Providing Innovative Home Office Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

News | Innovative Home Office Cybersecurity | Dominion Voice and Data

Innovative Home Office Cybersecurity Solutions for the Nearly 50% of Remote Workers Infected by Malware

According to a BitSight report, “Identifying Unique Risks of Work From Home Remote Office Networks,” the article revealed that “45% of companies had malware on their corporate-associated home networks.” This could mean major telecommuting complications for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) if they are not prepared.

Where SMBs ordinarily could disregard cybersecurity and remote workspaces, that thought is a thing of the past. Now once traditional office settings are adopting work from home policies, businesses require the right communication and productivity tools needed to get the job done from anywhere, without slowing down production.

 


 

To sum it all up, vulnerability at the home-office is now corporate vulnerability,” – Chad Tester, COO, Dominion Voice and Data

 

What is the new normal?

“Unfortunately, whenever we get back to normal life, it won’t be so normal, anymore,” stated Chad Tester, COO of Dominion Voice and Data, citing the expected office policies which will force people to adhere to staggered schedules, where a worker comes into the office on Mondays/Wednesdays and another comes on Tuesdays/Thursdays. The expected growth of remote working, even after the states reopen will still be enormous.

Work-from-home is fast becoming the “new normal” and with tech giants like Twitter, Microsoft, Google and Facebook all extending work-from-home policies, many SMBs are trying to figure out the best way to reorganize themselves for success. Twitter and Square have announced their plans to let employees work remotely in perpetuity.

Google and Facebook have remote policies in place at least until 2021. Since these tech giants often serve as a leading indicator for SMBs across the country, business owners are looking for innovative, yet practical, ways to adapt to this new working environment and to ensure that their virtual infrastructure is secure.

 

Biggest challenges for business owners

The two biggest challenges for business owners who find themselves in this new work-from-home scenario are 1) How do I properly manage my employees? and 2) Which technology do we really need? The past several weeks have been a crash course in management, forcing business owners to innovate management solutions for employees, which leaves the second challenge up for resolution.

For any business owner who wants to address this vulnerability, at a minimum, they must equip their employees with a combination of the following technologies, Windows virtual desktops, SD-WAN, firewall and a printer/scanner. Virtual desktops provide employees with access to apps, software and technology that they utilize on their work computer.

SD-WAN establishes a secure and efficient means of connectivity for employees and a monitoring solution ensures the ongoing security of any devices or networks from cyberattacks, like phishing or ransomware. Lastly, printer/scanner solutions are absolute necessities for specific employees.

 

Remote working

With a relatively simple bundle of technology, SMBs can circumvent many of the challenges imposed on them through this pandemic, and they can set their company up for success as we transition into the “new normal.” While remote working has been steadily growing for years, there is now plenty of data, and common sense, to back these necessary shifts.

According to Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics, “Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.” That number is up from 3.6% of employees working from home half-time or more.

Empowering Companies to Combat COVID-19 with an Innovative Approach Using Microsoft Teams

News | Innovative Home Office Cybersecurity | Dominion Voice and Data

Microsoft Teams is a tool that dramatically enhances every employee’s ability to collaborate by integrating the functions of chat, meetings, calls and collaboration into a single platform. Throughout the pandemic, mandatory precautions have forced small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) across the country to innovate after being thrust into an immediate need to keep their operations running, remotely. Dominion Voice and Data is proactively helping customers transition to their staff to a remote workforce leveraging Microsoft Teams.


What is the new normal?

While working remotely is the “new normal” among many businesses, some companies are reluctant to change, often citing intangible benefits of working in a shared physical location. However, according to the Forrester Study: The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Teams, those assertions lack data. In fact, according to the study, “information workers were able to save 4hrs/week through improved collaboration and information sharing,” thereby giving many employees the extra time they needed to finally catch up on all the loose ends that often interrupt operations. Furthermore, the Forrester Study also concluded that “an average of 150 overnight trips [were] replaced with online meetings by year 3.” Regardless of industry, every business stands to benefit greatly from the dramatic reduction in costs associated with decreasing travel budgets as well helping to combat COVID-19.

 

“We’ve been helping businesses transition to a more remote workforce for a long time and it’s not as complicated as many business owners make it out to be” – Chad Tester, COO

 

“We’ve been helping businesses transition to a more remote workforce for a long time and it’s not as complicated as many business owners make it out to be,” stated Chad Tester, COO at Dominion Voice and Data. “Business owners need to understand that the technology has matured to the point where they can recreate those same intangible moments of connection and collaboration using Microsoft Teams, that in decades past, could only be achieved through the use of a physical office.” Chad later continued, “with the Coronavirus in play, many business owners don’t have a choice but to adapt, but we’re seeing that once businesses embrace this shift they end up with a more productive team that responds quicker to immediate business needs.”

