In our recent blog, Ensure your return to the office is secure and efficient with our top 4 tips, we noted that many businesses have transitioned from being office based to being largely home based.
We also noted that the speed at which this transition occurred was anything but ideal. Security considerations gave way to pressing business-as-usual concerns as organisations worked hard and fast to stay afloat and operational.
Now, with time to catch our breath many organisations need to seriously review Work From Home policies and practices to ensure corporate data is safe, secure and protected. To do this, there are five key considerations you should address:
- Who needs access?
At the start of lockdown, we quickly went from Executives only having remote access to nearly all staff. Now we need to clearly define who should/needs to have remote access. Firstly, you should consider what kind of technology do they have in their home environment. For example; Does the employee share their home network with other non-family members? It’s easy enough for visitors to use a friend’s Wi-Fi and accidentally leave files or documents on corporate computers if they do not have the proper protection.
- What do they need access to?
Once you have determined the who, it is time to define the what. You should be very clear on exactly what staff need access to remote working. With much of today’s data being in the cloud, it makes life a lot easier as access to it from home is often at the same speed as when you are in the office. However, if your business still relies on specific on-premise programs and applications then this requires a bit more thought and structure.
- What programs need access to that data?
Does your business depend on files and databases stored on a central company server? Word and Excel documents tend to work “ok” over a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, but databases do not. A specific example would be older style Access or flat file databases which are prone to corruption (and thus user frustration).
This can be resolved by implementing a Remote Desktop Server (RDS) but, you need to understand the size of the problem to deploy the right solution. Some programs also require security dongles that need to be connected to a computer to work, but these generally do not work on computers in home environments.
- How do they need access?
Remotely, yes but which device and how will staff use it to access data stored in your business, potentially in your office. If everything is accessed via an RDS, then you can generally provide access from almost any device. However, if staff need to run specific Apps on their machine and it accesses data, you might need to consider a VPN solution.
- How many people need access?
With the above points considered, you can explore the load requirements for your office internet connection. This is one area that we found could not be quickly scaled up during the recent lockdown. To scale the load requirements up or down can take more than six to eight weeks. When everyone is looking for the same solution, these timeframes can also blow out. You need to ensure that you have the right size Internet connection in your office, so that it can bump up the speed quickly if needed. This can’t be done with all types of connections so it pays to consider this in advance.
These are just five key things to think about but there are many more variations that can be opened up depending on your specific circumstances. Make sure you have a think about what you need today so you are prepared for any future scenarios requiring a shift in how you work.
The team at Correct Solutions are experienced with remote working models and how they should be configured to ensure your business remains secure. If you are looking to refine your Work From Home strategy and setup, get in touch today.