While CSG can do little about the virus or the disease, we can help you maximize the remote work features that are available to you. For more information about how CSG can facilitate work from home or other remote functionality, please reach out to us directly, or click the link below.
In the meantime, CSG remains fully staffed. We are working remotely wherever possible and are rescheduling non-essential face to face meetings to a future date or conducting them virtually. Whether working from home or at the office, you may contact us at 877-895-2525 or email our helpdesk. Please be aware that support for systems not under contract may incur additional charges. Regardless, we are committed to help work through this situation with you.
For your part as individuals, following the CDC guidelines is the best advice we are aware of. With respect to your computers, though, we have a few more tips…
- Increased levels of hacking and phishing: we are seeing increases in attacks trying to take advantage of anxiety and concern over COVID-19. Please be vigilant for these attacks, and simply don’t open messages or click links that are not known to be valid. When in doubt, leave it untouched, or contact the vendor or individual through another channel to validate if it is necessary.
- Use Virtual Private Network software (VPN) to connect to your office when working from home: this ability is enabled at most of our clients and presents the office network (network file shares, printers, etc) to the user when working remotely. This is secure and very helpful if you are out of the office. If you already use VPN, nothing further needs to be done. If you do not, we may need to add you to the VPN Users group (with management permission) and possibly load the VPN software on your machine. It takes about 15 minutes to load VPN on a typical workstation, so it is not a costly item. This is typically deployment of a new function, so it will generate a bill to you.
- Use Web-based software to access your applications from anywhere remotely: This is one of the great things about Office 365. Many of your day to day applications like Outlook, Excel, Word, and so on are available over the internet. These don’t require VPN and are inherently secure because of encryption (SSL). You still need to be careful about downloading and uploading files, but the remote software programs do not have direct access to your on-premise servers, so risk is significantly reduced.
- Consider Microsoft Teams to facilitate online meetings, interaction between folks in different locations, and shared files.
Those of you on managed service agreements with CSG receive our attention to your anti-virus, anti-malware, and operating systems patches. However. this does not include your personal machines at home, so please be sure that you take those steps on your own. CSG discourages the connection of home computers to VPN, because we cannot manage the software patch levels and endpoint protection of home machines. Web access to Office 365 or other mail systems is the best recommendation for those home machines.
With any of these suggestions, please reach out with questions, concerns, or requests for assistance. We stand ready to help you as we weather this health crisis together.
Welcome video for Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft blog (March 10, 2020): Staying productive while working remotely with Teams
- Work remotely with Teams
- Teams blog (Feb 28, 2020): 4 tips for working from home with Microsoft Teams
- Collaborate with Office 365
- Work remotely with Office 365
- 9 tips for working remotely
- Top tips for working more securely from home