COVID-19: IT Preparation & FAQ

COVID-19: IT Preparation & FAQ

Cloud disaster planning Education News

UPDATED: 3/19/2020

DISINFECTING DEVICES

What can I disinfect my computer and laptop with?
Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes can safely be used on all non-screen surfaces. Avoid sprays. Turn off power to your computer or laptop before wiping down. It is recommended to unplug laptops before disinfecting.

What can I disinfect my computer screen with?
Do not use standard cleaning sprays such as Windex. The best way is to use products made specifically to clean screens (spay on cloth first, then wipe screen). Consult your manufacture's website before using disinfecting wipes. You may also use a combination of 70% isopropyl alcohol and water.

What can I disinfect my mobile phone with?
Unless you share your mobile phone it is probably not necessary to disinfect it. If you do want to we recommend visiting the manufacture's website. Mobile phone screens have special coating so you want to make sure you are using the recommended technique. Otherwise dedicate screen wipes may be used.

[UPDATE: New tests  show most phones / tablets can be cleaned with household disinfectant wipes with no damage to the screen coating.]

What can I disinfect my office phone with?
Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes can safely be used. Try to avoid any screens.

WORKING FROM HOME

What products / services are available to gain access to my desktop remotely?
Assuming your IT department (if you have one) does not have a standard method of accessing your work environment there are many companies that offer remote desktop access. Prices are for their business services.

My organization uses Microsoft Office 365 / G Suite / Dropbox / Sharefile / Box. Can I work from home?
If your business uses a cloud storage / email solution there is a good chance at least some of your work information can be accessed remotely.. You will need to contact your IT department for details.

How can my employees / co-workers collaborate when not in the office?
There are three top services to use to have employees work together from different locations. These services act as a type of Facebook for business with the ability to chat, video conference, share files, etc.

PREPARING YOUR IT INFRASTRUCTURE

Prepare your IT department to support personal devices
Your IT department may have to provide support for employees home machines which may increase workload and decrease the ability to provide support. We recommend the following:

  • Ensure remote workers have both a phone # and email address for contacting IT support.
  • Setting expectations for remote workers of what IT can and cannot support (e.g., will not come to your home to fix a printer).
  • If your IT provider/department has the technology to install management agents on personal computers for remote desktop access / anti-malware software this should be discussed before implementing.
    • What will it cost for the additional software agents?
    • What happens if installing the software breaks a personal computer?
    • What are the privacy concerns?

What should I do with office phones?
Many business phone systems allow you to forward extensions to mobile phones. If so, this option may be the easiest. Voicemail to email will also allow messages to be listened to outside the office. Some hosted VoIP phone may even be able to be plugged in at home and work seamlessly. Please contact your telco provider and / or IT Department. We also recommend adding employee home/cell phone numbers to internal departmental directories.

What should I do with office computers?
A few things that should be considered if you will be working from outside the office for an extended period but need access to your physical desktop. Some of these items may be managed by your IT department.

What about my Internet connection?
If a large amount of your employees will switch from office to home, and you are not using cloud services for file or desktop access, you may want to increase your bandwidth to the increased inbound connections.

  • Verizon FiOS:  800-837-4966
  • Comcast Business: 800-391-3000

Security Concerns
If the office will be closed for an extended period of time please consider the following:

  • Are cameras able to be monitored remotely?
  • Can individual offices be locked (HR, Finance, CEO/President)? Who has the keys / passcodes to the building if access is needed?
  • Are laptops locked up?
  • Are screens locked?
  • Before closing the office, a walk around should be done to make sure any passwords posted in works paces are taken down and locked away if offices cannot be locked. Make sure to look under keyboards.
  • Have the backups been tested and can they be monitored remotely?
CONTACT WIREGUIDED

If you have any questions or require IT assistance please reach out to our support team at:

PHONE: 781-679-0660

EMAIL: support@wireguided.com


Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Official Website - https://www.cdc.gov/

Thank you and stay safe.

-Tim

Remote Workforce Preparation

Remote Workforce Preparation

Cloud disaster planning Education mobile Office 365

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has started to spread throughout the country and health officials are starting to announce recommendations that in certain areas employees stay home for two weeks. Is your organization ready to have a remote workforce?

Scenario 1 –  Local File Server / Local Applications

If your business has a local file server (e.g., network drive ) or you use desktop based applications then you will need a way to access your company computer remotely. Options include services such as Teamviewer ($50/month or free for individual), Logmein ($30/month), or GoToMyPC ($35).

Your company may offer other remote access methods such as a VPN so please consult with your IT department first.

Scenario 2:  Cloud based file service + Web based Apps

If your business has its files stored in SharePoint, Google Docs, Dropbox, ShareFile, Box.com, or other cloud service AND your business applications are web based (e.g., you run everything from inside a web browser) then you are ready for a remote workforce. With Microsoft Office 365 you may access everything via a web interface at https://office.com. Other services may require a locally installed software agent.

Other Considerations

  • Does your phone system support forwarding calls outside of the office to employee home or mobile phones?
  • If your employees will be using their personal computers there are security issues to consider such as ensuring laptops are encrypted, devices are password protected, and anti-malware is installed.
  • Will your IT department be able to provide support on personal devices? If so, what are the parameters?
  • Update your website to reflect changes in hours or modifications of services.
  • Employee contact information contains home or mobile numbers (for internal use only).
  • Paperwork normally filled out onsite (e.g., intake forms, new member information, etc.) should be made available remotely.
    • Convert documents to PDF before making public. Do not share Word documents.
    • Items converted to forms on websites should be tested to make sure they are secure.
  • If using a self hosted remote access service, or utilizing VPNs, can your current Internet bandwidth support the additional inbound usage?

