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COVID-19: strengthening security and communications

In times of crisis, your IT priority should be to support communications and security. We asked Jacques Morrisseau, IT Manager at Spiria, to share his best advice for surviving this difficult time.

Use the right communications tools

All manner of resources are available to stay in touch with your colleagues and to work collaboratively: VOIP telephone service, on-line conversation tools, videoconferencing, file sharing services, etc. Then, you have one-stop-shops like Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite. Or, you can get specific services to round out those you already use, and select the ones that best fit your needs. Faced with an embarrassment of solutions to choose from, and with each vendor touting the superiority of their own product, selecting and implementing the right solution can be a difficult task for neophytes. Do not hesitate to turn to us for advice!

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Secure your corporate network

If some of your resources are normally only available from within your internal network, you may consider, given the situation, making them available securely from outside the network. It is both easy and inexpensive to do. All you need is a regular PC and a little technical know-how; no need to purchase expensive equipment or services. A few simple tools, like OpenVPN or a firewall like pfSense, can provide a cheap, effective solution, as long as they are correctly implemented.

Watch for scammers!

Be more cautious than ever when opening email: unfortunately, scammers are coming out of the woodwork to take advantage of the situation. When in doubt, have a close look at the “From” field. Usually, the legitimate-looking fraudulent emails that manage to bypass security screening come from small, compromised sites. See my articles on Spiria’s blog for more information and useful advice to foil fraudsters, especially the article Understanding the Internet, Part 3: Practical Applications.

Save, back it up, and back up your backups

The most important thing you can do for your company is to regularly save your data. The second-most important thing is to store a backup outside your company’s premises. The third-most important thing is to store your most important strategic documents off-line, for example on a hard drive which is kept locked away in a bank vault.

The importance of backups

Have I mentioned the importance of backups? You just never know when the enemy will strike. Whether you’re hit through a “zero day” vulnerability or a compromised user account, you’ll be glad to have backups when all your files are encrypted or deleted.

Be it for collaborative work solutions or data security, the Spiria team and its partners can help you find and implement the tools that are best suited to your situation or needs.

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