As local, state, and national health officials across North America work to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), telecommuting and remote work have become the new normal.
Given the gravity of the situation, business continuity is critical. CMIT Solutions is committed to helping companies across United States and Canada enable their workforce to telecommute. We also understand the crucial importance of cybersecurity over the coming weeks, as millions of employees across North America access networks and business data from home.
While you manage and prepare your families, your staff members, your clients, and your businesses, consider the following strategies for remote work success. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact CMIT Solutions today.
1. Implement remote access—and the controls needed to keep it safe.
Moving to a new system of telecommuting is never easy. But even when a remote work contingency plan comes together quickly, it should still address any potential risks to data security and client privacy. CMIT Solutions can help your business procure the equipment necessary to empower employees to work from home—and set it up with the trusted remote desktop protocols to keep users and the information they are accessing safe.
2. Make sure multi-factor authentication (MFA) is in use by all remote employees.
This two-step login process requires users to enter something they know (a password) and something they have (a unique code delivered via text or email, or a fingerprint confirmation via mobile device) to add an extra level of security to any application. The human element of this process is critical to keep account credentials safe.
3. Urge your remote employees to use private, protected Wi-Fi networks.
While the current health crisis will minimize the use of public Wi-Fi networks at coffee shops, libraries, and airports, residential Wi-Fi connections can be risky as well. Encourage any staff members working from home to protect their wireless routers with robust passwords. That can prevent illicit access or unwanted traffic analysis, protecting any devices connected to the at-home Wi-Fi network and any files transmitted through it.
4. Require VPNs for sensitive information.
Virtual private networks can provide secure access to important business data housed on company-wide networks. Using a VPN, a remote employee’s public Internet connection is encrypted and their online traffic is shielded, reducing the vulnerability to hackers who may look to exploit the current coronavirus pandemic. However, telecommuters that don’t use a VPN to connect to an office network can pose serious risks to a company’s overall cybersecurity. If a poorly protected home computer or laptop is infected with malware or ransomware, it can quickly spread to the entire office network if a VPN is not in use.
5. Practice good physical hygiene, too.
Computer keyboards, mobile phones, workstations, and earbuds are not the most sanitary items in the world. After you finish wiping down doorknobs and other common touch areas around your house, give your laptop, devices, and accessories a round of cleaning as well. (Microfiber cloths, canned air, cotton swabs, and rubbing alcohol are your best friends in this scenario.) Even when you’re working from home, don’t forget to regularly wash your hands with hot water and soap and use hand sanitizer as needed.
6. Make sure your data backups are tested regularly.
A reliable IT provider should perform this task automatically—but don’t hesitate to ask about it. Your data is too important to be improperly backed up or inaccessible in the event of an emergency. And the current situation we’re in only emphasizes the need for regular, remote, and redundant data backups. At CMIT Solutions, we conduct weekly reviews of our clients’ backup and disaster recovery plans, ensuring that important business information is at the ready, no matter what happens.
That’s just one positive aspect of working with a managed service provider like CMIT Solutions. Even in these trying time, we proactively monitor our clients’ IT infrastructure with remote monitoring, 24/7 maintenance, and user support. We’ve cared for small and mid-sized businesses for nearly 25 years, maintaining our high standards of service through countless disasters and emergencies.
With more than 800 dedicated staff and technicians spread across North America, you can rely on CMIT Solutions to provide the remote work resources, regular communications, and reliable services you need to keep your business running. We are ready to meet this challenge by standing by our clients’ side. If you need us, we’re here for you.