Top 14 things you can do to protect your employees, business and IT infrastructure through COVID-19

Top 14 things you can do to protect your employees, business and IT infrastructure through COVID-19

Through the COVID-19 crisis, WME is leading the way to ensure your teams can remain productive and empowered to keep operations running smoothly using proper and secure platforms designed for a distributed workforce with our Remote Workforce Pandemic COVID-19 Response Solution . Whether you’re working with your own IT team, or a managed services provider (MSP) like WME here are 14 steps you can take to ensure your business operates continuously (and successfully) throughout these uncertain times:

Ensure that you have a strategic IT plan in place.

Take a moment to step back and do a full review of your IT infrastructure. Your IT environment can impact your organization on many levels, including hardware, software and security. Considering the average employee spends about 30 minutes each week trying to fix computer issues, having a sound infrastructure is critical to productivity.

Enable a scalable service desk team
Your remote workers are entering into uncharted territory. Gone are the days where they could quickly grab the in-office “IT guy” to figure out why their Outlook isn’t connecting or why their computer won’t stop freezing. Through end user communication planning and Help Desk coordination, WME can support your team 24/7 with any technical needs and remote work troubleshooting.

Deploy the Microsoft Teams Crisis Communication App.

The Crisis Communication app, an Office 365 solution, provides a user-friendly experience to connect employees with information during a crisis. Quickly receive updates on internal company news 24/7, get guided, interactive answers to frequently asked questions, and access to important information like links and emergency contacts. Employees can report in safe, request assistance, or ask a question, from anywhere, reducing corporate risk. This solution combines capabilities of your existing Microsoft Office 365 investment (trial offerings available if needed). It can be used on the web, mobile or in Teams.

Leverage the right collaboration tools.
If you haven’t already, be sure to get your team set up on the right collaboration tools to help you be successful, such as a proposed, but not yet implemented, migration to Office 365. If your business isn’t currently licensing Office 365, Microsoft is now offering a free Office 365 E1 license for six months (which includes Microsoft Teams). If you work in education and want to set up teachers, students, and administrators on Teams, use Office 365 A1. This free version of Office 365 is available to all educational institutions. As a Microsoft partner, WME is happy to help your organization get started.

Go all-in on business continuity & security.
Business continuity and security is now more vital than ever. We can help locate potential threats and risks and ensure your IT operations run efficiently. Below are a few additional tips around security from an administrative perspective to keep in mind:
• Prohibit automatic forwarding of email to external addresses.
• Add an email banner to messages coming from outside your organization.
• Prohibit legacy email protocols, such as POP, IMAP, and SMTP,1 that can be used to circumvent multi-factor
authentication.
• Ensure changes to mailbox login and settings are logged and retained for at least 90 days.
• Enable alerts for suspicious activity, such as foreign logins.
• Enable security features that block malicious email, such as anti-phishing and anti-spoofing policies.
• Configure Sender Policy Framework, DomainKeys Identified Mail, and Domain-based Message Authentication
Reporting and Conformance to prevent spoofing and validate email.
• Disable legacy account authentication

Identify cost savings.
As you keep a close eye on your finances and cut back on unnecessary spending, we can identify cost-savings in internet connections and line-of-business applications or processes and resourcing. As you work through all of the pieces that impact the new reality of a remote workforce and a changing business landscape, know that WME is here to be your ally and resource for questions, concerns and general support.

Email is the life blood of your company. Are you ready for October’s Exchange 2010 end of life?

Hackers have come up with multiple ways to infiltrate your network and they feed off out of life infrastructure. Microsoft provides updates to thwart these activities. When any product becomes end of life the updates to that product stop!!!

Real social distancing would be using Teams for meetings with a camera.

Implement Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for your remote work force. Don’t let your data get loose.
Data lose prevention insures that customer information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Social security numbers are the number one thing that is stolen from companies and sold on the black market. DLP insures that these numbers can not be emailed outside of your organization.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) insures your employees are who they are when they are connecting from their BYOD device.
Multi factor authentication has a code sent to you employees mobile device to insure that the person logging into your network is who they say they are. Via text, phone call or even email these codes are sent to your employee and you have a set amount of time that this code can be used. These are instance based so no code is identical.

Secure Access to Corporate Apps and Infrastructure/ Azure AD Conditional Access
Making sure you can secure access to cloud applications with Azure AD Conditional Access, protecting users sign-ins with MFA security defaults. Before deployment you should review policies you have in place to make sure you do not limit or block productivity for users working from home.

Enable Collaboration Tools (Microsoft Teams)

Enabling official chat tools helps employees know where to congregate and feel connected as if they were in the office. Instant communication, Group Conversations, Video conferencing, scheduled audio conferencing, Co Author documents together, A place to store documents centrally and securely

Allow Federation and B2B communication and collaboration between partners and Businesses
Enable communication between different organizations and partners securely as well as sharing documents.

Support for Bring your own device (BYOD)

Ensure your workforce can use existing devices secure and corporate data will be protected and segmented from Personal data. Ensure Personal data will not be affected if the device has to be remotely wiped. Not every organization can provide corporate devices for remote work, but you can enable access to company data on personally owned devices using Microsoft Intune app protection policies combined with Azure AD Conditional Access. Encrypt corporate data while accessed on personal devices.

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