Requirements for Remote Office

Requirements for Remote Office

With remote workers becoming the ‘new normal’ in these strange times, remote office security and communication become increasingly important. Read on to learn more about preparing your employees and business for remote work. Remote Office Security Best Practices Let remote workers know they are just as responsible for keeping the network safe at home as at the office. Have them maintain a dedicated work space in their home office, where they do only work, and not personal, computing. Physical security is important too; make sure that other family members, if any, don’t have access to equipment used for work. The remote worker will need to conduct phone calls where any confidential information can’t be overheard. Anything the remote employee prints should be shredded after use. Another good practice is keeping the office door locked if not in use. Logging off is an important practice, even if only leaving the computer for a moment. If the remote employee is using their own computer, it needs current anti-malware and antivirus protection, backup and  operating system patches. A firewall with a subnet for personal vs. business should also be established. Businesses responsible for complying with regulations such as HIPAA have even more stringent security requirements. Learn more about managing a mobile workforce here.  Just as you’ve been busy, so have cybercriminals. A common practice is phishing using social engineering. A cybercriminal can send an email that looks like it’s from a government source, providing links to sites that will automatically download ransomware. Remote employees need to be trained how to verify if the email is genuine; if it isn’t, they need to...
Helping You and Your Business Survive and Thrive During COVID-19

Helping You and Your Business Survive and Thrive During COVID-19

In the last month off dealing with COVID-19, many workplaces have shut down their offices. Many employees are working remotely, and meeting via web-conferencing platforms. Read on to learn more about keeping safe, healthy and productive during unusual times. Observing Basic Health and Safety Guidelines Although many businesses are closed, some essential services may still be open, and there may be times when customers and employees need to come to the office. If this is the case, heed the 6-foot social distancing guidelines, and wear a mask, if possible. Business can easily be done, however, via email, phone, or online. With remote interaction becoming the norm, new considerations exist, including cybersecurity and access to data among them.  Keep Your Network Secure During COVID-19  Difficult times can bring out the best and worst in people. While many people have risen to the occasion and looked to help others, cybercriminals are also at work. One way they aim to attack is phishing emails designed to get hold of personal information. Cybercriminals can even make their emails look like legitimate communications from agencies like the World Health Organization. Certain clues can give away these emails–spelling and grammatical errors, a generic greeting, or an urgent call to action designed to play on real fears. If in doubt about an email, you can point your mouse arrow at the email address or URL, to learn where the message came from. Of course, do not click on any link in the message, but report the message and then delete it. To keep your company’s network safe, consider remote network monitoring and make sure reports know...
Disaster Preparedness – COVID-19

Disaster Preparedness – COVID-19

The World Health Organization provides guidance for businesses and employers about the Coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19. Around the world, officials in government, education, and industry are preparing for a prolonged epidemic. That could include significant shifts to the day-to-day economy–school closures, remote work requirements, and sequestered populations are all possible. Just as we need to be prepared for hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes, and fires, the workplace must be prepared for pandemics and epidemics like the coronavirus. Read on to learn about business considerations.  Enable Your Employees to Work Remotely No matter where you live or what industry you work in, it’s time now to prepare for telecommuting work from your whole team. Having an emergency telecommuting plan in place before a disaster strikes can keep your business functioning while your employees stay busy in the safety of their own homes. Make Sure Remote Work Connections are Secure  What supports remote work is the technology that makes it possible. Remote access software allows you to remotely control a computer from a different location and device (a laptop at home). That way you can access all your apps, files, and information, just like physically sitting at the office. In addition, VPNs (virtual private networks) can provide secure access to sensitive data housed on private networks. Using a VPN, your public Internet connection is encrypted and your online activity is shielded. However, home computers using a VPN to connect to an office network can still present cybersecurity problems—if a unprotected home computer happens to get ransomware, it can adversely impact your organization.. Can Your IT Provider Service you Remotely? Consider Managed...
Business Broadband Internet and Your Network

