Like many of you, I’m worried about the impact that COVID-19 will have on my business. The spread of this new Coronavirus has already disrupted our daily lives. As small business owners, our top priorities are always our employees and our customers. In order to continue serving these people, you’re probably thinking about implementing remote work policies, and wondering how to go about doing so. Today, I’m going to take us through an overview of this topic and discuss some ways to make remote work, well… work!
What is remote work? From an IT provider’s perspective, remote work is the ability for a user (customer) to access their company’s resources while off company property. This includes the ability to remotely control company computers, access company files and software applications, connect with company printers and scanners, even use the company’s phone system, all without coming to the office. Remote work can be achieved from any location with a stable internet connection.
There are many ways to deploy remote work capabilities to your company’s resources, which brings about the issue of best practices. When deciding how to implement remote work, there are two big concerns: reliability and security. Any time we enable remote work capabilities, we increase the exposure of our company’s infrastructure and customer data environment to the outside world, increasing the need to ensure our company’s systems and data are protected with strong security measures and clearly-defined security policies. We also need to be able to depend upon our remote work capabilities, therefore they must be at least as reliable as the systems they’re connecting us to.
The best way to start approaching our remote work strategy from a security-first perspective is by looking to established, trusted tools and methods.
Smaller organizations may benefit from utilizing a subscription-based service like RemotePC to remotely access computers, while larger organizations may find the ongoing licensing costs of such a service to be too burdensome, and instead opt to implement a VPN for connecting securely to internal resources. Subscription services like RemotePC have industry compliance baked right in, and use security features such as AES encryption and 2FA (two-factor authentication) to ensure systems access and customer data are protected. Using a VPN router like a Dell SonicWall to offer employees SLL VPN connections allows employees to connect directly to your organization’s internal resources. With either type of solution, employees can utilize company-issued laptops or use their own computers.
If your company uses a cloud-based VoIP phone provider like Nextiva, employees can utilize an app on their computer and/or smartphone to make and take company calls without having to use their personal device. Desk phones can even be moved from an employee’s desk to the employee’s home, provided there’s an Ethernet (or “wired internet”) connection and a power supply available. This helps employees by not asking them to take business calls on their personal devices and helps your company by ensuring that features such as call logging and CRM-integration are preserved.
Having a remote work solution in-place can be a great value to your company, both as a part of your approach to daily operations and as an important component of your company’s business continuity plan. At BourgTech, we are here to help. We are available by phone and email to answer your questions about remote work, information security and more. If you prefer, we can schedule you for a consultation and assessment as soon as possible. We will work with you to implement a remote work solution that fits your company’s budget and achieves your company’s goals.
Service is what we do. We look forward to serving our community during this time and wish all of you the best in weathering this current crisis.