Whether you’ve accepted it at your business or not, remote work is only going to grow and become a necessity for businesses to offer partial or fully remote.
If you currently offer remote work or looking at potentially expanding this option, there are a few key items to consider.
These are the 3 most important aspects to successfully implement remote work:
User’s computers should be:
2. Desktop at work AND home
The option to allow personal computers to be used should not be considered. Allowing personal devices opens your organization to risk. This can easily be avoided by not allowing the devices in the first place.
For desktop computers, it’s easy. Identical setup at your business and at their home.
For laptops, here is the perfect setup:
1. Powerful laptop
2. USB Docking station – These are easier and more compatible than the old school “docking stations”
3. Dual Monitors – Now they have 3 monitors!
That’s it! Simple and easy. They unplug their laptop and connect the USB port and are instantly running at home.
VoIP Phones: This is listed under hardware, but physical phones are quickly becoming obsolete. Download the included software phone and provide an inexpensive headset for your employees and they easily take their work phone with them on their computer! If you haven’t moved to a VoIP phone service yet, here’s 5 ways that VoIP can benefit your business. If you have, here’s 6 tips to improve your business’ productivity.
There are lots of ways to make access easy without sacrificing security. Having your employees connect to the office to a physical server is the “old school” method that many businesses are still utilizing. Consider using SharePoint, which is included with your M365 license. With SharePoint, folders can sync to the file explorer, so it looks just like what they’re used to! That data is then backed up, just like a server would be.
If you want to take your file sharing to the next level, we offer an enterprise grade file sync and share application called xSync. xSync provides secure access to your files, with secure servers and backup features. Top this off with role based access rights and secure audit logs. xSync is the perfect way to reduce your digital clutter and improve collaboration with your internal and external teams.
However, you may have business specific applications that are not cloud based and require a server. I don’t want to get too technical, so you can reach out and we can provide an audit on the best solution for accessibility. Moving to a hosted (cloud) solution or ensuring remote access for your users to your server onsite would be the primary recommendations here.
As mentioned, you don’t want users accessing company data on their personal devices. There are very easy force functions your IT provider can implement to ensure this is not occurring.
As more devices move away from the umbrella of the firewall (a firewall is a physical device on your network that “filters” your internet data and protects computers at your business) you will need to ensure your security is focused on the computer and laptop, rather than the office location.
Okay, I hope I didn’t lose you here. Here is a quick infographic explaining what I mean:
Simple right? When the firewall is not there, the computer/laptop security needs to be improved. Home networks don’t have corporate firewalls to protect them though.
How do we improve the computer/laptop security?
There’s a lot that we do, and I’m sure your current provider may do too. Here is a quick summary of the highest benefit lowest impact layers you need to have in place:
- Multi-factor authentication – when the users log into their Microsoft accounts, they will be prompted with a push notification to their mobile device confirming it’s them This prevents 99% of personal identity attacks… it’s a no-brainer.
- Anti-Virus – There are lots of terms for this, but at the end of the day you need a trusted anti-virus on all computers
- Conditional Access Policies – you want to make sure company data is NOT accessed on personal devices. Get your IT team to set this policy up and you’re all set. Need help? Let us know.
- Managed Detection and Response – This is the one all of those cybersecurity insurance questionnaires ask about. Make sure your provider has this on ALL machines.
There are more layers to consider, but these are the non-negotiables.
Moving to an increased remote workforce should not be a scary proposition. If you make it easy for yourself and your employees, it will improve your business. Ensure employees have strong KPIs and that you have an IT team with ample experience in consulting and implementing these types of setups.
If you need help setting up and securing your remote force, we’d be glad to help. Schedule a 15 min call to see how we can help, no strings attached.