March 16, 2020 Michael Adamson

COVID-19 – Help with working from home

In light of the increasing number of postponed and cancelled events, I got to thinking about the effects to businesses and schools with the rush to move to working at home. Currently a number of companies are offering their services for free for the next 1 – 6 months, however there are also some ways to rapidly allow users to securely access corporate systems from personal devices. So, I thought I would share what I have come across with my peers.

Collaboration / Productivity

Microsoft Teams
Teams now how a new free tier to assist in the disruption https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/03/05/our-commitment-to-customers-during-covid-19/

Google Hangouts
Google’s premium chat/video collaboration tool is free for G-Suite users https://www.arnnet.com.au/article/671608/google-makes-premium-hangouts-free-amid-covid-19/

3CX Phone System
A great IP based phone system that easily allows for desktop sharing, video and voice calls – https://www.3cx.com/blog/news/covid-19-remote-working/

WebEx
A market leader in online collaboration and meetings – https://www.webex.com/go-covid19.html

Travel

Tripit Pro – My personal favourite travel app now offers premium notifications (delays and cancellations) to standard free users – https://tripit.com/web/covid-19-update/

Remote Access

SSL-VPN Portal
Some firewall vendors offer the ability to host clientless VPN portals that are secured via MFA. This can include access to RDP, website servers and files shares

Remote Desktop Web Access Gateway and Citrix Workspace
Microsoft and Citrix both are industry favourites and allow for applications to be launched via a web browser

Systems Monitoring

For organisations that require additional systems monitoring while short-staffed, Laminar is offering SIEM service for free during this period – https://laminar.co/#section-siem-service

Working Remotely

For anyone working remotely, I cannot recommend enough to get yourself a headset to suit your mobile and/or your PC for conferencing. It does not need to be expensive, but this will make the world of difference if this becomes your core form of communication. Laptop mic and speakers are limiting, so ensure you have a headset on hand.

Hopefully the above will ease the discomfort and adjustment to possibly upcoming changes. Should you have any additional concerns or anything you’d like to discuss please do not hesitate to give us a call on (07) 3177 0899.

About the Author

Michael Adamson Michael is a highly skilled Information Technology Professional with more than 15 years experience. Michael is a Sales Engineer at Laminar where he creates, implements and integrates network designs. His focus on innovation and keeping abreast of a constantly changing industry is what guides him in finding the best solution to meet the client's needs. Laminar is a highly technical group of people and we relish in helping our clients make sense of the complexities of modern IT networking We are an IT and Communications systems integrator that specialises in delivering WiFi, core networking and internet security solutions. We work with: - Private Schools and other higher education organisations - Federal and State Government organisations - Conferences centres and stadiums - Medium and large businesses If you would like to know more about what we do, please call us on 07 3177 0899.