Checklist for continuity with a remote workforce

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Organizations need to prepare for emergencies that require employees to suddenly switch from a corporate environment to a home office.

Emergencies can strike at any time, requiring organizations to move quickly to maintain business continuity at scale and minimize the disruption.

Continuity plans must encompass not only the technology required to keep the business up and running, but also the human aspect — making sure employees are well-trained and prepared to work remotely.

As the size of the remote workforce suddenly increases, here is a 10-point checklist for IT leaders to consider when tackling the technology piece of the puzzle.

1. Network capacity planning: Conduct a capacity analysis to determine whether internet bandwidth is sufficient to handle the increased WAN traffic that occurs when large numbers of employees access the network. Additional items on the capacity planning checklist include firewalls, VPNs and other remote access-related technologies that might be overwhelmed by the increased volume of traffic coming from outside of corporate headquarters.

2. Security monitoring: Intensify activities designed to detect and prevent attacks. Hackers are likely to take this opportunity to increase malicious activities. Securing the human training can be delivered remotely to ensure that employees remember and follow the organization’s security practices.

3. Identity and access management: Beef up identity and access management for remote workers through methods such as multifactor authentication.

4. Data protection: Ensure that security is extended and corporate data is encrypted to prevent the unintentional or malicious exposure of sensitive data.

5. VPNs: Make sure that VPN agents are installed on every device that connects to the corporate network to provide secure remote access.

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