By Mike Gilmore, RESULTS Chief Compliance Officer
Does your business have a contingency plan in case a large number of employees need to work from home? Remote working is becoming easier than ever and is a smart way to prevent the spread of germs. But working from home can cause its own set of problems including security, connectivity and hardware/software issues. Creating a plan now, and testing that plan, is a good idea and will save you headaches in the future.
Here’s what to keep in mind…
The Home Workstation
Probably the most important aspect of working from home is making sure that the home workstation is safe, secure and pre-configured to work in the event of an emergency. Ideally, company-owned and configured devices should be used. If that’s not possible, have each employee identify in advance the workstation/laptop to be used and ensure that it:
- Has current antivirus or anti-malware software
- Is fully patched with the latest security patches
- Is running a current, supported operating system
- Has all of the necessary applications and tools required for the individual’s job, or is configured for remote access to those tools
- Is pre-configured with secure VPN (Virtual Private Networking) agents.
It’s also a good idea to use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) when connecting to company or cloud-based applications. Once you permit access remotely, use all precautions to make sure you know who is connecting, and where they are connecting from.
Read: “What to look for when assessing and comparing MFA solutions”
A great way to keep a team functioning together when separated physically, is to use collaboration software. Microsoft Teams is a great example. It permits sharing of information, instant messaging, audio and video conferencing for everyone in your organization. Similarly, conferencing software like Zoom or GoToMeeting permit you to bring clients and outside colleagues together as well.
Have a look at your phone system capabilities. Most modern Voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems can be configured to forward directly to a home or mobile phone. Soft Phones can allow your home workers to appear as if they’re in the office no matter where they’re sitting.
If you are a RESULTS client, you can rest assured that we will continue to manage and respond to client network issues, even if our staff works remotely. We make use of all of these tools and has fully tested remote operations. In fact, we implemented our remote working plan during a winter storm recently and had no issues.
Not sure if your business is ready for remote workers? Don’t wait until the need is urgent, contact us if you need any help.