by Akiva Goldstein | February 27th, 2020
As an outsourced IT support company, we’re experienced in dealing with viruses. A good chunk of any tech’s job is protecting against the hordes of viruses most companies face each year. As a CTO, part of my job is to plan ahead with our clients in order to prevent viruses from slowing productivity. The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a rapidly spreading pandemic that has already killed over 2,700 people and has been spotted within 34 countries. What makes the virus a pandemic is its incredibly fast spreading rate. Even while borders and transportation were monitored, the coronavirus managed to enter the US. Because of this growing threat, public health personnel are urging schools and businesses to create contingency plans.
The sad truth is that, without a plan, your business could lose precious time and money. Not to mention, your employees may take an added hit if they rely on hourly pay. Just like a computer virus, COVID-19 has the ability to financially cripple an any-sized business. True, this isn’t the kind of virus that we normally protect against, but that won’t stop us from helping our clients stay on top!
The coronavirus may threaten the New York region some time soon. Your company, with all its wonderful technology and workflow, might have to shut down temporarily. Your employees would then have to work from home in order to keep the business up and running. But people can’t just stay home and work like they would at an office. Without secure VPN, anti-virus for your employees’ home PCs or work laptops, necessary software tools, cloud access, and other tech necessities, your business won’t be able to function.
In order to prepare for this level of shutdown, you’ll need to make your business friendly to remote access. The last thing you want is an employee with an unsecured home computer logging into the business server and accidentally uploading a virus.
How do you make your business continuity plan more “remote” friendly? Well, there are several ways. Upgrading your Virtual Private Networking, or VPN, is an essential part of the preparation for any unexpected shutdown. Most offices run on a VPN, but few are equipped to handle a surge in remote users. Check your bandwidth and expect anywhere from 40% to 100% absentee rates for 8 consecutive weeks. You’ll also need to make sure your internet connection is reliable to support the sudden change in remote connection traffic.
Another important step is ensuring that your employees all have whatever tools they need regularly, on their at-home computers. This could mean ensuring everyone has Microsoft Office suite, design software (if your company relies on any), and anti-virus properly installed. Make sure your employees aren’t sharing their devices with their children or working on unsecured public Wi-Fi. If you’re worried about your employees taking advantage of you, there are certain steps you can take to monitor their work schedules. There are also several ways to group chat and video conference with your employees. In both monitoring and group conferencing, you will need network security and consistency. This means planning ahead!
Lastly, if you haven’t already, you should start adding some form of cloud backup in addition to your other backups. Cloud backups allow quick access to your important materials and can help connect the office, even from home. This is a very helpful tool, but you must train your employees on how to keep their devices secure! Ransomware could affect the entire company if one employee uploads a bad file. Take the time to train your employees in Cyber security.
Any of the above protocol will require the help of an experienced tech team. OnsiteIn60 can help you get started on your contingency plan and protocol, so that you’re prepared for when a shutdown occurs. Remember, snowstorms and hurricanes can also cause unexpected disruptions in business continuity, so a contingency plan is always relevant.
If you have any further questions, go to our website and check out our Ask-A-CTO page. If you’re interested in setting up a corona contingency plan, call 1-877-IN-SIXTY today and get a free quote, on the spot!