COVID-19 IMPACTInterviews

COVID-19 Impact: Health and Wellbeing of Employees Have Taken Precedence

Mohamad Abdallah, the Regional Director for Middle East, Turkey and Africa at SonicWall, speaks about how COVID-19 has impacted business and the contingency plans the company has put in place in case the crisis persists or gets escalated

During this COVID-19 crisis, what measures have you undertaken to continue your own business without disruption?
SonicWall has a large remote workforce across EMEA. As a company we have thrived on a  remote working model while providing continued support to our partners and customers. As our employees are routinely working from home, the infrastructure and policy needed for remote working are unquestionably already in place. Our scalable, remote access solution ensures that all our employees are protected outside the safety of our corporate network perimeter.

What measures and initiatives have been taken to provide uninterrupted service to customers?
As corporate networks extend beyond the firewall, security remains an ever-present concern, especially as malicious actors look to exploit fears over the pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic is also placing new demands on IT infrastructure, especially networks and datacenters. In addition, the explosion of exposure points has not only increased the attack surface area of organizations but has also taxed IT departments.

We’re combining our 28 years of experience, data and technology with our partner-led culture to deliver what we call ‘Boundless Cybersecurity platform’. The platform delivers seamless protection that stops the most evasive cyberattacks across endless exposure points and increasingly remote, mobile and cloud-enabled workforces. We are helping organizations be prepared for an influx of cyberattacks, and are giving participating partners, both regionally and globally, a competitive edge.

Our recently launched enhanced version of the SecureFirst Managed Security Service Provider (MSSPs) Program provides the licensing models, resources and tools needed to help MSSPs mitigate the rapidly growing threat volume. To help organizations cost-effectively implement VPN technology for their rapidly expanding work-from-home employees, SonicWall is making its remote access products and services available to both new and existing customers at discounted rates during this period.

Enterprise and SMB customers in the Middle East can avail free Secure Mobile Access (SMA) virtual appliances along with discounts on SonicWall Cloud App Security and Capture Client endpoint protection when paired with SMA

Which top industry verticals and markets have you seen the maximum traction? How has COVID-19 impacted business with existing customers in those verticals and markets?
Each vertical has been affected by COVID-19, but we’ve seen maximum impact from healthcare, education and government across the Middle East & Africa region. Organizations from across these industries are looking to quickly access and use features of their current IT to enable them to better cope with the crisis. A lot of them have been moving to cloud-based services, and those services are being leveraged now.

Have you put in place any contingency plans if this crisis persists or gets escalated?
The health and wellbeing of our employees takes precedence while we continue to serve our customers and partners across the region. As a key security vendor in the market, we are increasing efforts to support customers virtually, with either existing products or new implementations.

What sort of business and financial impact do you expect for your business as a result of COVID-19?
COVID-19 has impacted businesses across the globe. However, over the last few months, we have been serving a large number of our installed base with different technologies from our portfolio like Secure remote access, cloud application security and end-point security solutions. We believe that businesses will continue to invest in securing their remote workforce, and SonicWall is here to respond to meet their needs.

Have you kick-started any initiatives for your employees to better handle this crisis?
In times of isolation, we are fortunate to have a strong leadership and a great team that keeps each other motivated and engaged just like in a real office environment. Our teams are engaged in weekly live chats, competitions, and activities that stimulate the mind and help employees contribute to making our daily activity fun and productive.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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