The era of remote work is here to stay, but the transition hasn’t proven easy for everyone, not least because of the stay-at-home orders to stem the pandemic. IT admins often find themselves struggling to find new solutions and tweak existing business IT infrastructure to support remote workers. Here are the key areas they need to focus on:
1. Centralized administration
Despite their many advantages, remote work setups often use unsecured connections and devices, making business data vulnerable. To mitigate the risk of cyberattacks, businesses must retain oversight over every device used to store or transmit company data. By storing data in a cloud-hosted environment where access rights may be managed centrally, it’s possible to avoid keeping sensitive data on local devices, whether company-issued or employee-owned. This will also enable admins to easily revoke access rights to any lost or stolen devices.
2. Virtual private networking
Many home networks are poorly secured, and public ones present an even bigger threat. Protect company data by using a virtual private network (VPN), which encrypts data the moment it leaves the local device, so that it becomes incomprehensible (and therefore useless) to wireless network eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Every company should have a VPN that any employee with access to sensitive data must connect through. An even better option is to set up a wide area network (WAN), which is a virtual network that employees must connect to before they can access any corporate asset.
3. Remote monitoring tools
A common fear among traditionalist employers is that if they implement work from home arrangements, their employees will work less. That said, the absolute worst thing you can do is start spying on your staff to ensure they’re working when they’re supposed to. Instead, IT leaders should rely on open monitoring tools, such as time tracking software, and a results-driven approach to determining employee productivity. After all, results are far more important than the number of hours worked.
4. Team collaboration tools
Because there are considerably fewer chances of social interaction in remote work setups, teamwork can easily end up taking a backseat and people can feel disengaged from their jobs. When that happens, company culture starts to break down.
Fortunately, you can facilitate/encourage communication by choosing the right collaboration tools and scheduling regular virtual meetings with your team. Incorporating text, audio, and video-based communication, along with screen sharing and file sharing features, will make it far easier for people to work together.
5. Robust BYOD policies
Chances are, your employees will be using their own devices when working from home. While this is a great way to reduce overheads and maximize productivity, it does introduce added risk, simply because you can’t monitor and control employee-owned devices.
That’s why you need a robust bring your own device (BYOD) policy that sets the standards regarding which devices, apps, and IT practices are permitted when working from home.
Midwest Data Iowa provides scalable cloud solutions and specialized industry guidance to help you prepare your organization for the era of remote work. Call us now to find out more.