How to Adapt Your IT for Flexible Work Plans

How to Adapt Your IT for Flexible Work Plans

Flexible work plans are here to stay, and along with them come opportunities.  Make sure you’re adapting your IT to stay ahead.  Consider these tips to help your team work safely and effectively wherever they are.

Use Company-Owned Devices and a VPN

Remind your team to keep company-owned and personally-owned computers separate.  Only access company data from a company-owned computer.  Use a VPN to connect your laptop to the office network or your desktop in the office.

Think about physical home office set-ups, too.  Consider creating a tech kit for your team that includes the computer, external monitor, external keyboard and mouse, and maybe even a laptop stand.

Don’t forget cell phones.  The most secure option is to provide phones for your team to use when accessing company email or cloud apps.  When that isn’t feasible, create a policy for accessing company information on personal phones that makes sense for you.

Use Layered Security Tools

Work with your IT provider to ensure that the technology tools are in place for your team to avoid making potentially costly security errors.

Think in terms of layers.  Tools like web content filtering work alongside your anti-virus and anti-malware to help prevent dangerous clicks.  Use multi-factor authentication everywhere you can.  Cloud-based password keepers are also invaluable for creating unique passwords that can be safely accessed from anywhere.

Automatically Backup Every Workstation

You can lose a lot of time (and convenience) if a workstation needs to be completely reformatted due to physical damage or a data compromise.

There are many ways to securely backup your workstation that don’t rely on external devices like flash drives (or someone remembering to do it).  Consider a cloud service that backs up the entire workstation several times a day.

Your policy may be to backup all files to a server or shared file service like Dropbox.  Even in those cases, don’t rule out workstation backup because file share services only backup files, not the entire system.

Standardize Communications Tools

This is almost equal parts technology and behavior.  Choose a collaboration tool that works best for your needs, whether its Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, or one of many other options.  Then, standardize it across your organization.

What about phones?  Maybe some remote employees would prefer not to give out their cell number, especially if it’s a personal phone.  Consider a phone system that allows them to keep an office number that rings to their cell phone while keeping the cell number private.

Encourage Smart Security Behaviors

While technology can remove many risks, the final security layer is the person sitting behind the keyboard.  Use cyber awareness training to encourage a culture of online safety, whether in the office or at home.

Be especially vigilant when you’re checking email and texts.  Cybercriminals are getting smarter and even trained eyes can have a hard time detecting skillfully crafted phishing attempts.  Ransomware is on the rise, and all it takes is one careless click to deliver it and potentially disable your business.

Contact us to learn more about how to make your IT work better for you.