We asked how to treat the four headaches when SMEs prepare remote environment.
(translated from Japanese interview)
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), working remotely is something that they would like to introduce but are unable to do so. There are endless worries such as lack of human resources, security concerns, and how to manage labor management ……. In this article, we asked Mr. Tanaka of Jasmy, the company providing work from home solution “Jasmy Secure PC,” how to solve these problems.
Despite working from home gains popularity among large companies, some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are unable to do so because of the many issues involved. There are many issues to consider, including human resources, costs, security, and labor management, and for companies that cannot devote a large amount of resource to system-related issues because they are short staff to take care of their employees’ IT equipment, not only the implementation but also the subsequent operation is a hurdle.
Jasmy Secure PC, provided by Jasmy, a developer and provider of blockchain technology-based solutions, greatly reduces this hurdle. Jasmy Secure PC provides a secure telework environment through a “drive recorder function” that records PC operation logs and manages and protects them with a blockchain, and a “ghost drive” that prepares data areas that cannot be accessed unless certain conditions are met (date and time, connection to a pre-registered network, etc.).The system is easy to install, requiring only the installation of an agent on the PC.
So, how can we solve the concerns and issues of small and medium-sized companies? We asked Yoshihiro Tanaka of Jasmy (relationship manager) for solutions to four common concerns.
Concern 1: We lack resources to implement working from home environment
The two major hurdles when introducing telework are cost and human resources. The cost of purchasing telework PCs, thin clients, and VPN environments is quite high and cannot be fully handled by a small number of people. Also after implementation, “how to manage PCs used by employees at home” remains a major concern, which is too much of a burden for an “Abandoned IT employee”.
Keep track of everything on the manager screen.
Mr.Tanaka In general, systems for telework are often large-scale, and considerable costs are required to build servers and other components. There are cloud products that can be introduced relatively affordable, but they require system architecture and are not cost-effective unless the scale of the system is above a certain level. Details are introduced in the previous article, but Jasmy Secure PC can be deployed starting per employee by simply installing an agent on an existing PC. The Agent Pro version costs 440 yen per month (including tax) per PC, and a manager license to use the subscription management service costs 2,640 yen per month (including tax) per account, making it affordable.
PC management is also important. With Jasmy Secure PC, you can monitor the application status of OS updates of your employees’ remote PCs on the Agent screen. For security control, this information will be useful to quickly apply OS security patch. With a Manager license, you can centrally monitor the operating status of your employees and the PCs they are using.
One way to do this would be to assign managers to manage computers of employees along with the work status. In a small company, it is often to assign a single IT professional to do everything, but with Jasmy Secure PC’s Manager License, you can make sure that some of their roles will be hared to other employees to prevent overload.
Concern 2: How can we prepare remote computers and network?
When implementing work from home, employees will need a computer to use at home or other locations. In cases where employees are using desktops or sharing a terminal with multiple people, a new computer will have to be purchased. In use of thin clients, screen transfers from the server will continue, so there will be cases where employees’ home network will become an issue for uncomfortableness.
Use “Ghost Drive” to create a secure telework environment on your computer
Mr.Tanaka While device costs are a major issue, choosing inexpensive laptops to keep costs down can lead to a employee productivity. The strength of Jasmy Secure PC is its “ghost drive” mechanism. By this, employees can use their private computers securely in remote network. Once the agent is installed, a storage area is created inside the ghost drive. Ghost drives can be configured to allow access only under specific network conditions or at specified times. The conditions can be set using Jasmy Secure PC’s “command” feature that can be sent over the network from the manager’s administration screen or, if offline, by sending a QR code to an employee’s smartphone or other device for the PC to read.
Unlike thin clients, Jasmy Secure PC uses the resource of the PC, so the internet connection is not a bottleneck and PC performance can be maximized. For companies that have a VPN line for remote network, the occupation in VPN bandwidth is a concern, but with Jasmy Secure PC, employees need to only access company file server when needed. This will expand the opportunity for working at home.
Concern 3: Employees’ workload is invisible
If you work in office, you can see your employees, but this is not the case with working at home. The issue is how to understand and manage whether employees are having problems and whether the burden is concentrated on certain employees, leading to overtime or working on holidays. We understand unrecognized overtime work is a problem from a management perspective, but we do not know how to counter it.
Work status visualized by “drive recorder” logs
Mr.Tanaka Jasmy Secure PC enables managers to closely monitor the work status of each user. By accumulating work hours based on log information recorded using a function called “drive recorder,” the system visualizes areas that have been obscured during working at home, such as how much work your team is doing, whether they are taking appropriate breaks, and whether overtime hours are within acceptable limits. The data is useful for checking and following up on the work status of employees.
Employees may be concerned that they are always being surveilled or that someone is looking at their logs without their permission. The manager must request the person to view the logs, and only after the person gives his/her permission can the logs be viewed. Even after the permission is granted, the agent’s screen will show who has been granted access to the logs, so there is no chance of an anonymous person seeing the logs.
The manager’s PC also keeps a record of activities, so anyone can check the log later, for example, “My boss is just doing a quick check of his or her team’s activity status at the end of the workday. Since these logs are recorded in the blockchain, tampering and other fraudulent activities can be prevented. Such a tool should lead to a sense of safety.
Concern 4: Data breaching
One of the issues that must be addressed when implementing work at home is data breaching when PCs are lost or stolen. There are a variety of countermeasures available, but the question is to what extent? What can be done to minimize the cost and load?
This can be solved by using a system where data is encrypted and “invisible” unless connected to a registered network
Mr. Tanaka With Jasmy Secure PC, the ghost drive encrypts data and the ghost drive is invisible unless it is connected to a network with a pre-registered network name (SSID). The network name that grants the access of the ghost drive can be registered by the agent and the manager. If both are registered, the manager’s settings take precedence over the agent’s, making it difficult for fraud to occur.
If a PC is lost or stolen, the data in the ghost drive cannot be reached because of these measures, reducing the risk of information leaks. If the agent is connected to internet, they can also be locked remotely from the manager. Jasmy Secure PC provides all the necessary functions without the need to install any breaching prevention tool.
Grant your employees working from home
Work from home is a common concern for small and medium-sized businesses, but with Jasmy Secure PC, secure remote network can be provided with limited human resource and cost. Jasmy Secure PC is a realistic way for companies that have given up working at home due to lack of corporate size and budget. You can install it from one terminal, so granting Jasmy Secure PC to the remaining commuting employees to enhance your remote working implementation rate is also conceivable.
Jasmy is currently running a discount offer special pricing for subscription until the end of July 2022.