NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA-– The greater population continues to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic. The workplace has been revolutionized in a few short months. Bellwether is the largest managed services provider in the New Orleans area and has been around since the 1980’s. Over the years they’ve seen quite a bit of changes in how New Orleans has progressed through different ages of technology.
“Poco” Sloss is the CEO of Bellwether Technology and says that the coronavirus is accelerating some already in place, workplace culture, saying, “our company in a period of two to three weeks, had to shift a thousand people’s workspace from office to home. Now that technology has been enabled, I think people are seeing there are some advantages that people didn’t see before and that is changing the landscape.”
Steven Ellis is Bellwether Technology’s President and says that businesses are reassessing how they move forward, “now we know that in certain cases, it’s better to have work meeting virtually over a team’s meeting. You can see the screen more easily and you can collaborate on documents in ways that is hard to do in person. For certain types of activities there is no going back to in person.”
However, as the world was compromised by a virus, in some instances, the world web is full of viral dangers. Bellwether says that some research shows that certain sectors have seen over a 200% increase in cyber attacks since the start of the pandemic. Last year, a report from Verizon showed the damage of cyber attacks stating that small businesses suffered 40 percent of the attacks. There was an average loss of over $188,000.
Ellis says that part of the cause is that inside the average office, there is a computer system with antivirus programs. When people go to working at home, they are using their phone, laptop, desktop, and tablet and also various internet connections that may or may not be private. There then becomes a lot of unknown variables that could lead to a security risk.
“A username and password is just not reliable anymore because they are stolen too often and too easily. That is where multi-factor authentication is the most easily implementable answer to that question of increased cyber-attacks,” says Ellis.
COVID-19 is part of the overall story of how computers have become ingrained with society. In 2020 we are very dependent on our computers whether it is for entertainment, making zoom calls to stay connected with loved ones and colleagues or simply attending virtual classes for school. One of the most fortunate aspects of the pandemic is that it happened during a time when technology was able to keep us socially connected in a socially distant world.
Sloss says, “there have been unbelievable advantages that this has brought to the world, when you think that you can bring communication and education anywhere, in places that otherwise wouldn’t get it. In many ways, this has been one of the most revolutionary tragedies in history.”