In the scramble to move to a remote work force, many companies were forced to rush through the process of getting their networks ready for employees to access company data from home. Now that many states are starting to reopen business operations, there is plenty to think through for yet another transition for your employees and how they access your technology infrastructure as they begin to transition back to the office environment. We recently sat down with Technology Solutions Leader Dan Roling to get his recommendations on how to safely handle technology related issues during the return to work phase.
What is the first thing you should make sure you are doing when transitioning your team back to their office workstations?
As employees return to the office, one of the first things you should consider is to thoroughly scan laptops and other work devices that employees took home to ensure they are virus-free before plugging them back into your internal network. With entire families at home together working and going to school, your employee’s work computers may have been used for nonwork-related activities. Scanning devices will help you protect your internal network and resources. If an employee will no longer be working remotely, you may also want to disable their remote access.
How about the employees who are continuing to work from home?
Having an encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure your remote connection and implementing time restrictions on when and how long devices can be connected to the VPN are good first steps. Another thing to consider is segmenting personal devices that people are using at home from your corporate network until you know the device is clean. Known as sandboxing devices, it can prevent data breaches caused by previously unknown malware and other threats. Lastly, if you have not initiated a two-factor authorization to verify your employees’ identities upon login offers an additional layer of protection.
How can we use what we learned during this pandemic to improve our business continuity plan?
Now is the time to debrief while memories of what has transpired as you transitioned your work force to and from a remote environment are fresh in everyone’s minds. Debriefing is an information-sharing and event-processing session conducted as a conversation between peers. It needs to be an environment where people feel they can freely share not only what went well but also what didn’t quite go as planned. From there, you can make needed revisions to your business continuity plan to be better prepared for the future. If you don’t have a business continuity plan, now is the time to begin to develop one. The first step would be to document the procedures you followed as you moved to a remote work environment and use the feedback from your debriefing session to improve.
With some employees coming back to work and others continuing to work from home, what can we do to try and keep up with all the new scams cybercriminals are deploying?
New virus-related scams seem to be popping up every day. Having the appropriate, regular training for your employees to be able to recognize phishing schemes and other scams is more important than ever. Our Email Security Best Practices tip sheet is a good place to start. And, as things continue to settle, you may want to consider starting regular information security training. At BerganKDV, all employees participate in monthly video training with quizzes incorporated to ensure they are tracking with the education and tips to make the right decisions to avoid falling prey to fraudulent activities.
Don’t forget to review any new applications and/or software you implemented.
Many vendors offered free trials for their software platforms during the time when so many employees were moving to working remotely. Make sure you are keeping track of when those free trials end so you don’t end up with an unanticipated expense. Now would also be a good time to evaluate if the software or application needs to be incorporated into your technology platform on a more permanent basis if it worked well for your employees.
Our teams at BerganKDV are rallying together and working around the clock to ensure we’re up and running so you can be up and running. Whatever situation you’re faced with, at any time, you can call our task force and we’ll get you the answers, the listening ear and/or the quick support you need: 888-356-2295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.