Virtual Teams: The Remote Staff Set-Up At The LINE Hotel

Nick DeMarco is director of IT for Sydell Group, owners of the ultra-hip LINE hotel in the heart of LA’s Koreatown. The LINE shares many of the same IT challenges as other hotel environments: They’ve got to be ready 24/7 for any emergency that might hit the front desk, and they need to safeguard customer data, which they consider the “lifeblood” of their business—and they need to do all this with a highly mobile workforce, both roaming the property and split across remote offices.

What makes Nick’s job even harder is that the LINE is a highly acclaimed boutique hotel, and many would-be competitors would be glad to get their hands on its proprietary documents—anything from blueprints to budgets. The LINE team frequently works with outside vendors and from many locations, so Nick has to create a security posture that ensures protection while still enabling mobile productivity and teamwork.

Mobile devices, of course, add yet another layer of complexity to security concerns. In fact, a recent LinkedIn study revealed that 35% of security pros don’t even know if mobile malware is present on their network. We asked Nick for some of his best practices for supporting mobile data security for remote staff and virtual teams.

Nick’s top 5 IT tips for remote and virtual teams:

1. “Keep your domain name secure. Purchase your domain and use a reliable domain provider to host the service. The web hosting company can offer direction for how you will use your domain, either informational or transactional.”

2. “Choose the right suite of apps. This is a crucial choice for powering your business, particularly going into the future—when you scale up to the next level and the level after that.”

3. “Make security a priority. Small businesses are usually highly mobile and dynamic, especially in the startup phase. That’s why mobile data protection is so important. Email and data security are critical to keep your ideas and communications out of the hands of a market competitor or a hacker looking to shut the business down.”

4. “Create a roadmap for your tech needs. Does your business crunch numbers, touch up photos, or design stuff? Your business model will dictate most of your software needs—but security, flexibility, and uptime are your three main concerns when choosing business apps.”

5. “Have a storage strategy. Last but certainly not least is data storage. Where will your files, pictures, blueprints, etc., be stored? Do you want cloud-based storage or on premise? Are all your files being backed up every day onsite and offsite?”

Nearly half of employees in the U.S. do at least some remote work, and small businesses are among the most mobile and dynamic businesses—particularly startups. Use these tips to help your remote staff be as successful—and secure—as possible.

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