Remote Work Series: Laptop Provisioning, Management, and Safety

illustration of computers, a smartphone, a server tower, and a worker with a laptop

In the midst of a hard pivot to a remote work model, it’s easy to become lax in the management of company devices–especially laptop provisioning. In fact, whether you’re shipping out laptops to a slew of new hires or you’re converting to a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model, your IT team is bound to have their hands full.

While COVID-19 has made work increasingly stressful, this is no time to cut corners with security and device management. Here are some areas to cover as you review your company policies for laptop provisioning, management, and safety.

Managing Company Laptops and Devices

If you have recently ordered a large quantity of laptops or devices to help your team telecommute, be sure to take the time to properly provision, configure, and secure each item. To make sure you’re tracking things properly, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a clear process in place when onboarding and offboarding staff and allocating or provisioning laptops or devices?
  • Have you systemized and documented the process for purchasing, provisioning, and shipping equipment to your team?
  • Are all company devices properly provisioned, configured, and, when necessary, formatted in advance?
  • Do you have a system for assignment, tracking, and retrieval of company laptops and devices?
  • Do you have a system to manage role-based provisioning and account access as team roles shift and staff or contractors move in and out of various projects?
  • Are the devices properly encrypted to protect your business in the case of loss or theft?

Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) IT Policies

Increasingly relevant during the time of COVID-19, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) offers greater flexibility and sometimes greater risk. While employees may no longer be bringing their own devices anywhere, today it is more likely they are using their own devices for company work. Here are some questions to ask yourself when managing a BYOD approach.

  • Do you have an Acceptable Use Policy and a Confidential Data Policy outlining your expectations around the management and security of company data?
  • Have you considered the ramifications if an employee is using their personal device for multiple purposes (or users)?
  • Do you have clear terms related to encryption, authentication, and work-related use of employee-owned devices?
  • Have you instructed your staff to run regular updates on their laptops, in order to ensure security software is current?
  • How you will remove/secure classified company data if an employee leaves the company?
  • While it may seem like common sense, have you instructed workers not to leave laptops or devices in their cars?
  • Have you considered using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution or mobile security application to monitor employee-owned devices? If so, have you taken into consideration privacy concerns?
  • Have you considered using or requiring the use of a remote wipe application, should the employee’s device be lost or stolen?

If you’re looking for IT assistance as you negotiate a hard pivot to remote work, give us a call anytime: 1-800-344-9018