I want to preface this article by saying that I don’t like “click-bait” or fear-mongering news titles. We live in a fairly safe and secure world, all things considered.
However, this sense of security shouldn’t become complacent. Unforeseen events can happen at any time. Fortunately, most of them, terrible as they may be (terrorist attacks, natural catastrophes, social unrest, …), are short-lived. Others, not so much. Pandemics are one of them.
The H1N1 (“Swine Flu”) seems far away. The SARS epidemic is almost an ancient memory. The human mind is great and tends to favor remembering the good times a lot better than the bad. That doesn’t mean we should forget the lessons we learned from the difficult times and look at the past with rose-tinted glasses.
During previous epidemics, many companies contacted Spirent for our ability to test VPN concentrators at scale. With the current events surrounding COVID-19, a.k.a. “Coronavirus”, the phones are ringing again. More and more companies are starting to ask their employees to work from home (Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon, Nestlé, L’Oréal, Airbnb, …). These large companies have probably incorporated pandemics as part of their Business Continuity plans and have already put them to the test. They are ready.
Is your company ready? If this pandemic, or the next one, or the next catastrophic event makes matters worse, are you sure that you are ready to keep the business going? We’ve already seen that the global economy has slowed down due to the Coronavirus. Some jobs must be done on-site, but a lot of them will be done remotely. The last thing you want is to overwhelm your IT Helpdesk with calls from your employees unable to set-up a VPN tunnel or experiencing poor performance and high response times just because your firewall is undersized.
Now more than ever you should put this to the test. It’s the only way to know for sure. The vendors’ datasheets for performance numbers are “best case” scenarios but might not represent the real, live network conditions. The only way to know for sure is to put the infrastructure to the test and get the real results.
If you think it’s expensive to test, wait until you don’t test and your business is disrupted.