Working from Home in Western New York

Friday, March 27th

An interview with Kevin Kelly, President of I-Evolve, about how businesses around Western NY are coping with their new remote work environment.

Transcript of Interview:

“This is Kevin Kelly, President of I-Evolve.  We are just having a quick chat today, remotely, about what’s going on in Western NY.  Welcome, Kevin.  How are WNY businesses coping with working from home?”

“I think the people who were set up already are coping quite well.  Folks who had the cloud environment already installed, didn’t miss a beat.  They were able to move to their home offices, they had their phone, their computer and access to all their data without a problem.   There were some people who were not set up that way, and they had to scramble.  So we’ve been running about double the amount of service tickets the last week and a half, getting people set up.”

“So what are the specific challenges that customers are now facing when trying to work remote?”

“I think some of the challenges are security.  Now that people are opening up firewall ports to have people work remotely, there’s opportunistic people out there, the bad guys, trying to look for ways in.  So if they’re not set up right, with secure VPN, encryption and antivirus on home machines, there’s a vulnerability and a possible next wave of attacks going to happen.”

“That makes a ton of sense, and you hear very frequently, it’s not if it’s going to happen but when.”

“Correct.  It’s only a matter of time.  They already tried to attack the World Health Organization…unsuccessfully, but they suffered an attack just recently.”

“Wow.  So if I’m a small business owner, how can I easily address these concerns?  What’s the first thing I should do?”

“If you’re a small business owner, what you want to do is be aware of what your weaknesses are.  Right?  And a lot of times as a small business owner you don’t know what you don’t know from an IT standpoint.   You have something called a firewall, if it’s signature based instead of behavioral based, that’s a liability.  You don’t know it maybe, so its try to make yourself as aware as possible about what the vulnerabilities are.  You want a firewall that has behavioral based properties, so it can spot malicious attacks proactively and antivirus on the local machines in people’s homes in the same fashion.  If you don’t have that, my recommendation would be to have a cloud desktop for your remote users to roll back in securely with encryption back to your data.”

“Is that a difficult thing to get set up?”

“Not necessarily.  It does take a while because we’re backed up [laughs], but it’s fairly simple to spin up a hosted desktop and get it connected into your environment.”

“Awesome.  So, say I’m concerned, and I hadn’t thought about security until now.  How should I be setting myself up for success in the coming months, not knowing if this is going to be a one-month work from home situation or a six-month work from home situation?”

“Well for our clients, what I would tell them is to contact their account executive to talk about the latest security options available to them. Our i-Protect antivirus is behavioral based, it has an enterprise protect add-on to it that blocks ransomware and malware proactively and it actually talks to the local firewall in their office and the virtual firewall in the cloud.  That provides, I call it ‘belt and suspenders’ protection for your network.  That’s protecting the local machine and protecting your network at the same time.”