Returning to the Office: Technology and Security in a Time of Transition

June 03, 2020

Returning to the Office: Technology and Security in a Time of Transition

By Kira Pogge

Many employees have worked remotely for months as a result of the global pandemic. During that time, businesses established technical measures that enabled remote workforces to operate securely. Now, as companies begin opening their doors, and employees slowly return to their offices, business owners need to audit their tech stack and security measures once again.

Returning to the office doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning all of your Work From Home set-ups. Your workforce will likely consist of some remote workers, even after businesses reopen. Completing a technology audit and gap analysis as employees transition back to the office will ensure remote workers and those returning to the office have what they need to perform well and work securely.

“As your employees begin to return to the office, take the time to develop a repeatable data-driven process you can use to assess security as a hybrid workforce,” explains Chris Henderson, Director, Information Security at Datto. “It is likely there are populations of employees who will be remote for the foreseeable future, so be sure your planning and auditing assume a continued partial remote workforce.”

We’ve developed a series of checklists to help your businesses as you reopen your offices. The checklists cover four key imperatives for your transition: employees, office space, technology, and clients.

Below are some highlights from our “Technology” checklist. This list focuses on establishing office layouts, behaviours, and guidelines that result in a safe office environment for everyone.

  • Run an audit on any workstations in the office. This will help you determine if the workstations have the necessary patches with the latest OS and other critical updates. Leverage your RMM tool to deliver the appropriate patches.
  • Audit the technology that remote employees will use. Determine if the tech is appropriate, secure, and is sufficient to enable optimal productivity.
  • Evaluate new technology deployed during the crisis. The tools your employees used to work remotely may or may not be required when you return to the office. Create a list, including any new devices, and decide if they stay or go.
  • Create a list of employees who used personal computers to Work From Home. Develop an appropriate action plan to ensure the ongoing use of personal computers or devices complies with your company’s security standards.
  • Catalogue items removed from the office. Protect your business and intellectual property by ensuring any devices, technology, files, folders, contracts, customer lists, and documents, etc. are returned to the office.
  • Conduct a gap analysis. Document the technology gaps that were exposed during the crisis and create a plan to address them.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can access the full “Technology” checklist (as well as the entire series of checklists) here.

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