Coronavirus and your Business: Your Essential I.T. Checklist
SYS3 have been inundated with clients asking how they can secure their business and remain productive during this pandemic and rightly so. Many of you are used to working from home, particularly business owners and upper management. But there are serious things you need to consider if you have to close your office completely.
Read our checklist below and stay prepared.
This should be your top priority. You probably have security covered in the office (we certainly hope so!) but if your team starts to work from home, you're drastically increasing your exposure. If you are considering allowing employees to use personally owned devices you MUST ensure they have company-approved antivirus installed and that they are clean from infections and viruses.
In our opinion, if your employees need access to shared networks and data, it's really important that you avoid the use of personal equipment altogether. Providing company-owned devices is a great way to immediately reduce risk to your business.
Use approved devices for work purposes ONLY
Educate employees on the importance of not using devices for personal use
Ensure all devices have company-approved antivirus protection installed
Make sure staff ONLY use secured Wi-Fi networks. No free cafe connections!
Considering using multi-factor authentication.
If employees need to work from home, it's important they have the access they need to fulfil their duties. Make sure all data is stored in one secure location that is regularly backed up. You also need to think about how employees can access business applications remotely.
Store all critical data and applications on your server or in the cloud
Ask employees to clear up desktops and move files off their desktop (we're all guilty!)
Do employees have VPN accounts setup? Do they know how to connect?
#3: From Office to Home
If employees need to stay at home you need to make sure they have the right equipment. The majority of offices use desktops so it's important to think about this sooner rather than later if you need to purchase laptops. SYS3 are already experiencing issues with supplier stock levels and price increases in the wake of Coronavirus. Please also remember that equipment needs to be setup, installed, protected and remote access configured. This process takes time.
Another question you need to ask is: what happens to your telephone system?
For those of you on VoIP systems, you're good to go. You can unplug handsets, connect them to your home Wi-Fi connection and they will function just as they do at work. If not, you might need to consider providing employees, clients and suppliers with alternative contact details.
Do you need to buy new work laptops?
Do employees have secure Internet access at home?
What do you need to do to make sure phone calls aren't missed?
#4: Communicate and Collaborate
As a business owner, it's a natural concern that employees won't be as productive working from home as they are in the office. Keep in mind that some people simply don't lend well to working remotely and you may need to find the time to provide extra support and encouragement to maintain productivity.
Clear communication and management is KEY. Implement channels that keep employees focused and on target while working from home.
Take advantage of collaboration and live chat features in Teams/SharePoint
Schedule daily de-briefs to make sure targets are met and concerns addressed
Ask employees to 'Check-in' and 'Check-Out' via email to announce their daily presence in your new virtual office
#5: When it's all over...
When this pandemic blows over and you can get back to your normal office and working environment, please consider any lasting effects the above preparations may cause and address them as soon as possible.
Revoke permissions no longer required
Remove VPN accounts that aren't needed anymore
Make sure company data doesn't remain on personally owned devices
Revoke company antivirus licences on personally owned devices (if relevant)