSSPs, to consider offering cloud security assessments as a service. These services make it easy for clients to quickly review data security, threat detection, and compliance processes. This also opens the door to the work that could be done to address common risks related to application and configuration issues.

Focus on business continuity

The onset of COVID-19 also showed organizations how prepared they really are to handle a major business disruption. While some passed with flying colors, many struggled then and continue to struggle now. The mass transition to remote work has demonstrated how important it is to have a viable business continuity plan, and now that workers are tucked away in their remote work environments, this is a good time to revisit those plans to prevent a repeat of their recent challenges in the future.

SD-WAN is the ideal place from which to start this conversation. Remote workers have put incredible strain on branch networks that may lack adequate security safeguards. Other companies may have found that the performance of critical applications has suffered under unprecedented demand, leaving users frustrated and opening another potential attack surface to cybercriminals.

By focusing on SD-WAN, partners can offer a clear and long-term solution to these problems. SD-WAN brings together the promise of stronger security and better application and infrastructure performance regardless of location. The results – a much stronger and more robust remote workforce, enhanced branch security, and the ability to lower operating costs over time.

Where to start

There are resources available to help partners maximize their business opportunities and make sure everyone on the team is up to speed on the latest network security concepts. At Fortinet, for example, we recently made cybersecurity training courses available free of charge. We’ve also encouraged partners to take advantage of our free Fast Track workshop that helps partners get a better understanding of Fortinet solutions so they are better equipped and able to deliver the kinds of solutions their customers may need.

Finally partners are encouraged to discover how Fortinet Teleworker Solutions enable secure remote access at scale to support employees with a wide array of access requirements.

Regardless of where they choose to focus, the time is right for partners to explore with their clients how SD-WAN and cloud connectivity solutions can set them up for long-term success in the new world of remote work.