Remote working has been accelerating across many different professions and industries for quite some time. The coronavirus pandemic has, however, put the practice into sharp focus. With governments pressing for all those who can work from home to work from home, the COVID-19 outbreak has fast-tracked a trial run of remote working at an unprecedented scale.
Ready or not, businesses everywhere are urgently working out how to support a remote working program and are putting these plans into immediate effect. This includes:
Provisioning remote laptops and devices for remote working
For IT professionals, never has it been more important to provision mobile devices and laptops to ensure employees can productively work in these challenging times of COVID-19. Employees need secure remote access to devices, data, business applications, and unified communication and collaboration tools like video conferencing, messaging, and IM and presence.
Whether you offer company-owned devices or support Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD), an enterprise mobility management (EMM) application is essential. It helps to centrally managing large deployments of devices with minimal IT resources – allowing companies manage remote technology, devices, apps, content and security.
The EMM toolset enables IT teams to increase the speed in which they can deploy devices to employees with the right software and security settings which frees up IT from hours of provisioning effort. This also means employees can get started right away while the IT team maintains critical control over all remote devices.
Securing endpoints and data
Maintaining your organisation’s cyber security framework when the majority of your workers are working from home, creates new challenges. With so many employees working from home, setting up a variety of new security measures and robust user controls is critical.
This includes ensuring all endpoints are secure, patched, and up-to-date, and that the systems will only run authorised applications.
Of course, whenever an employee is working remotely, they should be accessing your organisation’s network and any software-as-a-service (SaaS) resources via a virtual private network (VPN). The use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) prevents core systems being compromised via the internet.
As it’s important to ensure your VPN solution works on most target devices, it’s a good idea to test all the service providers, devices, and locations to ensure performance is sufficient.
In addition, multifactor authentication is essential when staff work from home using company laptops. Multifactor authentication provides an added layer of protection and makes it harder for an attacker who gains access to someone’s credentials to use them.
Providing end-user support for remote workers
Whenever work conditions change, you need to provide additional support. For remote workers who encounter basic technical issues and have no means to resolve them without having to wait on the helpdesk can be incredibly frustrating. Likewise, for the support team, having to rely on unstructured issue descriptions from a user who isn’t technical can prolong user downtime.
So, with the move to remote working, it’s important to boost your help-desk support team to meet your increased support requests. You can do this by moving staff internally to bolster the team or by partnering with an outsourced provider.
It’s also best practice to provide self-service options wherever possible so that employees can change their password if they're locked out of the system, reset a failed device, or log a service ticket. It’s also smart to make it easy to get support through multiple channels, including bots, chat, email, and phone.
Secure and productive remote working
While the COVID-19 outbreak has triggered an emergency response to support a remote workforce, putting the right measures in place now will reap long-term benefits in both productivity and security. Talk to imei about making the most of enterprise mobility and successfully supporting remote working across your organisation.