IT SupportThe rapid call to work-from-home has resulted in a shortage of new laptops along with webcams and headsets used for online communication with Skype, MS Teams, Zoom, etc.

Ideally your business would have more time to rollout projects and provide normal office workers with a laptop configured by the business for use at home, with secure login access control and disk encryption on the device.

If your business is normally office-centric with onsite servers, the laptop would also be configured to securely access the onsite services using a VPN server with secure encryption. Companies that use hosted public, private or hybrid-cloud services shouldn’t need a lot of reconfiguration on the data access front.

In addition to a shortage of hardware, the costs of providing all staff with new laptops doesn’t make business sense for many small businesses. Some businesses will have decided to send their staff home with the office PC or asked their staff to work from their home PCs or laptops.

Whatever you have decided for your business and your staff, it is important that security, backups and staff vigilance for phishing attacks continues – Remember all that work you went through 2 years ago for GDPR compliance and possibly Cyber Essentials Certification?

Importantly you need confidence that your data is still safe, secure and accessible even though it is accessed in a different way to normal.

IT Service Providers, like tKnowIT, offer a number of services that don’t care where the device is. This means that you can move devices from the office to anywhere else and they are still protected by malware and ransomware scanners, backup services and patching services for operating systems and many 3rd party applications. If you’re asking staff to use their own machines, then that shouldn’t be a problem either. We can send a remote installer that will deploy all the required services for as long as they are needed to protect them (and your data). IT Support for problems can usually be provide remotely too.

There is talk that the number of phishing scams is increasing with many attacks linked to the current pandemic. Advanced Spam filtering services are recommended to help filter much of the rubbish and fake emails from the mailboxes of your staff but you should also continue to provide Staff Awareness Training and remind them that they should continue to be vigilant and think twice before opening emails and clicking links.

If your data is now located in a new location or multiple locations, you need to consider how that is backed up and how it can be restored if required.

Now can be a good time for staff to catch up on training, including staff awareness training. Get them to read or reread the company GDPR policies (for those having sleepless nights). Be careful if you’ve furloughed staff though – check what the government will and won’t allow staff to do whilst furloughed.

If you have Microsoft Office365 subscriptions, you can use MS Teams to hold virtual staff meetings (if you can get hold of headsets and webcams – if you need to see each other).

If you need help either because you are still considering asking staff to work from home or have already made the move but need some reassurance that your data is still safe in your staffs’ hands, get in touch with tKnowIT.

We can provide solutions that can be put in place temporarily or for the future. Most can be provided remotely without any site visit (or staff home visits) – all we need is an internet connection.