Cyber-Secure Essentials For Reopening Business

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Securely Return Networked Devices to the Office

Reopen business and return to the office safely, avoid unseen vulnerabilities that can be exploited as staff return networked devices to the workplace.

What are the cyber-secure essentials when you reopen your business? Among the top priorities for all organizations is to securely return networked devices to the workplace.

Most CIO’s and C-Suite execs would find the following facts very insightful:
– Recent findings by BitSight research of 41,000 US-based organizations found that home networks were 3.5X more likely than corporate networks to have at least one type of malware, and 7.5X more likely to have 5 or more types of malware. Additionally, the study found that nearly one in every two organizations (45%) had one or more devices accessing its corporate network from a home network that was compromised by at least 1 malware infection. The research found a high prevalence of Mirai and Trickbot categories of malware on at-home networks.

Given this information, GBS recommends implementing a Zero-Trust Security Model where all devices and users are vetted and authenticated every time they connect to the organization’s LAN.

Returning Staff & Devices – A Phased Recommendation

Returning Staff & Devices – A Phased Recommendation is a continuation of thought from the article “Securely Return Networked Devices to the Office”. This article offers GBS’ perspective and our recommendation on how to manage the risk and workload placed on IT-related resources as your employees return to their workstations.

As businesses begin the process of returning staff to their desks, there is a seldom-considered pair of risks that come with returning staff. The risk level this poses is a low-level threat, however, it is yet another vector to the security of your network.

Your employees will be returning with company-issued devices that were sent home with the employee. These returning devices – whether a desktop, laptop, multiple monitors and even thumb drives, now have to be securely and properly reconnected to the organizations network.

GBS has been managing IT infrastructures for 25 years, and we’re highly aware that most organizations and their employees need varying levels of assistance to properly reconnect to the organization’s network. And in order to maximize productivity, the morning these staffers return is the time when they and the IT team require a block of dedicated time to properly manage the computer and electronic devices returning to the network.

To execute this process safely and securely takes a plan with strict adherence for reintroducing WFH devices. We know that it’s this immediacy of “need” that causes stress to the system, and that’s when shortcuts and over-sights are most likely to occur. It’s these break-downs in the process that can lead to major vulnerabilities to a network.

Immediately upon return, the computer should be quarantined, its software updated, and verified that the device is clean – only then, can it be properly reconnected to the network.

GBS Recommendation: We recommend a gradual, phased approach to reintroducing your employees and their devices back into the network.

What level of device phase-in does GBS recommend?
Answer: The number of devices and employees you decide to add per day or per week should be built with two primary considerations in mind:

1. The level of anticipated assistance needed by staffers, and

2. Capacity of IT staff and/or the availability of on-demand assistance by an a Managed IT Service provider

As businesses begin to reintegrate employees back into the office setting, GBS has recently experienced a significant increase in the number of inbound support requests for assistance in helping get our clients’ employees fully back up and running on the network.

GBS HelpDesk technicians are at-the-ready to assist your staff to ensure they securely reconnect to your network. HelpDesk Hours: Monday – Friday 7:00 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST
Emergency HelpDesk Support – Available 24-Hours/day

Collaboration Preparedness

“Across our client base, we’re seeing a trend that a work-from-anywhere corporate culture is likely what the new norm will become for many organizations,” explains Gaby Batshoun, President & Founder of Global Business Solutions, Inc.

The essentials of communications have changed overnight. Forward-leaning technology executives are critically assessing and re-imagining a new world of work where communications naturally extend their digital workplace beyond the walls of the physical office.

Mr. Batshoun continues, “The WFH (work-from-home) phenomenon was clearly forced upon organizations in a very short time period, and most were reactionary. Although these solutions may be still be ‘operational’, without the proper configuration, security protocols and management – these WFH technologies greatly enhance security risks to all organizations.”

As the world’s businesses begin to adapt to this more flexible ‘work-from-anywhere culture’ it is absolutely essential to have a solution that enables communication and collaboration with no interruptions – but executed in a secure, proper manner.

In fact, studies have shown that video-enabled unified communication platforms (UCaaS) that work seamlessly with your organization’s audio-video platforms are critical to promote productivity whether working in the office or remotely. “Video allows us to see facial expressions and body language – providing valuable situational context which are crucial elements of clear collaboration,” explains Jay Gordan, GBS Audio-Video Division Manager.

To provide the most secure, industry-leading solutions, GBS chooses to partner with the leading brands in the UCaaS and A/V industries, including leaders – Mitel, 8×8 and RingCentral. A/V leading brands include Crestron, QSC and many others.

Need an intuitive, uninterrupted and secure ability to collaborate across your organization? With expert, experienced UCaaS and A/V solution specialists working together under one roof, GBS is uniquely qualified to ensure your in-office and work-from-anywhere communication collaboration system is seamless and properly prioritized and segmented on your network.

Business Continuity Quiz – For Business Leaders

Ask yourself this one question.

Question: Do we currently have in place the infrastructure, their redundancies and documented policies that guide our IT and business technology usage so that we would be able to continue operation at the capacity needed to sustain the business amid a crisis?

Answer: Only you know the current state of your company’s position of disaster preparedness.
However, if you have doubts about the ability of your organization’s state of preparedness across your business technology infrastructure – GBS technology experts have the experience and know-how put in place the protections your organization requires.

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