What are the benefits of switching to Unified Communications?

Another aspect of Microsoft Teams is that it centralizes all resources and then makes them accessible online, so that employees can find everything they need in one central, cloud-based location. This typically has a very strong impact on reducing employee downtime. According to the Forrester Study, “having resources available online in Teams reduces downtime by 14.6 percent.” When resources are available in one cloud-based location, downtime is reduced and complexity is lowered, making security and compliance easier.

Tester added, “In order to shift your workforce to a more remote environment that new environment must be supported. It demands that several technology solutions get put in place beforehand so that the transition can happen smoothly and maximum efficiency. With minimal investments in time and capital outlay, businesses can keep their businesses running strong no matter what natural disasters, pandemics or economic recessions loom on the horizon.”

 

ABOUT DOMINION VOICE AND DATA

Dominion Voice and Data is Central Virginia’s Leading Cloud-Based Managed Services Company. Our mission is to advance our client’s business goals through delivery of superior technology solutions and world class support.

At Dominion, we are your trusted technology adviser and reliable business partner so that we can design you a solution that fits your business model. Dominion Voice and Data is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of information that belong to our customers, especially Protected Health Information. To that end, we adhere to the requirements of the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. We comply with all Business Associate obligations under HIPAA/HITECH, enabling Dominion Voice and Data to provide the highest level of services to our customers involved in the healthcare professions.

Leverage the Power of Microsoft Teams to Collaborate More Effectively

Learn how to leverage the power of Microsoft Teams and collaborate faster and more effectively with your team. As we enter a new decade, the workforce is changing drastically, both in demographic and behavioral tendencies. Millennials soon will make up the majority of the workforce and “by 2025, 3 out of every 4 workers, globally, will be a millennial,” (source: TIME Magazine). Millennials and Generation Z have a preference for working remotely and utilizing collaboration enabling tools.

 


 

How we work

Microsoft Teams is a representation of the way that communication has changed the way we work and is set to become the new standard in collaboration and professional communication, posing many new opportunities for enhanced productivity amongst SMBs. Dominion Voice and Data is helping businesses reinvent themselves and remain relevant with advanced technology, so they can reach higher heights than ever before.

“There are myriad of collaboration tools out there, but the core reason that SMBs will be utilizing Microsoft Teams in the future is because it increases an organization’s capacity to collaborate, but more importantly, they can collaborate securely,” stated Chad Tester, COO of Dominion Voice and Data.

This tool goes far beyond our traditional paradigm of workplace communication, which included emails, office phones and conference calls. The dominant channels of communication have shifted to a wider array, including, real-time collaboration, private chat, public conversation, audio calls, video calls and virtual meetings, all of which are encompassed in the Microsoft Teams solution.

 

How the workforce determines the communication tools

The younger players in the workforce, Millennials and Gen Z find this assortment of communication tools to be integral to their success in any organization. This is why Dominion Voice and Data is leading the charge on the deployment of Microsoft Teams, because it is the ideal way to meet the needs of younger employees while simultaneously maximizing the effectiveness of more seasoned workers.

“There’s a reason that Microsoft is including emojis and GIFs in the software, they understand who are the power users will be and how businesses need to adapt now, in order to keep attracting top talent in the future,” added Tester.

 

More companies are going international

Another key trend amongst SMBs is that more companies are going international. Whether they’re relying on international suppliers and vendors, developers or virtual assistants, the demand for bridging language barriers has proven to be key in keeping businesses ahead of the curve when it comes to collaboration.

One of the exciting features within Microsoft Teams is the ability to instantly translate languages in the chat or messaging features, with one-click. “The world economy is going to continue expanding and become more globally interactive,” commented Tester. “This is not going to slow down, in fact, it will only speed up.”

Lastly, companies that are concerned with the handling of sensitive information, which is especially important in industries like Financial and Healthcare, can rest assured that Microsoft Teams satisfies the requirements for compliance set by several governing agencies.

Businesses that want to increase their capacity for collaboration, innovation and relevance need to take a look at implementing technologies like Microsoft Teams.

