As COVID-19 continues to spread, many businesses are taking aggressive measures to protect staff, customers and communities. If your business does not already have a remote work policy and the right technology in place, now is the time to act. As always, please listen to your local public health officials for the most updated information on whether or not your workplace should encourage workers to work remotely.
Securely Working from Home
Currently, dozens of national businesses, including Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, have closed offices and retail stores and told employees to work remotely to avoid the transmission of COVID-19. To reduce the financial burden on businesses, Microsoft, Google, LogMeIn, Cisco Webex and Zoom are providing free remote working tools. One of the most critical elements of remote work is maintaining efficiency while reducing cybersecurity risks. Firewalls, DNS and IDS/IPS can lose their efficacy when employees head home, so you should check to ensure you have an adequate plan in place now.
The CDC has released some best practices for remote work plan during COVID-19:
- Examine your human resources policies to make sure they are consistent with public health recommendations and existing state and federal workplace laws.
- Investigate if you can establish policies, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance between employees if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies. If employees can telework, they should be encouraged to do so.
Security Considerations When Working from Home
Additionally, follow these best practices when encouraging employees to work from home:
- Secure WiFi Network: If possible, employees should work on a secure, private home network instead of public WiFi. Sending private and secure data over an unsecured WiFi connection allows the data to be intercepted. You could be putting your personal information (or private customer information) at risk, even if you are using a secure website, like a banking website. Your business should only use company hardware and a VPN, unless your employees are utilizing a secure remote desktop application like LogMeIn with MFA enabled. Security patches and software updates should be installed immediately, and all personal computers used should be managed by the trusted IT professionals at Computer Services Unlimited, Inc. to ensure their security.
- Secure Home Workstations: Check that every employee has patched and updated anti-virus and anti-malware software. Remind employees that they all must use the same strict security precautions they would in your office.
- Coordinate With Your Internal IT or MSP: Always communicate with your internal IT department or managed services provider to maintain best practices and get answers for any questions or concerns. We can help your team get set up to work remotely, and securely, on your company or personal computers.
Prepare Your Business for Remote Work with Computer Services Unlimited, Inc.
Whether your business has 10 employees or hundreds, we can work with you to find the right technology for your needs. To learn more about our all-inclusive, flat rate monthly support plans and other comprehensive solutions, please contact Computer Services Unlimited, Inc. online or contact Kevin Spargo directly at (410) 484-7380 ext. 108 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the latest information on COVID-19, follow the CDC information page with FAQs, situation updates, and more.