How to Prepare your Business for the COVID-19 Pandemic
Is your business ready to have staff members telecommute from home? If not, discover what you need to do so your business can continue regular operations.
The CDC recommends that businesses allow workers to telecommute as much as possible. Other experts are warning that companies need to test home-work technologies now to ensure that employees can continue doing their jobs even if they can’t come to the office.
The time to arrange for workers to begin working remotely is now. Following is some advice from our team of experts that can help you create an efficient, fully secure remote work arrangement for your business.
Thankfully, IT technology offers numerous options for companies that need to switch over to telecommuting. SaaS platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 make it easy for team members to work on projects and assignments via the cloud. Cloud storage platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Amazon AWS allow you to store all your data online so contractors and remote employees can access files with ease. Furthermore, teleconferencing software enables you to connect with employees by phone or video at a very reasonable cost. However, none of these technologies will do your business any good unless you use them right. You’ll need to:
- Select an appropriate cloud storage solution for your business, bearing in mind that this solution must be not only convenient and secure but also in line with industry regulations
- Copy or move data to the cloud as needed. Cloud migration can take time if you have large quantities of data to transfer so don’t put this off to the last minute.
- Teach your employees how to use your new cloud-based set-up
- Decide how you’ll provide your employees with the software needed to do their jobs from home. Will you send company equipment to your employees’ homes or install business software on their personal devices?
Make Sure it’s Secure
Sadly, but not surprisingly, cybercriminals are already taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to create new, effective ways to breach businesses and gain access to companies’ valuable data. That’s why it’s imperative to ensure that your new set-up is fully secure. Some of the best ways to do this are:
- Provide all your employees with access to a VPN to ensure that any data or emails sent to and from your company are encrypted
- Ensure the computers your employees will use are malware-free. This could mean installing anti-virus/anti-malware programs on new devices and installing web filtering on company devices that employees will use at home to prevent staff members from inadvertently breaching your systems by clicking on malicious links.
- Setting up next-generation firewall software and endpoint monitoring to ensure that any traffic to and from your server is legitimate and authorized
- Provide employees with IT cybersecurity training, so they know how to protect their computers from breaches. Such training can be provided remotely but you might not want to wait until your office is shut down before providing your employees with the training they need to work from home securely.
Test it Now
Once you’ve drawn up a plan to allow employees to work remotely should the need arise, test it out to see if there are any problems that you need to address while you’re still able to do so. One business that did so found that some computers that employees would be working on at home didn’t have good microphones or the right video conferencing software programs. Other common problems could include an inability to install business-critical software on certain devices or outdated software that could compromise your entire network. Testing enables you to get professional help to fix these problems while you can.
Do you need professional help to create an optimized and fully secure remote work set-up? If so, Integrated365 has your back. We’re a leading Dallas-based IT managed service provider, and we have all the tools and expertise you need to make it easy for employees to work from home easily, securely and conveniently. Get in touch with us to schedule an obligation-free consultation at your convenience.