 

ABOUT DOMINION VOICE AND DATA

Dominion Voice and Data is Central Virginia’s Leading Cloud-Based Managed Services Company. Our mission is to advance our client’s business goals through delivery of superior technology solutions and world class support.

At Dominion, we are your trusted technology adviser and reliable business partner so that we can design you a solution that fits your business model. Dominion Voice and Data is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of information that belong to our customers, especially Protected Health Information. To that end, we adhere to the requirements of the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. We comply with all Business Associate obligations under HIPAA/HITECH, enabling Dominion Voice and Data to provide the highest level of services to our customers involved in the healthcare professions.

Leveraging Microsoft Azure to Take Customers Into the Cloud

News | Innovative Home Office Cybersecurity | Dominion Voice and Data

Learn how to make a seamless transition to the cloud by leveraging Microsoft Azure to help eliminate outdated IT hardware in small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Microsoft’s most common suite of products has reached expiration, such as Windows 7, and as those products and services have matured into obsolescence, along with the servers they ride on. Dominion Voice and Data has been proactively transitioning companies with end-of-life Microsoft products into Microsoft Azure in order to keep them up-to-date with the contemporary business world.

 


 

Embrace the cloud

While many business owners are accustomed to purchasing on-premise servers, this way of storing data has become obsolete with the proliferation of the cloud. Aside from the fact that the tech world has embraced cloud computing and that virtually all innovation from this point forward will incorporate the cloud in some way, on-premise servers have matured beyond their useful life into obsolescence.

On-premise servers are vulnerable to becoming outdated, which lead to major security concerns for business owners. On top of that, without regular updates and software upgrades they are susceptible to slower speeds while the rest of the world is speeding up. In sum, it makes no sense for business owners to outlay large capital expenditures on deteriorating technology.

 

“Unfortunately, on-premise just doesn’t make fiscal sense, anymore,” – Chad Tester, COO of Dominion Voice and Data

 

Catering to a mobile workforce

“While most businesses are expanding and need to have hardware that scales, cloud servers that cater to a mobile workforce and data that can be confidently secured, on-premise has fallen behind the curve. Since, our customers’ businesses can’t afford that level of inefficiency within their organizations, we’ve been very proactive in ushering in this transition. We’ve been transitioning our customers into Azure and will continue to do so, to keep them ahead of the curve and more importantly, profitable.”

Utilizing cloud servers through Microsoft Azure enables businesses to benefit from regularly updated and upgraded hardware to keep data integrity strong. Additionally, Microsoft Azure is a direct response to the growing demand for secure access to data from a mobile workforce that span across multiple locations. With Millennials and now Gen Z entering the workforce, these trends show no signs of slowing down.

 

“At some point in the near future, owning on-site servers will be like having a coin-operated telephone in the lobby for your employees to use.” – Chad Tester, COO, Dominion Voice and Data

 

Keeping on trend

Tester later continued, “At some point in the near future, owning on-site servers will be like having a coin-operated telephone in the lobby for your employees to use. How are your top employees supposed to perform at peak levels with obsolete technology like that?”

On-premise servers have gone the way of the fax machine and in the same manner that utilizing older hardware increases cost through lack of efficiency, on-premise servers must be updated, immediately. Dominion Voice and Data has positioned themselves and their customers ahead of the curve to make sure their customers remain productive, efficient and profitable with technology like Microsoft Azure.

Phone Solutions for a Modern Time

For the industries we cover, we know how important a modern communication system is. A missed call, a message being unable to be sent, or poor reception could be disastrous. These are all terrifying possibilities if you have an old outdated and no longer supported system. Problems like this can be easily avoided with a new modern system. Upgrading your system will not only make issues like those left behind but also give you a host of new communication options.

With a new phone system, you will be upgraded to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) which means all your calls will be through the internet. This means the quality of the voice in calls increases with your internet. This also allows you to integrate your system with your computers and mobile devices. This allows you to make calls, check your voicemail, and communicate on your computer. You will be able to share documents & data, start group chats, and make conference calls all through one unified system.

Modern phone solutions eliminate many of the problems old systems had. Helping avoid potentially serious issues that could arise from the older systems. Upgrading will also give a long list of benefits. So don’t wait, contact us and we will set you up with a modern system right for you.

Proud to Serve in a Variety of Industries

At Dominion Voice and Data we are proud to say that for the past nearly 20 years (since 1999) we have cultivated the expertise to be able to provide services to a variety of industries such as Hospitality, Business and Health Care. We don’t just focus on one sector because we understand the value of voice and data technologies for everyone! For instance, from the very start we have worked with Assisted Living Facilities to ensure that they are getting the best in carrier services as well as the right phone options and WiFi systems to not only save facilities money but also keep residents safe and connected with their loved ones.

