For most companies, a workforce comprised of mostly remote employees is unchartered territory. Challenges lay waiting around every corner and successfully navigating this new world requires not only the ability to course-correct at a moment’s notice but also a flexible, experienced IT partner to help guide.
As you begin your journey, consider the following for a much smoother ride:
- How do you enforce an IT security policy and manage end-point security on home systems?
When employees leave the safe, secure walls of their corporate offices, remote security becomes even more crucial to ensure company and client data remains confidential. In addition to establishing a cybersecurity policy for all employees, companies must also integrate more stringent security controls such as mandatory VPN access, two-factor authentication, encryption software, firewalls, anti-malware and antivirus software, and automatic security updates. Today, many of these services can be provided from the cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors. These solutions can usually be deployed in a fraction of the time of their on-premise hardware predecessors and sold in “per user” subscriptions that are centrally managed and updated.
- How do you ensure seamless communication for remote teams?
With teams spread out over cities, states, and countries, the easiest way to ensure seamless communication is to standardize the use of specific tools for certain types of communication. For example, using email for handling non-urgent, broad scope issues; software-based phone systems that are not tied to a specific location; chat for urgent, micro-level decisions or video conference platforms for meetings and webinars. This uniformity of solutions and suggested usage recommendations within the company will lead to less miscommunications and a more efficient, productive output.
- Do you have a process for onboarding and off-boarding remote employees?
Through the use of cloud apps, onboarding and off-boarding remote employees becomes infinitely simpler and seamless. Not only do cloud apps make it easier to provision new accounts, but they also provide companies with an easier way to centrally handle and log them, so when an employee leaves, all of the appropriate features and access can be immediately terminated or disconnected. For larger or more advanced organizations, identity and access management solutions can help track and maintain user applications and permissions.
- How do you handle non-work-related software causing corporate IT support issues?
When living rooms, studies, and coffee shops become the new “office”, it’s inevitable that non work-related software will become an issue and possible threat to corporate IT support. Establishing an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for responsible internet access and personal usage is always a solid starting point, but companies may also want to look into: employee internet management software, advanced security services that limit access to specific types of sites, including social media, and even potentially only allowing Administrators to install programs.
- If a security event occurs, is there any easy way to remediate all affected users remotely?
In the instance that a security breach does happen with remote employees, companies need to know they’ll be able to quickly and easily mitigate the damage. By proactively putting together a report and response plan that is specifically tailored to this mobile workforce, companies can breathe a little easier knowing they’re prepared. Cloud backup solutions can also be implemented to ensure that device data is redundantly stored and separated from the risk to any individual device.
While the shift to remote work may cause us to change the way things are done, often these changes are for the better. When done correctly, these changes can actually improve the flexibility, security and productivity of the entire organization.
GCS works with companies going through this transition. From solution recommendations to deployments and ongoing support, let us know how we can help.