PETALING JAYA: In the past few weeks, Malaysia has seen a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases, as the third wave of the virus hit the country, and this has caused massive disruption and uncertainty in the lives of all Malaysians, including local businesses.
With the current conditional movement control order (CMCO) in place, businesses are finding it hard to generate any revenue and sustain their businesses even though economic activities are allowed to continue during the CMCO.
According to the SME Association of Malaysia, up to one-quarter of Malaysia’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are at risk of closure over the next few months because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This pandemic has dramatically changed the way SMEs operate with most having no choice other than digitalising their businesses to ensure sustainability.
But without the necessary tools, SMEs are finding it hard to adapt and navigate through this transition which results in a chaotic patchwork with inherent security risks.
In a recent interview with Raz Mohamad, Asean Small Business Segment Director at Cisco said, “A distributed workforce demands more than just collaboration solutions. Security and network infrastructure must accommodate vast increases in scale, borderless operations, and a surge in usage.”
According to Cisco’s “Global Future of Secure Remote Work” report, around 38% of organisations in Asean said they expect more than half of their workforce to continue working remotely post-pandemic, compared to just 21% before the pandemic.
The same Cisco study also pointed out that 72% of organisations in Asean have experienced a 25% or more jump in either cyber threats or alerts since the start of Covid-19, making it the region with the largest proportion of organisations to experience this increase in the world (vs 61% global average).
Malaysia charted a similar trend at 62%.
“A key aspect of building a stronger foundation for cybersecurity is doing a better job educating and building employee awareness, in addition to a simple and integrated approach to cybersecurity to help businesses address these challenges, ” said Raz Mohamad adding that Cisco had a longstanding commitment to security and privacy and has invested heavily to build a culture of security throughout the organisation.
Now that remote work is the norm, it is crucial for small medium businesses (SMBs) to also look into how they can enhance communication and collaboration among their employees.
A study by Cisco on “2020 Asia Pacific SMG Digital Maturity Study” showed that 94% of SMBs in Asia Pacific have become more reliant on technology to ensure business continuity during Covid-19, and 70% said they are accelerating the digitalisation of their businesses as a result of pandemic.
It was also revealed that 64% of SMBs in Malaysia are looking to digitally transform to bring new products and services to the market, a huge jump from 33% last year.
In addition, 59% recognise that competition is transforming, and they must keep pace, while 43% said they are transforming due to demand from customers.
Raz Mohamad said that Cisco is one of the few companies with the technology, people, partners and global scale to help customers stay connected, supported, and secure.
“From network connectivity and cloud-based security to collaboration tools and machine learning, we enable people to work from anywhere, anytime, and on any device – while staying connected and productive in the most challenging conditions.” he added.
In tackling today’s unprecedented challenges, Raz Mohamad said Cisco provided free collaboration tools and security offerings, along with a suite of cloud-based services to get customers up and running quickly, including those in Malaysia.
Cisco’s new portfolio of offerings has products scaled for small businesses, and brings together the power of machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-driven solutions.
“The new launched Cisco Designed portfolio is also curated in a way where our new bundles and offers focus on key technology areas to support rapidly growing business use cases such as “Quick Office Setup”, “Secure Guest Wi-Fi”, “Seamless Remote Work Experience”, “Ransomware Protection” and “Safe Business Transactions”, targeted to further reduce cost and complexity while improving operational efficiency for small businesses.
Cisco’s goal is to give small businesses access to the same best-in-class technology innovation as our enterprise customers, but ensuring that it makes sense for their business and also balancing it with simplicity and usability.”
Our portfolio of purpose-built small business solutions – under the Cisco Designed brand – are all about value and are created to make buying, installation and maintenance simple, ” said Raz Mohamad.
To learn more on how to effectively enable remote working while ensuring that your business is protected against cyber security threats, join the free live webinar SMB’s Digitization for New Normal on Nov 5, Thurs, 8.30pm.
This free live webinar is organised by Star Media Group Bhd in partnership with Cisco.
Discover Cisco’s products and approaches targeted towards SMBs to overcome these challenges posed by the new normal.
Join Aseem Javed, Architecture Lead, Cisco Small Business, Asean as he discusses how SMBs can effectively enable remote working while ensuring that businesses are protected against cyber security threats, along with Cisco’s portfolio and approach targeted towards SMBs to overcome the challenges posed by the new normal.
Register for free now at bit.ly/starcisco. For any assistance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org