As Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread and infect more and more people worldwide, we wonder if or how businesses and people are ready or planning the possibility of working remotely in isolation at home? This poses a lot of questions and setup options for many in a variety of different fields. All businesses rely on office roles, to one degree or another to help keep their business running smoothly using cloud-based services, video conference & chat scenarios, file sharing while allowing secure access in increasing world of cybercrime. Trying to keep this simple yet broad and informative we have compiled a list of possible scenarios to help or prompt what course of action to prepare your business, staff or self to keep working in this critical period. Something that will be easier to setup and plan now rather than after a probable isolation period for us all.

Some of these options do cross over to a certain degree or tie in with each other:

  • Remote to individual work computer or to take it home? – Think about the best option for each user or business. Your IT support person more than likely will have to setup internal services and privileges to enable external access for you to remote in or if you take your computer with you. Your support people may even need to remote to that external computer whilst setting up for that external access.
  • Cloud based services – Lots of fields use cloud-based subscriptions or services and can just work remotely relatively easy. Remember safe password sharing practices to avoid unwarranted external access. There are also user privilege levels that can be assigned eg, Admin, Editor, Viewer etc to many of these services. Turn on and use 2 Factor Authentication where possible. More suggestions in following subject.
  • Password availability and sharing – Rather than just handing users a password list, think about password managers as there are options to share passwords to users without disclosing the actual password. Once the user does not require access to that system then remove them from that shared password. This will be much quicker than changing passwords for everything in future that you more than likely will not get around to doing.
  • Video calls, conference and chat options – Video suggests via camera so the majority of users will be fine having access to a laptop or phone however if you need a webcam, you may want to look at buying one sooner rather than later. There are a number of chat programs that allow individual messages or to groups, so all see the all members can converse at the same time.
  • File sharing – Crossing over with the above topic is sharing files with other team members as these chat programs will do. However, remembering to update your master/source files may need some thought especially if have multiple users accessing and updating the same files.
  • Email access options – Most users and businesses will have email systems or services that allow people to use an email client (outlook, thunderbird etc) or login via webmail for quick access rather than needing a potential setup on a user pc. Shared mailboxes are an option within these mail services or mail forwarding and alias options can be setup to suit the individual or businesses scenario.  

We hope all people stay safe during this tough time and businesses can keep functioning as best possible. Keeping in mind working via remote access and external to companies will be at greater cybersecurity risk and scams.