Now after months of collecting dust and being unmanaged, computers, printers, servers, and other technology are being put back into operation as the world begins to get back to some semblance of normal.
But when your IT infrastructure hasn’t been used for a while, you can’t just flip the switch as if no time had passed. There are several things you need to do to open your office safely and in a way that won’t put you at risk of a cybersecurity breach.
What Should You Do Before You Re-Open Your Office Post-Lockdown?
While many people enjoy working from home, office life has been missed. 63% of surveyed Canadians say they want to return to the office, with three-quarters preferring a hybrid office/home arrangement.
If you plan on bringing your team back and booting the office computers back up, there are several things you need to do first to ensure things go smoothly.
Have Equipment Dusted
Just one particle of dust on a hard drive can cause data to get corrupted. Equipment collects dust even while it’s operated daily, so you can imagine how much has collected over a 12-18 month shut-down period.
It’s important to have all equipment thoroughly dusted and cleaned by a professional before you turn it all back on or attempt to go back to business as usual at the office.
You want to have an IT professional do the cleaning, not just a cleaning service or employees because electronics need to have special precautions taken when being cleaned. This includes using the appropriate solutions and tools that are “tech-friendly.”
Apply Updates/Patches to All Equipment
Have your computers, printers, and other technology been shut down and unmanaged since the pandemic lockdowns started back in early 2020? Many companies moved managed services plans to employees’ home computers which were being used while the office was shut down. This left office computers unprotected, which at the time may have seemed okay since they were turned off.
But with those office computers being fired back up, they’re immediately going to be vulnerable due to operating system, software, and firmware security patches that have been released since they were turned off. (Including the new urgent Windows security patch for the PrintNighmare vulnerability.)
Before anyone begins using any computers at the office, make sure all waiting updates are applied. This may take a while, depending upon how long your office has been closed, so factor that into your upgrade plan.
It’s best to have that many updates handled by an IT pro like Data First Solutions. When users try to apply multiple updates at the same time, they can run into frustrating issues and end up causing new problems if they aren’t sure what to do.
No business is too small for a cyberattack and hackers are just waiting to exploit unpatched vulnerabilities as soon as computers are turned on and reconnected to Wi-Fi. So, make sure you address patches immediately after the machines are put back into service.
Have All Hardware Checked Out & Serviced
When you leave your car sitting without being run for a year, there are inevitably going to be some mechanical problems that occur, such as the battery going dead. Technology can also have issues arise from being out of service for a long period.
Have a technician check all hardware for any mechanical issues once things are brought back online. There could be a drive or fan problem that you don’t see immediately. A non-working fan can cause excess heat to build up inside a hard drive and lead to a crash or heat-related damage to the motherboard.
Have Equipment & Cabling Distanced If Needed
While your IT support is there servicing your reopened office tech, have them handle any moving of workstations needed for distancing requirements. The pandemic has changed the way we organize offices, sporting events, theaters, and many other public spaces.
You may walk back into your office and realize you need to make some floorplan adjustments to allow for more space between desks. This can involve moving cabling, adjusting where your Wi-Fi transmitters are located, and other technical adjustments.
It’s more efficient to have this done while your other pre-opening technology activities are happening, rather than after your employees have already begun working at the office.
Get a Professional Reopening Plan from Data First Solutions
Data First Solutions can help your business with a strategic reopening plan for your IT that gets you back up and running quickly and safely.
Contact us today to book a free assessment. Call 416-412-0576 or book your assessment online.