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6 IT capabilities needed to weather COVID-19

 

6 IT capabilities needed to weather COVID-19

Mar 18, 2020

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, companies across the U.S. have urged—and in some cases mandated—their employees work remotely.

Here are six capabilities your IT department must have to accommodate remote workers.

1. Communication and collaboration

For many, work can continue but in a different way. Tools like Microsoft Teams provides a unified communication platform allowing people to hold virtual voice and video meetings, collaborate on documents and chat. allowing people to engage as effectively as in person while provide the protections of social distancing.

2. Virtual private networking

To effectively work from home, people may need access to network resources and it this access must be secure. VPN allows for secure access to network resources through an encrypted tunnel using the internet.As more employees are required to work from home, it will increase the need for internet bandwidth. Companies should evaluate options to increase internet speeds as well as VPN licensing to meet the demand.

3. Cloud backup and recovery

Many have already moved away from tape or USB backup.For those that haven’t, now is the time to start using the cloud for data backup and recovery.Local backup methods require manual intervention and we must prepare to operate remotely.It is essential to set the backup process up so that that the company can restore data from a point in time (or snapshot) before malware, including ransomware, infected the network.

4. Security monitoring

Just as looting increases with natural disasters, hackers are going to be taking advantage of companies with their guards down.It is essential to monitor and detect indicators of compromise so that action can be taken swiftly to minimize impact. Login attempts to the CEO’s Office 365 account from China, data extracted from your financial system and uploaded to a DropBox account or a new domain administrator account created are just a few examples are activities that companies need to have visibility to determine if the activity was legitimate or a deliberate attack.

5. Remote help desk

IT support demands will increase remote workers.Employees are going to have questions regarding accessing services remotely, using collaboration tools, password resets, etc.They are going to need to have access to support to be able to provide remote support, including remote control of their desktop, to assist.

6. Endpoint/device management

Many remote workers will resort to using their personally owned devices on their home networks. This means unmanaged devices will be accessing your organization’s data on an uncontrolled network. To make sure devices are protected endpoint management solutions should be used enforce important security settings and patches to ensure better security. Pair endpoint management with the previously mentioned VPN technologies and you can protect your data, remote employees and keep them productive.

Author(s)

Jeff Olejnik
Jeff Olejnik
Partner, Risk Advisory Services
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