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.

Showing SMBs How to Trade Oversized Lease Agreements for New Technology

News | Innovative Home Office Cybersecurity | Dominion Voice and Data

MIDLOTHIAN, VA– Announced today that the company is advising SMBs (small to mid-sized businesses) on how to fully leverage the benefits of a remote workforce, bolster employee satisfaction, reduce office space, while simultaneously strengthening the infrastructure of their organizations.

As the demand for remote workers continues to increase at an exponential rate, modern workplaces are noticing the shift towards more flexible, collaborative work environments. Highly educated organizations are positioning themselves ahead of this trend by investing in their technological infrastructure, so that they gain relevancy, attract top talent and secure their organizations for the future, instead of being caught holding onto the past.

“Whether you agree with remote workforce or not is inconsequential because it’s the future,” stated Chad Tester, COO of Dominion Voice and Data. “The real reason that remote working agreements are so controversial is because they highlight managerial and employee engagement issues. In other words, nothing can be swept under the rug, anymore. Management by proximity is being replaced by management through performance. This is a knowledge gap in the market and we’re attempting to shore it up within the business community so that our customers know exactly how to use technology to bolster employee engagement and to get more out of their team.”

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Keeping Your Guest Wowed

Think about what you expected when you checked into a hotel room 20 years ago.

  • Clean room
  • Bed was made
  • Fresh towels
  • Mint on the pillow

Now, think about what you expect when you check into a modern hotel

  • Free and fast Wi-Fi
  • Great in-room entertainment and dining options
  • Seamless user experience from walking in the door until after you leave

Also think about what your staff has come to expect when working at a modern hotel.

  • Reliable and fast internet
  • Unified communications which enable them to communicate from anywhere with any team member
  • Automatic notifications for alerts or key activities

The hospitality industry has changed just like every other industry in our technological world. Customers expect a great experience, a majority of that pertains to their ability to interact with the technology they bring with them (laptop, tablet, smart phone) and the technology provided throughout the hotel (in-room phone, digital signage, front desk receptionist).

As an owner/operator in the hospitality industry, you have a lot of people inside and outside your organization demanding the best technology. But what if technology isn’t your strength. You need a strategic partner, you need Dominion Voice and Data. Dominion Voice and Data has been working with owner/operators in the hospitality industry to help them deploy the best technology solutions for both guest and staff. Below is an example of our approach, an approach that not only empowers your staff and pleases your guest, but also keeps IT cost low.

Start with your team

As the owner/operator, you need to take care of your team first. If you take care of your team, they will then take care of your customers. By starting here, we help owners find out what their teams need to succeed. In many cases, we create a list similar to this:

  • Fast and reliable internet for all work stations
  • Wi-Fi available throughout the property to enable workers to access their business applications from wherever a guest might be
  • Simple, yet powerful phone system that integrates with your front desk software and enables mobile roaming
  • Reliable and friendly IT support and help desk for all the business provided devices

Once we have built your list, we then go to work for you to create a plan to meet your teams needs. We do a full assessment of your current IT infrastructure, find the best solutions to meet you needs, then build a proposed roadmap to take you from where you are to where you need to be.

Keep your guest Wowed

Now that we have your staff properly supported, our focus quickly shifts to your customer base. The modern customer is powerful, influential, and free to find the company that best meets their needs. Customers are learning more about your business with a 5-minute web search of other customer reviews, not by just visiting your property. You not only want to make your current customers happy, but you want them to engage with you online and tell others about the amazing experience they had.

So what do customers expect? Once again, we lead the owner/operator through a brain storming session to try and think of all the things related to IT that they are expecting when they walk in the front door:

  • Free and fast Wi-Fi
  • Free access to a business center with computers and printers ready for them to use
  • Interactive lobby monitors
  • Powerful in-room communication solutions for interacting with staff and dinning services
  • Enjoyable in-room entertainment

Fortunately, many of these items can be built upon the solutions we have already selected to empower your workforce. As your IT consultant, we build another roadmap for success to meet the items you identified as crucial to keeping your guest wowed.

IT peace of mind

The final aspect that sets Dominion Voice and Data apart is our ability to not only provide consultation services, but also our ability to project manage, execute, and support all the solutions we propose. We become your single destination for all things related to IT.

This peace of mind enables you to focus on your business and driving great customer experiences.

This process can all begin today with a free conversation. Reach out to our team to learn more about our services, let us show you what we can do to help your organization grow.

Helping Businesses Reduce Overhead and Boost Productivity

Today we announced that we are helping businesses reduce their office expenses and increase productivity by capitalizing on the growing trend of remote workers. As the modern workplace continues to be redefined, we plan to take a proactive approach in educating businesses on the benefits of a remote workforce, as well as the technology to make this transition.

With new technologies making it easier than ever before to work productively from any location, at any time, the number of remote workers has dramatically increased. While some managers are hesitant to embrace this new modern style of workplace, these numbers show no sign of slowing down, especially with the increased presence of millennials in the workplace. However, while millennials are often thought of as the primary generation forcing this workplace shift, studies have shown that that’s not entirely the case.

Learn more by reading the full article »