The Working From Home Tech Guide
From a technology perspective, working from home has never been easier.
The rise of mobile devices, cloud computing and collaboration software have made most office-based roles achievable from home.
How can you ensure your staff & colleagues are safe, secure and towing the company line when they work from home?
In this guide, we'll be covering some of the easily missed items that you should be aware of when you send employee's home to work.
While company data may be secure and accessible on company hardware, what policy is in place if an employee is working from a home computer?
Unmanaged/unsecured computers connecting to your company network through VPN or other means can leave a gaping hole in your security. Before allowing employees to connect using their own devices they must be scanned for viruses and malware and all security patches must be installed. In other words, they must become managed! Besides the up front cost to bring these computers into compliance, you also have to consider if an employee would allow the company to install software and have remote access to their personal devices. In the end, many times it is less expensive to purchase laptops for employees that can be fully managed and secure.
Any computer connecting to a company network whether through VPN or remote access tools should have 2FA enabled. 2FA stands for two factor authentication. In addition to usernames and passwords, users must also provide a one-time code when logging in. This prevents your company data from being accessed even if the home computer or laptop is stolen.
Finally in a home environment, a session timeout or screen locking policy must be put in place. This prevents unauthorized access if your employee were to step away from their computer (which happens more often at home than at the office). This doesn't just keep bad guys out, it also prevents accidental deletions/editing/etc. from little hands if children are present in the home.
Don't presume your workforce is ready just to up tools and work from home. Ample training should be given on relevant collaboration systems. A good example of this is Microsoft Teams or Slack. While many office workers have embraced these collaboration tools there is still a percentage of the users that shy away from new software.
As such, relevant training that encompasses all skill levels on the right software tools should be organised sooner rather than later.
Getting the basics right
The basics are the things from an IT perspective that you might assume a staff member has but might be lacking. A good example of this is the Internet. While many would assume that everyone has home internet the reality is that there will be a small percentage that for one reason or another do not have home internet.
A 4G/5G hotspot with company data allowance might be required.
Your IT support provider should be notified that employees will be working from home. There are a few considerations here for both the employee and the IT support provider.
Look closely at your existing contract with your IT support provider, if stated support might be available to only locations outlined in the contract. If IT support is required for homeworkers a contract amendment may have to be made.
In addition to this confirm with your IT support provider if they have taken the necessary steps to be able to assist users working in their home.
This is one of the reasons that KingNAMS does our contracts based on the number of users rather than the number of devices supported. We train the user, we support the user, we focus on the user. So it doesn't matter if a user has a desktop and a laptop and a phone and a tablet and two printers! A user is a user and we fully cover them.
If you would like assistance with making your workforce more mobile and ready to work from home get in touch with us today!