Conclusion

As they say. hope for the best but prepare for the worst. If you are interested in our managed remote desktop service or moving your office to the cloud please contact Wireguided at support@wireguided.com.

For more information about the Coronavirus visit the official CDC website

FREE EVENT: Cyber Security

FREE EVENT: Cyber Security

Education

Cyber security threats are a constant challenge to any organization. Come learn how to identify, protect, and respond to various threats such as hackers, phishing, whaling, fake social media profiles, and insiders. You will be able to take what you learned to train your employees to be a first line of defense for your business. This will be a one hour seminar presented by Tim Russo, President of Wireguided LLC and hosted by Work Local.

For more information and tickets:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/protecting-your-business-from-cyber-security-threats-tickets-903918645

 

-Tim

Phishing – Now even worse

Phishing – Now even worse

Education Security

Phishing is when hackers send emails to you posing as someone else to try and get you to click on a malicious link or attachment. As we have shown you before these spoofed emails can usually be easily spotted if you look at the full ‘From’ address. In most cases, unless the hacker has breached a trusted account, the email address will be an unknown account and only the display name will be modified to try to trick you. You can see what this looks like below.

Advanced Phishing Attacks

We are now seeing an increase in the next level of phishing where the hacker can create a ‘From’ address that looks 100% legit without having to hack the account of the company they are impersonating. You would have no way of identifying it as a fake email unless you examined the delivery information (which, unless you have an IT background, you will have no idea how to). An example of this more advanced threat is below:

Determining Real from Fake

As you can see this phishing email looks like it came from Chase Bank. The display name and email address check out. The only way an average user could see that this is a phishing attack is to hover their mouse over the ‘Download’ link in Outlook, without clicking, to see where it really goes it (Hint: it’s not Chase Bank). You will also see that the account numbers and other details do not match your real information.

As we have said many times. Employee security education is a key tool in protecting you and your business. If you would like to speak to Wireguided about our security training, both onsite and via webinar, please Contact Us.

-Tim

Data Loss Facts

Data Loss Facts

Education Security

Did you know that …

70% of small firms that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year.

Of companies experiencing catastrophic data loss:

• 43% of companies never reopened
• 51% of companies closed within 2 years

If your backup plan consists of shuffling tapes, flash drives,or external disk drives then you should consider online (aka Cloud) backups.

Wireguided’s Online Backup Solution costs as low as $600 a year and backs up databases, mail servers, and everything else. All information is encrypted before it leaves your network. In case of a major disaster you can download your data from any Internet connected computer or have information sent to you next day on an external disk drive.

For more information please email info@wireguided.com or call us at 781-679-0660

Online Backup Details

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is Power

Education

One of the most overlooked parts of IT from the business owners perspective is employee Information Technology training. Either there is no in-house person with the knowledge to do the training or it is just not part of the new hire / yearly review process. This is unfortunate as just a little bit of employee IT know-how can have a big performance improvement for your business. Think of all of the times an employee (or yourself) had a computer problem and just sat there waiting for someone to fix it? Time is money so let’s list some quick topics and tips that you can use in your business.

Reboot / Do not keep your PC on for days (or weeks!)

Yes, this is a very obvious thing to do for most people but I cannot count how many times a simple reboot fixed a show stopping problem. No matter what the problem try a simple reboot. Also, have your employees turn their PCs off when they leave for the day (if they do not need to get to it remotely). By doing this you can extend the life of your hardware, lower your electric bill, and keep things running smoothly. With modern desktops and servers you can do this automatically on a schedule.

Google is Your Friend

If you or your employees have simple How-To questions then just Google it. Do you see a weird error message on the screen? Google that too. The Internet has a ton of useful information that can be accessed very easily. Just use the following queries at google.com to get some answers:

  1. How to <insert question> <Software Name and version>” – Example:  “How to add a calendar Outlook 2007” (When you get the results you can also click on he Videos link (left of the page) to see videos)
  2. <email subject line> spam”  – Example: “UPS Package spam”  (Avoid virus infections and other bad things)
  3. “<Suspicious software name> malware virus” – Example: “Windows VirusCop malware virus” (find out quickly before you click!)

Security

Your employees are your first line of defense. It only makes sense to give them a little training. Do your employees know how to properly dispose of private data (yours and your customers)? They should if you want to avoid being put out of business due to fines and penalties (see: 201 CMR 17). Are they trained to question people who walk in the door (even if they are wearing a suit) or not let people in behind them. Do they know NOT to click on any attachment or link in an email? What about the rules for bringing in their own (possibly virus infected) laptops into your office? Take 30 minutes of sit down time and train train train!

Listen

You may be the boss but your employees may know a heck of a lot about the day to day issues and problems that you are not informed of. Don’t just put aside complaints about speed or performance. These could be productivity killers. Does an employee complain about their PC that takes 20 minutes to boot up? Now who else has that issue? Now combine the wasted time and see how much money is going out the door while they sit and wait. Maybe some new hardware is needed or just a PC cleaning. Take the time to find out. It will make everyone happier and more productive.

Now  I could go on and on.  Use these quick topics / tips as a starting point and go from there. If you or your business need more information on educating employees please contact Wireguided.

-Tim

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