Information technology is leading the world Today!
While the world fights against coronavirus (COVID-19), the information technology industry is committed to play a constructive role in responding and helping mitigate the spread of the virus, this is due to that most governmental and non-governmental organizations are not ready for these kind of events, as the current unusual circumstances are forced to implement measures that enforced on individuals and enterprises to online life starting with turn people to learning and doing their jobs from home to shopping online using online banking channels, down to enjoying their social life using social media platforms and entertainment websites, while enterprises rely more on videoconferencing and handling their activities remotely. Therefore, researchers, innovators and businesses all over the world are working on innovation to develop and improve the information technology area to mitigate the effects of the global crisis by providing applications, tools, and resources available to everyone educators, employers, and governments to help with the challenges associated with coronavirus.
This has lead the Information Technology industry to take some measures to make sure that communities have the information, guidance and tools that they need to deal with this crisis and facilitate live their lives online as follows.
Internet as Backbone:-
Will the internet be disconnected? The short answer is probably not. The longest answer is that there will be disruptions.
Internet is under huge strain due to the coronavirus as more people work from home, and the pressure will grow on home networks as home broadband will be overloaded, just like highway congestion, and since not all companies are ready to handle this sudden surge overload, all families sharing a single Wi-Fi signal should expect delays. That is why Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have increased their speed to keep up with the huge consumers’ demand, while some service providers launched promotional offers and provided free access to help those affected.
On the whole, major changes to the Internet infrastructure are mandatory such as replacing all old cables with fiber-optic cables to deal with Internet traffic across cities without congestion and develop the devices that strengthen and boosts the existing signal across any house. At the same time, it greatly increases the range and speed of the current Wi-Fi, as the residences and neighborhoods served by low bandwidth cable and copper wire connections among the first affected.
Remote Access Technologies:-
Due to widespread fears over Coronavirus, large number of companies are scrambling to purchase and implement remote access tools, starting from small businesses to tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft, as well as World’s Largest Companies like BP, United Health Group, Allianz, Bank of America and Citigroup as they asked their employees to work from home in an effort to decrease the potential adverse effects on day-to-day operations and put various plans to work through secure remote access connection technologies, it’s acts as if on the same local network, all data is interchange over a secure tunnel in an encrypted format between the employee’s laptop and the company’s internal network, which prevents third parties such as hackers and governments from eavesdropping or stealing passwords and other sensitive information. Such as VPN (Virtual Private Network) and RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) which have become more reliable since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak
Cloud Computing Approach:-
Cloud services are experiencing slower performance than normal due to internet strain. In spite, if your business uses cloud technologies then you are lucky as you may have a range of secure options at your disposal with very little cost outlay or disruption for your business, as cloud computing could be used as another method for remote access technologies, it provides computing services from applications to data storage and systems processing where your staff can access company applications in addition to their documents securely from home.
However new cloud releases should have significant progress and be more reliable which enhances and emphasizes its ability to improve workflows within the organization via its role providing all forms of technical support and managing day-today operations.
With the rapid spread of coronavirus and the lack of adequate resources to cope with it, many agencies and entities are turning to AI and related technologies looking for support in unique and innovative ways in order to playing a critical role in halting the spread of the virus and preserving public safety.
At the top of the list is the contribution of artificial intelligence is assistance researchers find effective vaccine able to contain the epidemic. Using data from multiple sources, AI can build a repository of big data that enables tracking the spread of coronavirus and predicting the evolution of the pandemic.
Information Security and Cyber-Attacks:-
Moreover, we cannot conclude without mentioning Information Security and Cyber-Attacks, as according to IT leaders remote work increases the chances of data security breaches and keeping company’s devices and information secure becomes more challenging. Therefore, companies are commit to do what they can to protect their information assets by applying certain practices and procedures that will strengthen data security and the best place to begin is by establishing security policy and enforcing employees to review and sign it.
The policy should serve as a security agreement that employees are required to comply with, while the policy document should cover the details outlining all of the various security protocols, controls and techniques that must be existing the place, i.e. which tools and resources that must provide, password rules, encryption policy and access management guidance
Finally, the new reality urges governments and global organizations to focus on the impact of the crisis on their IT infrastructure and adjust the growth of IT spending and Cyber security compared to previous years to align this shift.
By Tarek El- Sherif
IT and Cyber Security Researcher