Business Broadband Internet and Your Network

Business Broadband Internet is the engine powering the operations of businesses worldwide. From cloud services to Unified Communications, broadband is what makes fast, uninterrupted business operations possible. Read on to learn more about broadband’s benefits and what to consider before upgrading your connection. The Benefits of Business Broadband Internet In a nutshell, business broadband is a very fast and persistent connection to the Internet. Broadband connection supports Cloud computing, as well as applications including web-hosting and videoconferencing. The speed of business broadband allows a company to be permanently connected to the Internet, saving a business time and, therefore, money. VoiceOver IP (VoIP) calls are clearer, and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications are more responsive. Not only is broadband fast, it can be more affordable than expected. A variety of options are available to suit any budget, and the most affordable offer high-speed transmissions for the same price or less as older connectivity solutions. Network Considerations in Using Broadband Internet Before adopting broadband to fully support business operations, the health of your local network should be evaluated. Your local network needs to be robust enough to handle increased traffic and data. Not only should it be free of bottlenecks, it needs to be secure, without any weak spots through which data can be lost or compromised. Furthermore, permanent access to the Internet can open your network to cyberattacks. A firewall, though not the only mode of protection, can be a start. The standard protections of current anti-malware and antivirus definitions can help, along with constant network monitoring. Whether occurring remotely or on-site, monitoring of your network can help spot...
Streamline Customer Service with Unified Communications

Streamline Customer Service with Unified Communications

More than ever, businesses are seeking new communications solutions. Instead of old methods, such as analog phone and private branch exchanges (PBX) and a separate computer network, companies are seeking the benefits of more streamlined, economical solutions. Read on to learn what Unified Communications–and its foundation, VoIP–can do for your business. Unified Communications Provides Greater Efficiency More and more businesses are moving into the future, using an Internet-based communications platform. According to research firm Gartner, adoption of Unified Communications (UC) is expected to grow to $167.1 billion by 2025, with an annual growth rate of 16.8%. The foundational technology, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), allows businesses to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection, sometimes right from the computer and sometimes with an adapter connected to their current equipment. Other modes of communication, such as chat and email, can be done over Internet connection also, eliminating the need for separate phone and computer networks. Other capabilities include going from chat to video conferencing, and integration with CRM. Employees then can be current on customer service, projects and confident of processes moving forward.  Considerations Before UC Adoption With all its benefits, Unified Communications can benefit your organization greatly. Not all solutions are equal, however, and it is wise for a company to evaluate its goals to determine what UC services will work best for them. How will this tool help streamline customer service? Which features are most important to have? How many employees does the business have? This last is a key consideration, for many vendors base their rate on the number of employees using the service per month....
Moving Beyond Windows 7 End of Support

Moving Beyond Windows 7 End of Support

With the end of service for Windows 7, businesses need to find another solution. While Windows 7 will not stop working, it won’t be as secure, and the lack of updates and patches will make your system and data more vulnerable to attack. For some, this might be the optimal time to move to the cloud. Ideally, companies have done so, or made the move to the latest operating system. Read on to find out more about what to do to keep your system and data secure. Upgrading Your Operating System In the shorter term, if your business hasn’t upgraded to Windows 10, you can still do that. Windows 10 is worth the upgrade, with automatic updates available, along with better security. Not only that, but by upgrading, you can use a windows operating system that comes with technical support, security updates and fixes. With only a week having passed since the deadline, it is still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 and take advantage of a fast, secure operating system. The longer you go without upgrading, however, the less secure your computer will become. Consider the Cloud One way to more smoothly manage the transition to a new operating system, is moving to the cloud using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). With VDI, updates can be performed by the cloud service provider, providing a seamless user experience. With a cloud service provider handling the infrastructure and providing a connection via the Internet, upgrades will be made easier and possibly less expensive. One cloud delivery model, Workspace as a Service (WaaS) provides access remotely as a web-based office environment. With...