The world has changed and the business environment continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Spurred by the effects and challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, many companies were forced to suddenly change their business models as a growing number of employees began working from home. This unexpected shift to a remote workforce has challenged organizations to quickly develop strategies for keeping their employees connected and productive in a remote atmosphere while safeguarding their business from online threats and data loss.
Phishing schemes and ransomware threats during coronavirus have greatly increased. As an IT decision-maker, you probably know all too well the ongoing issues that are facing companies in the United States and worldwide. Many business analysts are predicting that even after there is some form of resolution to the coronavirus, more people will continue to work from home than ever before. Companies that continue to focus on the needs of their remote workforces will be better prepared for the future.
Thankfully, there are key tools available to help with this preparation. A complete suite of Microsoft 365 software resources empowers your remote workforce and your organization with solutions that promote efficiency, productivity and data security. Here are some of the ways Microsoft 365 can benefit your remote workforce and make your job easier and more productive.
Today’s working environment is challenging with more of your employees working from home and data being accessed from home computers and personal devices. How can you give your remote workforce what they need to interact through videoconferencing, communicate via online chat and access files on cloud storage? To achieve these goals, you need to develop and implement a plan for securing employee identities and access. Microsoft 365 can help you:
Secure access to work apps.
You can safeguard your employees’ Microsoft Office app usage by controlling who has access and when and where they have it. Microsoft Azure Active Directory protects against lost or stolen passwords with multi-factor authentication – a security system that verifies a user’s identity by requiring multiple credentials. You can also allow your employees to access company apps without opening broad access to your network to protect against hackers and cyberattacks.
Enable remote desktop access.
Your remote employees may be working on a few different device platforms, including Windows, Android, Mac, iOS and HTML 5. No matter what platform they are using, Windows Virtual Desktop allows users to access their apps and files in a safe, secure and productive environment. Your employees will appreciate the familiar working environment and you’ll have peace of mind knowing they are in a protected online space.
Protect users against online threats.
When Jackie Roberts, a marketing manager for a national fast-casual dining organization began suddenly working from home due to coronavirus restrictions, she had to get back up and running quickly from her new home office. “We work in a fast-paced environment and staying closely connected to team members is critical,” she says. “It’s important to know that in a remote environment, we still have access to collaborative and interactive tools like Teams and OneDrive so we can stay on task.”
Jackie’s work needs are common and you understand the importance of providing access to resources like Teams (a chat-based collaboration platform) and OneDrive (a cloud-based storage service) to ensure your workers always have everything they need in a protected environment. Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection safeguards against malicious email and Teams links with real-time scanning. You can also protect against malware in email attachments and shared document links that may be stored in OneDrive with Microsoft ATP Safe Attachments.
When employees use laptops, tablets and mobile devices in a remote environment, it is important to take proactive security measures and minimize threats. Microsoft 365 can help you:
Manage work data on mobile devices.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) allows you to manage access to company-owned devices. With this tool, you can enroll devices for management, report and measure device compliance, control provision settings and profiles and remove corporate data from devices remotely.
Mobile application management (MAM) helps you manage which apps can be used to access work email or files on personal devices. This resource allows you to publish mobile apps to users, report app inventory and usage, configure and update apps and secure and remove corporate data within mobile apps.
Secure Windows Devices with MDM policies.
To ensure your employees always have access to the latest version of tools and technologies, you can program automatic updates on all Windows 10 devices, add malware protection and include data encryption. This helps you avoid malware, phishing and other forms of cyberattacks which are especially prevalent in the coronavirus economy.
Your sensitive customer and business data is one of your organization’s most important assets and protecting this data in a remote work environment can be challenging. Microsoft 365 can:
Protect against accidental leaks.
Microsoft Data Loss Prevention helps you identify sensitive information across many locations and apps, prevent accidental sharing of information and protect this information in the desktop versions of Excel, PowerPoint and Word. It also helps employees learn how to stay compliant without interrupting workflow and includes templates for HIPAA, PCI-DSS and other common policies.
Control access to data and documents.
Microsoft Azure Information Protection allows you to control whether an email can be viewed, edited, forwarded or printed by non-employees. These restrictions apply to all files and emails no matter where and how they are accessed.
Gain visibility into cloud app usage.
Microsoft Cloud App Discovery gives you detailed insights into how your employee team is accessing and using the cloud app and spotlights possible security risks. This will also help you understand usage patterns and identify high-risk users. Finally, you can export usage data for additional analysis.
As the business environment continues to evolve and added security measures are required for a growing remote workforce, Network Solutions is proud to partner with organizations like Microsoft to offer valuable insights and resources to IT professionals worldwide. Use Microsoft 365 resources to protect your customers and company data and ensure your remote workforce keeps running strong both now and in the future.