Technology Blog

If you had a blueprint for business technology success two years ago, it likely looks very different today. To say that the rules have been rewritten is an understatement, and the challenge remains. But we’ve seen a positive shift in recent months—many businesses making that important transition of operating in ‘(pandemic) survival mode’ to ‘full-on-grow and-acquire mode.’

This often means more strategy and more investment around the digital and security capabilities they can lean on, both today and tomorrow, to provide the edge they need to succeed. Digital transformation projects put on hold during the pandemic are picking back up again. The enthusiasm and motivation are there, but businesses and IT leaders need to make sure their organization has the right network foundation and cybersecurity measures in place to take those important steps forward. What are some critical questions these organizations need to ask themselves?

Does my workforce have the connectivity required to do their jobs effectively?

The bedrock of any business is its network. It’s how work gets done. For the last two years, many businesses balanced how to connect individual employees’ internet connectivity with the office’s connectivity and servers. Technology like VPN and the cloud helped make this possible, but many businesses took an understandably patchwork approach to environmental circumstances. This was often because they didn’t have the expertise or resources to think through a long-term hybrid work vision.

Fast forward to today, that’s quickly changing. 90% of global companies plan to expand their business ecosystems. That means many businesses will see their networks getting stretched like they haven’t been before. With businesses around the world growing again, there are more people online. If you depend on a shared broadband connectivity, that means your neighbors, floormates, or even the building across the street, are sharing the same network bandwidth as your office, and that could affect the speed to your business.

With more business-critical information, applications and capabilities being hosted in the cloud, a dedicated internet network infrastructure will provide consistent throughput regardless of what else is occurring on the internet.

Am I maximizing, and securing, all the relationships within my business ecosystem?

Businesses don’t operate in a bubble. They’re part of a business ecosystem featuring suppliers, vendors, manufacturers, etc. to collaborate, share strengths and align goals.

While taking steps to help ensure your workforce is connected, it’s also imperative to look outward at all the ways your partners and ecosystem members are working together with you. The more you’re able to integrate securely and efficiently, those deeper ties into your business ecosystem can give businesses, large and small, a real competitive advantage.

Deploying the right network connectivity and security strategy can help enable growth for existing business ecosystems. After all, communication and collaboration are crucial to building a sound business ecosystem. For example, look at the increase in software development tools and other advanced management capabilities developed in just the last decade. Couple this with huge advancements in collaboration tools such as file sharing and video conferencing. Businesses can securely connect and grow with an ecosystem broader than ever before to drive mutually beneficial results.

How will the growth of my organization’s digital footprint expose it to more risks?

Expanding digital capabilities often means expanding the surface area for cyber risk. By moving some operations or information offsite, or collaborating more closely with others in your ecosystem, it inherently makes that information vulnerable in more places.

On many lists of business leaders’ biggest concerns, cybersecurity generally isn’t far from the top. The risk of revenue loss due to downtime or even the impact to customer relationships is very real. In an ever-competitive environment, these could make or break some businesses.

Instances of malware and ransomware attacks continue to rise and one of the most successful ways for cybercriminals to execute an attack against businesses is through phishing. It’s easy for cybercriminals to execute phishing attacks because it exploits human nature and our penchant for clicking on unknown links.

That’s why all AT&T Dedicated Internet customers get traffic analyses and threat intelligence reports at no cost—the first of its kind in the industry.

The AT&T Business Center portal provided a streamlined view of these reports together with their AT&T Dedicated Internet circuit. With this simplified view, customers can immediately determine the category, volume and severity of detected threats. To provide an additional layer of intelligence, these reports also identify sites visited by Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) category. This AUP information can give customers a stronger understanding of policies required to prevent traffic directed to unwanted risky site categories.

The axiom rings true. You can’t solve a problem unless you actually know what the problem is. Being aware of risky internet activity with visibility into threats by category and name can go a long way in helping an organization implement appropriate security measures. 

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If your network and cybersecurity today is relatively unchanged from what it was 24 months ago, that could really affect your ability to compete in the next 24 months. Organizations should take a hard look at their network infrastructure and security elements to help ensure they have the tools and capabilities to not only connect effectively and securely, but that can also grow alongside them.