Checklist for Restarting your IT after Shelter in Place

We are not out of the woods yet, but we’re starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. States are beginning to take initial steps toward reopening and soon businesses will need to decide how, when and if they’ll start permitting employees to return to the workplace.

Here are five guidelines for a post-pandemic return to the workplace plan, with an emphasis on asset management and data loss. Download the PDF!

1) Did we get all our equipment back?

Many times office equipment, including desktop computers, were loaned out to staff in an emergency fashion.  These assets may have been issued without tracking who or to whom they were issued.

Start by doing a visual inventory of equipment and workspaces.  You may find an offboard was also issued equipment to take home.

Once the asset has been identified, contact the employee to arrange returning the equipment.  Be sure to sterilize the equipment upon return.

Did you collect keys or a key fob?

2. Remove offboards and validate IT access has been addressed.

Businesses were faced with rapidly offboarding staff.   Even now, the accounts and systems may still be active.  This may include email, banks, QuickBooks, HR systems, CRM etc.

Be sure to revisit the offboarding procedure to ensure that each system has been disabled or access suspended.

Should you find that access is still available, follow the offboarding process to remediate immediately.

Don’t forget Google Drive, BOX, OneDrive and other cloud based applications.

3. Did we backup or get a copy of all the users’ data?

Although we all have policies that data should only be stored on company servers or systems, we find that many times this is not the case.  For example, staff often keep copies of data on their desktops or laptops.  This data can include financials, IP and HR data.

Review the current backup systems to determine if desktop and laptop data are backed up.  This may be especially important considering staff and the remote work effort.

If it is discovered that staff are storing corporate data, implement an agent-based backup quickly, then address data loss and storage policy procedures at the appropriate time.

4) Did we forward their email?

Often when staff change roles or are offboarded, the email accounts are not forwarded. This can leave black holes when customers or prospects attempt to contact the only connection they have to the company.

Prospects may only reach out once during this time for the services and goods provided.  By forwarding email to another team member you can feel comfortable that any potential business is addressed.

5) Is the workstation ready for the next employee?

We find many times that when there is a staff change, the laptop or desktop is quickly assigned to the new employee.  This step can leave legacy files from the previous user that include financials, HR data, corporate contacts, sales cost numbers and clients or intellectual property.  Consider HIPPA, PCCI or ISO compliance requirements.

A key step in the offboarding process is to prepare the workstation for the next user. This includes the back up and removal of all sensitive data.  A well-prepared workstation makes an important first impression for new staff members.