Long-term Security and Networking Solutions
FOR SMALL BUSINESSES WITH EMPLOYEES WORKING FROM HOME AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE
Small businesses have been faced with the enormous challenges involving their employees working from home offices for the longer haul, and in some cases, perhaps permanently. The remote location, home office require long-term security and networking solutions for stability and performance to keep a business viable. With today’s economy, affordability a huge factor, but it should not come at the cost of a crisis involving data security and network inefficiencies.
Since the beginning of February, we have helped a lot of our clients set up their employees to work from home. Ensuring stable and secure home office networks at their remote location, while matching their needs with the right software.
The four important issues to keep in mind when evaluating the setup you want longer-term are: Security, Stability, Performance, and Price.
SECURITY FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS REMOTE ACCESS NETWORK
At East Bay Computer Services we feel that security is the first measure of an efficient and effective home/remote office to be addressed. Since the shelter in place orders have gone into effect, there has been an uptick in ransomware. As they always say, a chain is as strong as its weakest link. When employees are removed from the professional office environment to their homes, security is often not a top priority, and thus we’ve all become more susceptible to attacks on our systems.
The computers employees are using at home need to have the same protections, if not more, against malware, ransomware, and other viral attacks on the individual terminals and network as a whole.
NETWORK STABILITY FOR SMALL BUSINESS WITH EMPLOYEES WORKING FROM HOME
Other than problems with malicious software such as ransomware, there is a stability problem. At East Bay Computer Services we pride ourselves on knowing how set-up, not just the small business network, but connect the network of terminals scattered remotely throughout the region in an effective manner.
Remote access to desktop computers got us past an initial crisis very quickly, but there are some inherent problems with this system. Remote access requires that employees use two computers at once, using one computer that does not belong to the company, nor will be as secure and capable as the one that they are connected to at the office. This will generate all kinds of stability and productivity issues.
Will you have to pay your computer support to problem solve problems on employee computers that you can not set standards for? Do you pay for software on those computers? All good questions for which East Bay Computer Services can provide a solution for based on the independent needs of a small business network.
WHAT APPLICATIONS TO USE TO INCREASE AND SECURE REMOTE / HOME OFFICE PERFORMANCE
As the pandemic began, East Bay Computer Services set up many of their clients whose employees work from home by connecting their personal computer with Go-To-My-PC, a service which has allowed the user to access and publish critical and secured information from anywhere, manage day-to-day office tasks remotely and even allow for screen sharing between employer, employee, and support.
Though it is not perfect, it works very well. Complications arise when there is a need to print out a document for example. Regular remote access avoids these issues because we use systems that are designed for remote access and working as a company with a shared data set. Two of the most common are from Microsoft by combining Office 365 with SharePoint.
Office 365 can be used to provide the full Microsoft Office suite and host the company email. Most companies do this in one form or another now.
The full package makes it all available on a local computer or completely in a web browser.
The SharePoint aspect becomes your data share. Akin to the company drive on a network.
Google Suite is similar, albeit with its own challenges.
This works very well for many clients. For others that employ additional software, such as Adobe, and other intensive engineering or video editing software where the data needs to be on the local network, another approach is required.
RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) servers allow employees to log into a server in the office, or a server in the cloud, that will give the user a desktop that looks a lot like any workstation. Here one has the software that the company provides and the data is available the same way it is for anyone else in the office. Because the data and the server are on the same network, the performance is very good.
This kind of RDP system works well for engineers, video editors, etc. where people need a wide range of software and the speed that a local network can support. RDP systems or “terminal servers” a great for performance and ease of use. They require a well-endowed server to support it, but costs are nothing like having a computer for each person in the office to run remotely. Printing can be very easy on certain printers but sometimes they can be complicated.
AFFORDABLE REMOTE LOCATION / HOME OFFICE NETWORK SET-UP
If you are thinking of making working from home an ongoing option for all of your employees, I suggest that your review the options for a true telecommuting setup and allow East Bay Computer Services to assist you with that review and provide an estimate. Often the true cost is not very different from the network you currently have, it is just a question of what kind of network you build and how one uses it.
Regardless of the individual needs and requirements discovered, East Bay Computer Services are the experts and specialize in providing IT services to the small and independent businesses in many sectors, including healthcare, education, engineering, industrial and non-profit organizations.