Need a more rugged system? We work in the Industrial Industry where we can provide options like SpectraLink premise-based wireless solutions that are both reliable and tough so that you never lose that crucial instant contact between management and staff. At the same time we understand the more delicate needs of healthcare facilities when it comes to the security of information being transmitted/stored such as electronic health records. Reliability is additionally crucial in a health care emergency and with Dominion Voice and Data nurses and doctors can focus on their patients, knowing that their communication solutions are in good hands.

At Dominion Voice and Data we believe in the importance of growth and flexibility as well as exceptional customer service and that is what drives us to excellence in so many fields. Read more about Who We Serve.

Improving the Performance of your IT Infrastructure

Are you worried about your spotty internet connection making it through an important video call? Losing money while waiting for your service provider to make repairs? Putting everything on hold all the time for a router reset? With the increasing number of applications and programs needed for the average workday, businesses have ever higher demands on their network. It not only needs to support a larger volume of programs but also be reliable and durable.

We at Dominion Voice and Data know firsthand that a good IT infrastructure is much more than plugging a few cables into your computers. For the best network performance, you need a team of experts to assess your current IT needs and determine the right combination of equipment and solutions to meet your technology requirements. Your network should be adjusted to you, not the other way around.

By working with us, you know you’re getting the best service. We provide full support for your network infrastructure, including the design, installation, and maintenance of your structured cabling, phone system, wireless network, and server assembly. Some customers need a faster wireless connection, while others are more concerned with data storage or supporting cloud solutions. Our goal is to create a network that provides the best performance for your business and its specific needs.

Learn more…

Workspace as a Service (WaaS)

We are committed to providing cost-effective solutions for all your needs. The need for expensive on-premise equipment that depreciates and becomes obsolete is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Dominion Voice and Data offers Cloud Services that allow you to access your data and programs from any PC or device, using an app or by logging in through the internet.

Your home screen with all associated programs, files, and software needed can be accessed from anywhere at your convenience. The need for updates to operating systems and software are managed remotely by us.

WaaS allows flexibility and mobility, there is an immediate boost to productivity, and your entire team will be able to share data, collaborate, and connect. We have systems in place to back up and restore data, as well as disaster recovery protocols to ensure that you remain up and running. The majority of IT administration can be routed through us, which will free up some of your budget for other areas of your business.

This service includes 24/7/365 monitoring and access to Remote Help Desk support. Contact us for more information

Managed Services

At Dominion Voice and Data we realize that it is only a tool to be used to increase productivity, enhance profits, or reduce costs.

Dominion Voice and Data provides managed services that can be tailored to your specific needs. We can keep you current with trends, save you money, all while maximizing employee productivity.

Customer experience is a high priority in today’s society and it can often be a pain point for some companies. Inefficiencies in call handling, messaging, and communication between employees and customers are an area always requiring refining and polishing.

Our managed services offer some solutions specific to this anomaly. We can provide transparency in the area of voice mail and unified messaging by providing users the ability to unify voice mail, e-mail, and fax in one location, allowing staff easy access, and shorter response time. Call center technology can reduce customer hold time by routing calls based on employee skill set. Call handling data can be compiled to allow effective resource allocation eliminating bottlenecks. Direct Inward Dialing (DID) provides personal telephone numbers without the need for an actual telephone line to your desktop.

For a more comprehensive list of managed services »

Choosing Mitel for Our Customers

When things change in your world you can either let it knock you around or figure out where you want to stand. With the recent changes with Toshiba and Mitel we had such an opportunity. We care for the people we work with so much so that instead of blindly changing providers and manufactures we took the time to actually consult with our customers to make sure the decisions we made would continue to work for the long haul. After all, one of our core principles at Dominion Voice & Data is exceptional customer service – meaning we focus on your needs.

Our decision to move to Mitel was one we took under deep counsel after weighing heavily the pros and cons. We are excited to be launching Mitel especially considering they are the largest Cloud install base in the world and have the capacity to handle even the largest clients as well as our international clients, yet agile enough to handle the small to medium size businesses that are truly at our core.

We will now be able to provide our customers with high quality unified communication, business phone, VoIP, contact center, & cloud solutions. Want to learn more? Take a look at our Mitel Solutions page and feel free to reach out to us with any questions.