Secure remote access technology is helping businesses all over the country to keep going as the UK suffers its worst snow for 50 years. Signify, a leading vendor of secure two-factor authentication hosted services, saw a rise of over 50% in remote log ins to corporate IT systems when travel disruption was at its worst and businesses and schools were forced to close.
According to the Federation of Small Businesses, up to three million people missed work because of the snow on Tuesday 5th January, costing businesses £600 million. And the Centre for Economics and Business Research predicts that more than 2,000 companies could go bankrupt as a result of the cold snap.
“With businesses already struggling through a recession, the ability to keep going through all eventualities is essential,” said Dave Abraham, CEO of Signify. “But at the same time security cannot be compromised; so by providing employees with secure remote access they are able to work securely and effectively from home to minimise the loss of productivity. And with some businesses now suggesting they may not pay employees who have been trapped at home in the snow, remote access removes the pressure to make potentially dangerous journeys into work.”
The beauty of using a reliable hosted service is that there is no up front investment and it is very quick and affordable to deploy as well as being flexible and easy to manage for any size of organisation. “In addition to an increase in use of our 2FA services by existing customers, we are also getting more enquiries from businesses and public sector bodies planning ahead for further disruption,” Abraham continued.
While this may seem like a one off occurrence, snow is just one way to bring unprepared businesses to a grinding halt. Every 3-6 months there are national or regional disasters that can prevent people from going to work; from the annual bout of the Noro virus to regular floods, train and tube strikes, terrorist threats and bomb scares.
“Although many organisations provide secure remote access for senior executives and staff on the road, the ability to authenticate more staff for short term secure remote access to essential email, files and applications is important to deal with these emergencies. With our flexible hosted service, new or infrequent users who may have forgotten their log-in details have been able to request a new PIN or get immediate guidance from our self-service web site or telephone helpdesk. We saw significant numbers of new users logging in during the snow,” said Abraham.
Without the need to buy new equipment or integrate with existing systems in-house, Signify ensures a low cost of deployment and total cost of ownership. And importantly, Signify hosted services are easy to manage, requiring no additional investment in specialist in-house skills.