What To Do for Your Business’s Networking Remote Access & Unified Communications During COVID-19

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, broad trends include Work From Home initiatives and preparation for office closures.
As such, following are observations and prescriptive recommendations as they relate to Networking Remote Access & Unified Communications, including:

1. What We See Companies Doing
2. What We Recommend
3. How We Can Help

While this is a prescriptive list, it is not exhaustive and there may be more specific recommendations based on your environment.

If you are a Fidelus Managed Services client and would like to engage via the Managed Services team please open a Service Request here or call 1-866-343-3587 option 1 for Technical Assistance Center.

If not, please email ResponseTeam@fidelus.com or contact us via your account team.

Network Remote Access: 

  1. Increasing remote access VPN license count, potentially migration to a platform with greater capacity and ensure the underlying routing in place for access to essential/internal resources such as file systems, real time communications (voice, video, messaging)
  2. Increasing ISP bandwidth to accommodate more VPN users (especially if the data lives in the data center).
  3. Making use of existing firewalls where VPN is currently disabled but licenses allow for VPN. This could enable a remote office user to directly communicate with his local file server with a better experience.  This option offers a quicker turn up than waiting on licenses to be obtained.
  4. Increasing the VPN subnet sizes in configurations

Secure Communications:  Enabling secure Mobile Remote Access (MRA) for Cisco Jabber & Hard-phones

Phones / Headsets:  Acquisition of additional phones / headsets for home use

Webex: Increasing licensing and training of virtual meeting spaces such as Cisco Webex and Webex Teams

Internal IT Support: Increase of availability and presence of internal IT staff to support end-users during the influx of requests to achieve work remotely. This has been in the form of adding headcount, hours of availability, and syncing with service providers to share communication plans between organizations.

Network Remote Access:
Refer to previous list 

  • Redundant access for remote devices
  • Configuring two-factor authentication for VPN.
  • Revisiting the security posture of the firewalls to make sure communication is working that normally would be underutilized.
  • Migrating in-office security such as ISE posture compliance to the VPN.

Confirming enterprise laptops used in remote office scenarios are provisioned with malware protection since home firewalls lack such security (i.e. Cisco AMP)

Unified Communications Clients
Explore expanding or deploying Unified Communications Clients such as Jabber, Webex teams for voice, video, messaging and web-sharing on desktop and mobile devices

Web-Based Collaboration
Explore the use of tools like Webex for audio bridges, web collaboration and video to stay connected and productive through the period of remote working

Phones / Headsets
Explore acquiring hard-phones for remote workers to provide a rich collaboration experience from home. Acquire high quality headsets to prevent poor quality on audio and video calls.

Alternate Messaging:
Create new or update auto attendant/voicemail messaging (personal/company).

Internal Help-desk:

Ensure agents can work from home including the ability to receive contact center calls and provide remote support

The Fidelus team can assist with all recommendations above. Also, for consideration:

  • Audit and Testing Services:
    Assist with creating and running test plan to validate remote working capabilities
  • Remediation Services:
    Work with your team to implement any identified and necessary remediation steps to ensure remote workers have access to all of the necessary resources
  • Procurement:
    Our team is prepared to help procure any additional equipment or software required for this initiative
  • Assist in setting up Webex trials 

Unsure of what the best plan for your business is?  Please email us your questions at ResponseTeam@fidelus.com or contact us via your account team.