As COVID-19 forces businesses into remote working, it is vital to remember to protect your network and your data. Threat actors are seeking to take advantage of businesses who have had to make an abrupt shift to remote work because they generally have more weaknesses in their new remote network setups.
Businesses—especially small businesses like a merchant services iso agent who need to maintain productivity with smaller staffs—should be researching and taking advantage of digital communication tools to ensure data safety. Here are the five best tools to help your business transition to a semi-permanent remote workforce smoothly:
Set Up a VPN
If you use in-house servers at work, you can still access your files securely by working through a VPN. VPNs work on any network, giving you a private and secure connection. A VPN will encrypt files and ensure that the data you’re accessing from your servers remains on the private connection rather than a public one. No data is shared with any websites you use while connected.
Using a VPN to work remotely will help you and your business thrive, despite lockdown rules and COVID-19. Whenever you need to access your data, you can be sure your connection is secure with a VPN.
Cloud storage can help your business go a long way. If you are working remotely, you will want a file-sharing system, as well as secure storage. Cloud computing can give you the scalability you need for remote workloads, and if you’re dealing with sensitive data, private cloud storage can add an extra layer of security.
Private cloud storage works within your firewall and allows you to control the data stored there. You can pay a cloud computing vendor to host your cloud, and there are varying levels of security and space they offer.
Virtual Telephone Network (VoIP)
VolP, or Voice-over-Internet-Protocol, phone systems allow you to make secure calls and communicate safely and efficiently with your team and clients. You can make free or low-cost calls globally, as long as both ends of the call have an Internet connection. Because it works through an Internet connection, it doesn’t require onsite wiring and hardware like traditional phone lines do. This makes it a great solution for remote telecommunication.
VoIP is also known for being far less expensive than a traditional PBX phone systems. It also can be used on a variety of devices, making it flexible for all your employees to use. If your business relies on secure telecommunication, VoIP is a great solution for your semi-permanent remote workforce.
Data Management Tools
If you’re moving your data from in-house servers to the cloud, it’s vital to back everything up. You also need to make sure the transfer of data is secure. As a lot of businesses transfer to remote working, criminals are targeting their data. Data encryption protects your information, and backing everything up ensures you won’t lose your data.
Backing up is also essential in case your data gets corrupted during a transfer. Some apps have built-in data encryption, but make sure you take the time to check that everything has been saved correctly.
Managed IT Services Companies
The best way to manage your transition to remote working and to ensure the resources above are properly implemented is to partner with a managed IT services company. Managed IT services handle remote workforce transitions securely, from encrypting data to setting up a virtual telephone network.
You’ll have access to a team of experts, and your essential computing will be monitored 24/7 to help reduce downtime. Managed IT Services will also help you install all the other tools, such as custom software, and show you how best to use them for your business. They often have a ticketed support system, so you can access IT support remotely. At the cost of around one salaried employee, it’s a price worth paying to get your business through the pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way global economies do business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t thrive with a semi-permanent remote workforce. There’s never been a better time to work from home, and the technology available is excellent. Even when the pandemic is over, it’s likely that the business trend to allow remote working options will only continue to grow, so getting prepared with the best tools now will help your business be better prepared for the future.
With these top five tools, your business will be the other side of the pandemic before you know it, and you’ll have a great IT system protecting all your sensitive data.