What should you be doing to prepare for a long-term remote workforce?

Posted March 13, 2020 in General

Micah Bevitz

Although you are likely prepared to have a remote workforce for a limited time, have you thought about the implications of having your team work from home for an extended period of time?

Two areas you will want to focus on are the regular IT needs that arise from time to time for users and the security of sensitive information. The unexpected push to send your employees home to work due to COVID-19 may result in a lapse in security. These lapses in security will be due to companies using unsecure applications or end-users circumventing company policy to get a job done quickly because the provided methods are too slow to be used from home.

Most companies have never had every employee access an onsite server at one time from different remote locations. When issues arise, and they often do, end users are likely to circumvent your remote work policies in the interest of getting the job done. To alleviate this issue, you need to provide your employees with the same work experience from home as they would have from the office.

I was recently speaking with a colleague in my networking group who works at a company that manages very sensitive client information. His company’s plan for a remote workforce is to give each employee a company laptop to use from home, which is secured using various endpoint technologies. Those laptops connect to a cloud server to pull files and access applications. This is an excellent plan if people only need to work from home for a short time. One potential risk with this type of configuration is if you need to fire an employee or an employee becomes disgruntled, they could dump sensitive information onto the web or download it to their home PC or an external drive. Another potential issue is how they would handle a laptop that broke while an employee was working remotely.

As I wrote in my previous blog, it can be tough to win over IT to moving everything to the cloud, including the desktop experience. That being said, it is the most secure way for everyone to have the same work experience no matter where they are. When you wrap in a softphone to the desktop you then are able to give your end-users the ability to securely work from any location for an extended amount of time without the need for a local IT presence to assist each user because no hardware is sent by the company.

iTelecom is a Master Installer/Dealer for Star2Star. They are one of the very few hosted desktop providers who can also give each user a native softphone application on that same desktop. It is not too late to make the switch and ensure that your employees have the best possible experience working from home, and your security remains intact.