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3 COVID-Inspired Tech Upgrades for Remote Business

3 COVID-Inspired Tech Upgrades for Remote Business

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way business is done. More companies moved into the eCommerce bubble in 2020 as they abandoned brick-and-mortar operations. By April of 2020, web hosting platforms showed close to a 50% jump in requests for domain names.

Needless to say, companies needed to quickly ramp up their tech during the pandemic. This also seems like the case as they move into a new year. Despite the introduction of vaccines, it may take some time to get back to normal, or what the normal will eventually be.

Thus, your organization needs to consider some COVID-inspired tech upgrades to keep up with everyone else. Here are three suggestions.

Time Management Apps

The employee time clock is moot as everything goes digital, particularly if it requires a biometric scan for fingerprints or facial recognition. Those who must remain in physical locations, such as machine workers, won’t be able to sign in.

The tech solution is a time management app. If your employee time clock is already digital, then a company like Lathem should have an app ready for use. If possible, you may be able to link its initialization to an employee’s login. In other words, they won’t gain access to their work platform until they notify the app they are present.

This is a necessary tool to measure productivity in a remote-based workplace. In most cases, managers rely on honesty when it involves logging into work each day. However, if the user logged in but never accessed the time management app, then there’s a chance they didn’t work at all. At that point, managers would speak with the employee to determine the reason for their absence and adjust their schedule accordingly.

VPN

Security is a prime concern when your business goes a digital route. If your employees utilize standard connections to access your company’s network, then there’s a chance cybercriminals will be able to pass through as well. The result is a security breach where personal and financial information can be taken.

Even upgrades to your network’s security might not help. Hackers may plant a virus or some form of ransomware in a seemingly real email. Should a worker click on the link it provides, a hacking campaign would commence.

One way to minimize this risk is through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This is an invisible way for employees to access their work information. Once they login into the VPN tunnel, their transactions remain transparent. Additionally, it prevents cybercriminals from jumping from the user’s home network into the private one.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Another layer of security on top of the VPN is multi-factor authentication (MFA). This adds a second level of verification on top of an employee’s password, which, at times, can be somewhat weak.

Once an employee enters their password they receive a code. Sometimes this is via a phone call. In most situations, it’s in the form of a numeric code sent via text to the user’s smart device. The employee can complete their authentication and access their work information once they enter the code.

While cybercriminals can hack into a person’s device to access the code, the risk is still minimal. Normally, they would need to be in possession of the smart device to receive the necessary information. However, since the code is randomized, what they might view in the user’s texts could already be obsolete. Therefore, access to a work environment is blocked.

The three suggestions above are only a small percentage of the COVID-inspired tech upgrades you need for your company. There are others such as:

  • Moving your data to the cloud.
  • Assigning users company-formatted laptops and smart devices.
  • Upgrading your network hardware and software.
  • Performing a risk assessment.
  • Developing a Continuity of Business (CoB) plan for network outages.

While it seems like a lot, the security of your information and your personnel depends on these changes. Make a plan to implement these as quickly as possible, but don’t do it by cutting corners. That definitely leads to incursions by cybercriminals. Perform it right the first time and make sure the COVID-inspired tech is tested prior to being put in production.


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by Sheryl Wright // Sheryl Wright is a freelance writer whose passions include cooking, interior design, and true crime novels. If she is not at home reading, she is at a farmers market or antique shop. She currently lives in Nashville, TN, with her cat, Saturn.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.