As we may all be aware, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been in the headlines for the past few weeks and as things are progressing people may be asked to work from home or take precautions with working in an isolated environment. But are you prepared to manage your business remotely and what steps can you take to ensure your company doesn’t hit any hurdles along the way?
Use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks)
One step is to ensure those who are at the forefront of the company have access to emails and the network via either a remote connection (VPN) or mail on their mobile phones. These can both be setup relatively easily and most home broadband providers allow you to make connections easily. The only thing to remember is you may have limited connections via your router (only a few people can connect to VPN at a time) and you will also have a limited bandwidth to connect to your server which could cause delays in connection. this may be an ideal time for you to check if you are prepared to handle the strain on your companies’ network both the server and router and if they require an update or upgrade. We recommended to keep your server updated with the latest windows updates and also your router to be updated with the latest firmware, if you are unsure then please contact us for any questions you may have.
With the increase in home workers you will also need to make sure the people connecting from remote locations are doing this safely, either using a Mobile phone as a hotspot or a secure home broadband service. Unsecured public WI-FI spots are a feeding ground for attackers to compromise your connection and network without you being aware, so please inform your employees to always use a secure connection with a password and public WI-FI spots should not be used for business.
Leverage the cloud
Another possible step is to look into “Cloud” services for your email, backup, file share and even finances with likes of Sage or Xero, being cloud based. Cloud working can make the most efficient and flexible use of your staff, with Office365 taking away need for large in-office server and storage solutions, this providing your network is suitably up to date to accommodate the extra business traffic this can generate, as all the connections are through the Microsoft cloud. If you are interested in office 365 or other solutions, then we can happily talk you through your options and if you are planning to move from an in-house server to the cloud, we can get a plan together for you and even offer excellent support when needed.
Keep it all running
Lastly you need to remember power is very important to business and without a power supply everything will be unable to work. So, make sure any important devices on your network such as a router and sever are on a UPS which is sufficiently charged and batteries have been changed within the last 3 years. If, however your UPS beeps or shows any errors then you may be required to replace the battery or renew the unit itself. A UPS will also ensure if the power in your area has a fault your server will have time to shut down safely without loss of data and possible corruption.