Case Study

Business Continuity – Working From Home

This study looks at how to nimbly implement working from home when a national crisis hits.

Details

Introduction

With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place by both state and federal governments, this Home Builder required a way to continue working on builds at various stages and keep the business going.

Specific Requests From The Client

The specific requests this Home Builder required were
  • employees are working a rotating Working From Home (WHF) days.
  • To enable their staff to continue meetings and team collaboration.
  • To enable the sharing of files with the intended access permissions in place.
  • To enable to access software and programs the same as if they were in the office.
  • To enable staff to use Apple Mac and Person  Computers/Laptops.
  • Provide advice on a Work From Home policy.
  • Re-use internal office decommissioned or hot-desk PCs if possible.
  • Enable Printing from home printers or office printers.

The Problem

In  February 2020 COVID-19 – workers returning from holidays were required to self-isolate for 14 days. Many of these workers were in critical positions, business continuity required that these workers were able to function in their normal capacity from their place of isolation. As March 2020 came to a close, businesses had to employ safe social distancing  in the workplace and as such different solutions were developed to ensure the safety of the workforce and the continuity of the business.

Solution

Atcom’s Secure Workplace tools includes remote access using TeamViewer. Staff at the Home Builder were asked to filled in a form (created using Microsoft Power Automate) which, was also sent to the workplace authority for approval.   Our team then ensured the end user PC and home network environment met the approved functionality and security standards. Some workers, such as CAD operators required secure VPN access to networked software. Security measures were put in place and the secure VPN created and tested. After hours appointments were made to remotely setup, install and test the connection to the office before the WFH started.
  1. Setup TeamViewer print options to print to home printer or office printers.
  2. Rollout Microsoft Teams in a broader scale.
  3. Ensure all Microsoft 365 are using Multi Factor Authentication.
All work was completed remotely – there was not one onsite visit required to set-up Work From Home technology!

The Result

Fast response time, set up WFH user in under 15 minutes and VPN user in under 30 minutes. Show some users how to use Microsoft teams. Sustained security of the network.

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Lessons Learnt

After hours appointments and availability was required to facilitate a faster successful connection. Weighing up the balance of absolute security versus business continuity – in a normal and planned WFH scenario, home user devices would be an absolute, hard no. All home user PCs/devices were required to pass our security checks, new PCs or laptops were only recommended in few situations. Our reasoning was that this had to be done quickly and economically. Hardware shortages were becoming apparent across Australia. We gave business owners the heads up on the risks and what we were doing to mitigate, and also where mitigation was not possible. As the primary focus is business continuity, we worked on this premise as securely as possible. Created a list of worse case scenarios and how to mitigate. This list is open as new potential threats are found frequently

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