Technology checklist for remote employees
COVID-19 has redefined the work culture with remote or hybrid work styles across the globe. This new system is still in its nascent stages and is constantly evolving to counter the threats and challenges that accompany it. Mobile Computer Services shares the technology essentials that an organization must have to manage a remote workforce successfully.
From the right infrastructure and processes such as network security to the right communication tools and adequate work from home (WFH) support, here’s the checklist to help a smooth remote working environment.
1. VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK (VPN)
A virtual private network (VPN) offers online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask the internet protocol (IP) address so online actions are virtually untraceable. Most importantly, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.
As WFH becomes rampant, home networks are prone to hacking as they typically don’t have the same security as office networks. An employee’s computer is often sharing the same wireless network as a child’s iPad or teen’s gaming computer. This heightens the risk of a data breach.
This is where a VPN comes in. As employees install the VPN application on their systems and sign up to connect to a business VPN, the risk is drastically reduced. The VPN successfully encrypts the employees’ internet connection, adding an important layer of security.
2. TEAM COMMUNICATION PLATFORM
A remote team is often a victim of isolation and miscommunication. This disconnection and miscommunication can lead to costly rework and other mistakes.
To enable fluid and clear communication, organizations must work with a platform such as Microsoft teams, Slack, or other messaging tools. These tools should be versatile and enable video, audio, and chat. All the cloud tools should allow team members to collaborate such as co-authoring a document simultaneously.
3. VOIP PHONE SYSTEM
VoIP is a process that converts voice signals and other types of communication into digital data and transmits it across the internet via a router. One of the major benefits of VoIP phone systems is that phone software integrates well with software for other business applications — for example, CRM systems — creating a single source of customer information.
When employees are working remotely, the absence of a company phone system poses a challenge. VoIP phone systems bring the company phone system to the cloud and make it accessible from anywhere. Employees working remotely can then get access to all the features of an enterprise-class phone such as calling out on a business line, receiving calls on their extension, and using call transfer.
4. MANAGED IT SUPPORT FOR PC
Employees working from home use personal or company-issued devices. Either way, these devices are often not managed like in-office PCs are. With the advent of the pandemic and the remote work scenario, online attacks have been on a rise. A part of the reason may be that hackers can now target the less secure devices of remote employees easily. Organizations must ensure that the devices of remote employees are secured to prevent any data breaches.
A managed IT services team such as Mobile Computer Services can help with these concerns by managing software upgrades and updates; virus shield, security, and firewall admin; bandwidth monitoring; proactive network monitoring and management; and security monitoring.
5. APPLICATION USE POLICY
Shadow IT is the use of information technology systems, devices, software, applications, and services without explicit IT department approval. It has grown exponentially in recent years with the adoption of cloud-based applications and services. This poses a big security risk for companies with employees, especially those working remotely. This use of unapproved cloud applications for work is usually done with the best of intentions such as improving productivity or the desire to try out new apps when working from home.
Companies must employ application use policies that restrict the applications that can be used for business data. This prevents the risk of data leakage or loss of important files if an employee leaves and the data is left in a particular application.
In addition, clear guidelines on the applications that employees can use give them a voice in their work tools and could benefit the entire company.
Why Mobile Computer Services?
Mobile Computer Services is a professional IT services company that works with small and medium-sized businesses in Raleigh NC. The services include:
- Managed IT services - 24x7 proactive monitoring and management of the company's IT infrastructure.
- Network services: Comprehensive care for the network systems provided by certified technicians.
- Business continuity planning: Get the business back on its feet swiftly during and after disasters.
- IT consulting: High-caliber advice from professional consultants to help achieve business goals.
- Security: Safeguard business from malicious hackers and cyber attacks.
- On-demand services: Day or night, the dedicated support staff is always available to assist.
- Office move: Professional office relocation and network cabling services.
- VoIP: Reduce telecom expenses and improve communications with powerful phone systems.
- Email Protection: Protect mail systems from spam and malware.
Contact Mobile Computer Services, Inc. at Raleigh NC today at (919) 830-9448 to find out about its Managed IT services.