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“Dirty” Computers: Don’t Let Laptops Back Into Your Office Without Reading This

Protect your business from cybersecurity threats. Before laptops return to the office, your IT department needs to do some work. Learn what steps to take right now.

Alan Schwartz, Director of Operations

As cities reopen, businesses are planning a return to offices. With the focus on people, one thing is slipping through the cracks. The dozens, possibly hundreds, of computers returning from remote work too.

These so-called “dirty” computers are walking risks to your business. Without proper security oversight for months, these dirty computers are harboring viruses ready to infect your entire network. Here’s what IT managers need to know now.

We spoke with Alan Schwartz, director of operations at iVenture, to understand this new remote work threat.

How Did The Issue of Dirty Computers Start?

Alan:

A lot of businesses had to shut down quickly. People went from office to remote work fast, and without cybersecurity preparation. They took their laptops and left. That’s it. This meant the tools and software to protect computers couldn’t be installed.

Most companies just weren’t ready for such a huge transition in such a short period of time.

What Remote Work Risks Need to Be Addressed?

All of the normal risks — viruses, spyware, phishing and more — are now elevated. Without proper oversight, there’s no telling what environment laptops are in. For example:

  • On unsecure home networks
  • On public or shared networks
  • Shared by different family members
  • Used for personal work

All these scenarios are perfect opportunities for hackers to do their worst. Once one dirty computer connects to your office network, every other connected computer is now at high risk too.

What Should Businesses Do to Fix This?

Take a page from the CDC and socially distance your computers. Do this by staggering their return to the office.

Schedule a small number of people to return at a time. Make sure your IT department is ready to take the computers, run deep scans and clean them up. Only then should they reconnect to your office network.

Clean In 1, 2, 3

  1. Stagger return to office
  2. Have IT department scan and clean
  3. Connect with confidence

How Should Business Leaders Prepare For the Future?

Now is the time for recon. Look at how your business handled this mass transition to remote work (and back to office). What worked? What needs improvement?

Bake this lesson into your business continuity plans.

My suggestions:

  • Assign each employee a work laptop to avoid mixing personal & professional use
  • Tightly control admin access on laptops
  • Educate employees on safe password managers like LastPass
  • Filter bad websites with OpenDNS
  • Stay alert to security hacks with software that connects to the cloud
  • Initiate remote access/desktops like Citrix

It’s time to have an honest conversation with your IT department. Find out how to better support them. Usually the answer is manpower and bandwidth. That’s where we come in.

For 20 years, we’ve provided IT departments with the extra boost to get things done. Let us do the same for you. Contact us today for more information.

iVenture Solutions is an award-winning managed service provider delivering superior IT solutions to clients across Florida.

As a leading-edge IT firm for small and medium-sized businesses, we provide a diverse range of services covering the entire scope of IT including maintenance, support, hosting and more.

Through rapid response time, reduction of chaos and the right people, our expert team of IT professionals will fulfill your technology needs. At iVenture, we give you more time to do what matters most.

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