Dresner Group Blog
Remote Work: Closing your Office Doesn’t Mean You Have To Close Your Business
As Maryland joins the growing list of states requesting and (in some cases) requiring non-essential businesses to shut down and people stay at home to combat the spread of coronavirus, the first question most businesses ask is, “Am I an non-essential business?” While there are 16 business sectors which are considered critical during these trying times, here are two that stand out in Maryland.
Coronavirus Alert: Two Essential Business Sectors In Maryland
Throughout the month of March, Maryland’s government slowly increased restrictions on social gatherings as the number of people infected with coronavirus began to increase. As of March 23, during a presentation, Governor Hogan closed all non-essential businesses in an attempt to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. If you’re interested in knowing more about what is considered an essential business, here’s a list of critical infrastructure sectors during COVID-19 (coronavirus) which should strive to remain open for business. For more information about coronavirus in Maryland, visit Maryland’s Department of Health website.
Since Maryland ranked third in the National Technology index, many of our businesses are fortunate to be able to support a remote workforce and close their offices, in the attempt to reduce the spread of infection. However, a considerable number of businesses are not. Businesses that are considered essential and are remaining open, will need a team, even if it is a skeleton team, on-site. For these businesses, having access to and maintaining their technology is critical to their ability to provide the services their struggling communities need.
IT for Manufacturing Sectors
Technology is the heart of most businesses, even more so for businesses designated as essential to Marylanders such as manufacturers, who have taken a special role in the fight against coronavirus. As technology touches nearly every part of a manufacturing process, now more than ever, the technology your business relies on to serve your customers, needs to just work. In today's unstable environment, manufacturers may need to significantly accelerate productivity, streamline production, and see the type of uptime and efficiency your organization requires to continue to be productive in a time of need.
Some services you should consider either adopting or updating include:
- On-site or cloud-based computing infrastructures
- End-to-end networking
- Software solutions to meet evolving needs of your business
- Complete monitoring and management of network and infrastructure
- Thorough consulting
Finally, most manufacturers are entering the next phase of the Internet of Things where you may find you need to lean on newer technology such as IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) in order to remain ahead of the curve as the effects of the virus increases on Maryland’s infrastructure. As the new normal, borne from coronavirus concerns, begins to take root, now may be the time to invest in newer technology that allows you to do more with less people on site.
IT Support for Healthcare and Public Health Sector
As hospitals and other medical services are overwhelmed by victims of coronavirus, there’s an increased risk of cybercriminals looking to take advantage of the stress on the system and gain access to valuable patient records. While it is tempting to relax best practices in order to serve your patients, you will be playing right into the hands of the hackers. Despite the urgency, now is the time to ensure your practice and patient data remains secure.
One thing to consider is that if you are still using Windows 7 on any of your network computers, you are no longer compliant with HIPAA. Furthermore, hackers are acutely aware of how many medical offices are still using Windows 7 and re-releasing malware such as BlueKeep back into circulation.
The last thing a person who has visited your medical practice out of concern for coronavirus needs is to find out in 30 days that their personal information has been compromised and their credit is damaged; especially when their ability to purchase resources is already under stress. Moreover, Maryland has one of the strictest data breach policies in the country, so not only is data security important for your patients, it's important for your business as well.
While there has been a relaxing of many rules and regulations, HIPAA and HITECH compliance aren’t one of them. The regulations regarding HIPAA for Professionals are still in effect. Take a moment and consider scheduling a Free Consultation to discuss the concerns your medical practice is facing regarding your technology. Dresner Group IT solutions for healthcare can help you remain in compliance with HIPAA standards.
Finally, Maryland veterinarians, we often discuss that your businesses are a prime target for cyberattack due to the type of data you store and have access to, and recommend you consider a security audit to see where you stand. We'd like to take this moment to recommend you consider contacting your local medical centers and asking if they have a need for respirators, masks, gowns and other PPEs (they most likely do) and loaning yours if you're not using them.
We will get past this stressful time if we all work together as Marylanders and support one another.
Don’t Neglect Your Technology
While worrying why you should control your server room’s temperature, whether or not your data is backed up or what’s the point of an IT Assessment, seems trivial in the face of a pandemic, the reality is that it won’t last forever and while your business may be struggling now; your recovery will be all the worse if your data is compromised or your technology fails. Now is the time to develop a disaster recovery plan, because while coronavirus isn’t as obvious as a hurricane or fire, its effect can be just as devastating.
Dresner Group’s team of consultants and technicians will work around the clock to ensure that your organization continues to provide the essential services our community needs. Don’t allow your technology to derail your ability to remain productive during this time. Let us worry about your IT, while you continue working. Call today to schedule a meeting.