Now more than ever, it is vital to have a great IT Provider in your corner. At Preemo, we are working hard to support our clients in this unprecedented time and we want to share our expertise with you. Here are 8 essential things your IT Provider should be doing for you right now.

1. Set Up Secure Remote Access

Social distancing requires all businesses deemed “non essential” to transition to remote work. Your IT provider should be making this transition as easy and safe as possible for you. 

There are several options available for enabling remote work, including remote desktop access and using cloud services, and your IT partner should help you find the choice that is best for you. 

However, a competent service provider’s job does not stop there. They must also ensure that your remote connections are safe from security threats. According to Shodan data, exposure of Remote Desktop Ports (RDPs) to the internet has gone up 41.5% in the last month. If your RDP is accessible from the internet, it is also vulnerable to threat actors looking to access your information. 

Your IT provider should be taking all the necessary steps to ensure that your information is secure when working remotely. 

2. Set Up/Maintain a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for your company

A VPN is a great way to keep your company’s information safe from the internet at large. For those who may be unaware, a VPN allows remote users to connect securely to a corporate network via encrypted channels. 

Without a VPN, remote workers cannot connect securely to their work network. When this happens, they are forced to rely on insecure connections, like their home or public WiFi. 

Your IT Provider should prioritize the setup and maintenance of a VPN for your company. They should also be available to answer any VPN-related questions and issues that may come up.

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3. Keep your OS and software up-to-date 

As your employees work remotely, your IT provider must keep your operating system (OS) and software up-to-date. Software updates and patches exist for a reason: they correct any flaws in the software’s older version, including security weaknesses. Out-of-date software is much more vulnerable to attack. 

  

4. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) everywhere

Multi-factor authentication helps you verify the identity of anyone accessing your corporate information. It involves sending users a second verification check after they enter their password. For example, after an employee enters his/her password on the computer, they are also sent a text with a 4 digit code to enter. MFA makes sure that only authorized individuals are logging on to your corporate accounts. 

Your IT provider should implement MFA on any corporate accounts/networks your remote workers are using during this time.  

5. Protect Against Phishing 

Unfortunately, many threat actors are taking advantage of the pandemic to try to steal information. There has been a rise in coronavirus-related phishing attempts since the virus began to spread. Threat actors posing as, for example, the World Health Organization, are sending emails in order to distribute malware and steal user credentials. 

Your IT provider should be your ally in the fight against phishing. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, your IT provider should have been using “hardening” measures to keep your network safe. These measures include using firewalls and DNS filtering to monitor the traffic going through your network. With so many of us working remotely, these protective measures are more important than ever. 

The most important factor is combating phishing is education. Your IT provider can help with this as well. They should have resources to help your employees understand the hallmarks of a phishing email and stay away from dangerous links and downloads. 

6. Help With Telecommunication

Platforms like Zoom, the video conferencing service, are invaluable to companies working remotely. However, especially for larger companies, they can be tricky to configure. Your IT provider should be helping you to install and set up platforms like Zoom so that you and your team can keep communicating. 

There are certain security measures your IT provider must be aware of when configuring telecommunication. They must be configuring screen sharing, audio, and video settings correctly. Incorrect settings can result in outsiders gaining access to your communications.  

7. Continuous Monitoring 

At Preemo, our around-the-clock monitoring provides our clients peace of mind in these uncertain times. We also perform maintenance services remotely and overnight, so you experience no interruption. 

Consistent monitoring/maintenance allows us to get ahead of any issues before they impact you. It also reduces expensive downtime in the event that a problem does arise. Your IT provider should still be monitoring your networks and systems 24/7, even as they themselves work remotely.

8. Maintain Response Time 

As you and your employees work remotely, questions and issues will inevitably come up. Make sure you have an IT provider who is on-call to answer these questions and correct problems. Though circumstances may have changed, Preemo’s commitment to our clients has not. We have maintained our response time under 30 minutes on average and our first-call resolution at almost 60%.

Your IT provider must be responsive and available, no matter the situation. If their response time and communication waivers, it might be time to think about finding someone new. 

Thinking Ahead 

In regards to the coronavirus, no one can say what the future holds. However, we know one thing for certain: now is the time to have an IT provider you can trust. If your business needs IT help in these unprecedented times or if you have any other IT-related questions, click here to get a free quote.