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COVID-19 Top Concerns for Remote Workers

In a few short days, our lives and businesses have been impacted in an unprecedented way.  The COVID-19 pandemic emerged quickly and forced us to alter our personal plans and routines in the name of safety. Similarly, businesses had to react to keep operations fully functioning while following government guidelines to allow employees to work remotely.

If your team is starting to or was already working remotely following recommendations and mandates from the CDC and Governor DeWine, you may have questions: What can I do to set my team up for success? Does our organization have the correct infrastructure to maintain full productivity while we transition to remote work?

Working from home or in the field isn’t a new concept but moving an entire company to remote work with a snap of a finger is easier said than done.  Many organizations were left scrambling to determine if their network could handle the load and still others quickly found working remotely wasn’t even possible based on their current IT environment. After all, working remotely requires a company to safeguard assets and intellectual property with extra security precautions.

Given this, Revolution Group has composed the top things to consider for your employees to work securely from home.

User Guidelines

Companies should have Administrative Policies in place for Acceptable Use, Remote Access, and Work from Home.  Many organizations require that employees use company issued machines.  While that makes the devices more manageable, other organizations leverage BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or Cloud Workspaces which allows access from non-company devices.  A Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution can secure both company and non-company devices.  All computers need to have the latest Windows updates and employees working remotely need to be certain that they have properly secured their home router and wifi.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Protecting your data should remain top of mind whether your staff is working from home or in the field. Remote workers should utilize extra security precautions such as a client-based VPN which enables users to create a private, secure connection to your organization’s network and safely send and receive data from anywhere.

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA or 2FA (Two-factor authentication) adds a second “password” that is entered in addition to your regular password and is a very effective measure to prevent your log in from being used by someone else.  It provides excellent protection, takes very little time to implement and has minimal impact on the user experience.  If this is not enforced currently within your organization, it must be made a priority.

Password Manager

Employ a reputable password manager so you aren’t duplicating passwords or reusing old ones.  LastPass, 1Password and Dashlane are some of the top companies in the space.  These are both valuable for your work computer and your mobile devices.

Mobility Tools

While a VPN and MFA allow your team to work securely from anywhere, the ability to work from anywhere requires a bit more preparation. When your workday includes asking your coworkers for answers or help, grabbing a bite with your team and meeting in conference rooms to discuss upcoming projects, working remotely can be a difficult adjustment.

Now, more than ever before, companies have the need for video conferencing.  Fortunately, there are several excellent options to consider like Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting and Zoom. At Revolution Group, we chose Microsoft Teams because not only does it provide a great video conferencing solution, it also allows for instant chat, collaboration, file sharing and phone calls.  To learn a little more, please check out our Microsoft Teams page.

File Sharing

With everything changing so rapidly, many organizations didn’t have the time or capacity to upgrade their company file storage to a cloud-based system. We recommend SharePoint to our clients already operating in the Microsoft Office Suite because it offers convenient features such as:

·       Easy storage, access and viewing of your organization’s data.

·       Powerful search capabilities over all of your organization’s data

·       Direct integration with all Microsoft applications such as Office 365, OneDrive and Microsoft Teams.

·       Enterprise-wide security settings controlling viewing, editing of all documents and folders depending on the needs of your teams.

·       Built-in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Tools to enable monitoring and control security access of all data.

Vigilance

The term “healthy paranoia” really applies here.  A recent ABCNews article brought attention to how cybercriminals are using the Coronavirus to exploit people specifically because they are working remotely. So, everyone must be vigilant and avoid accessing public WiFi, carefully review all email correspondence and continue ongoing cybersecurity trainings through companies like KnowBe4.

 

Hopefully, this provides a good foundation and possibly a few new tips for your employees to be more secure, aware and efficient.  With a good deal of empathy and compassion, we will get through this unprecedented time together. Should you have any questions, Revolution Group is happy to be a resource and serve you any way we can.

 

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