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In the pre-coronavirus era, the remote workforce was more the exception than the rule. As most workers were physically in the office, you could control and monitor the data your team accessed via your company network. In the post-coronavirus world, supporting a remote workforce may be the only way you’re able to keep your business open; however, going remote also brings with it diminished security. Fortunately, Microsoft’s Azure can provide the solution to keeping your data secure.
As the coronavirus crisis continues, many businesses have begun to realize that utilizing a remote workforce may be the only way they will be able to continue to serve their customers and remain a viable business. Even now, as many businesses start to gradually open up, others are still hesitant due to the health risks. While many businesses have realized that the remote workforce is likely here to stay, they also know they may not have the infrastructure in place to support their remote team.
Some considerations a business needs to consider when shifting to a remote workforce include:
While this may seem to be a lot to ask for from your remote team, Microsoft Azure can provide the solutions needed to answer the call.
Your data is at risk from your remote workforce, for the same reason why it was at risk when your team was in the office; user error. User error in the form of weak passwords, unpatched hardware, out of date software, such as Windows 7 and of course a lack of training,(such as how to recognize phishing attacks) when it comes to overall best practices in regards to security.
This is particularly important if your remote workforce is supporting the legal or medical industries, industries which have strict data requirements. Additionally, South Dakota is currently being targeted by coronavirus related scams, which is placing more pressure on your remote team.
The advantage your IT department had when interacting with your in-house team was that your IT department could manage and control who had access to your data. However, as when you enacted your BYOD policy, your remote workforce requires you support a wide range of devices, software, operating systems and user experiences. Fortunately, understanding BYOD can help with the transition into supporting a remote workforce.
While a patchwork of individual tools can help you hobble together a solution, what your remote workforce needs is an all-encompassing plan in order to be successful. This is where Microsoft Azure comes in.
Azure offers a turn-key set of cloud services, allowing businesses to develop, execute and maintain their own applications via Microsoft’s global network of data centers. Azure provides a wealth of services:
Microsoft recognizes the security challenges which come with a remote workforce and has designed Azure to support your security needs. With Azure, you never have to guess at the security level of your data because you can classify, label, and secure your data when it’s created, modified, or anytime in between. Moreover, established privileges are linked to the document itself, meaning that even if shared to different operating systems or devices, the established protocols will remain in place and your data remains secure. .
Azure offers easy-to-use and intuitive controls to assist you in managing how data is accessed, shared, and stored by your remote team. This allows you to have more control over what data can be accessed, even on the fly. This ‘front-facing’ concept to access control is designed to prevent unauthorized access before vulnerabilities can be exploited instead of waiting until the threat is already in your system.
As a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), KT Connections is South Dakota’s Microsoft expert. Our experience with the full range of Microsoft services can provide your business access to the full complement of Microsoft solutions. When it comes to supporting a remote workforce, there are a few steps you need to provide your team and your customers with the best services possible. If your business is considering becoming remote ready, Microsoft Azure is ready for you.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.
Rodd is a technology evangelist around the software defined data center and helps the systems engineers at KT Connections research technology trends and market forces. He also performs pre-sales engineering and deployment supervision to customers for Public, Hybrid, and Private cloud scenarios.
A native of Minnesota, Rodd grew up in a farming family around Worthington, MN. He has lived in Rapid City for twelve years now with his wife, Julie, and three children. Rodd is actively involved in his community as a Boy Scout leader and participates in various technology conferences.