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Telecommunications – COVID-19 and Working Remotely in the BVI

20 March 2020

The representatives from the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and BVI’s telecommunications providers Caribbean Cellular Telephone (CCT) expanded on Wednesday 18th March on Telecommunication: Covid-19 & Working Remotely in the BVI .

The panelists emphasized the importance of prioritizing security as people work at home or remotely away from their offices. While they noted that it was important for people to be pre-trained on security measures for working remotely, they outlined several steps that companies and individuals could still take to beef-up security. Most systems they outlined should have some sort of firewall, a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network.

They explained that there are different types of virtual private networks (VPNs) that operate for offices and those that often pop up on the internet to allow you to block your IP address. The VPNs often used at offices are secure tunnels that keep the traffic inside the tunnel encrypted. These types of secure VPN tunnels are good for offices to have employees working from home and accessing their office networks securely.

In terms of getting security systems, they encouraged people to use what they have and buy what they don’t have. However, they warned about being dazzled by free services and advised that people stick with known and trusted brands when purchasing security systems. This recommendation was also made for using systems that allow businesses to have meetings and other communications remotely. These included systems such as, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Zoom, WebEx and Go To Meeting.
They encouraged companies to not just have their business continuity plans, but to also test them as well to ensure that they work effectively when needed. Having domain policies, outlining how employees use their corporate network, is also an important part of training for employees.

CCT, Digicel and Flow all confirmed that they are offering special plans during the crisis and have suspended the long-term contracts for these specific plans to allow people to have remote access during the COVID-19 crisis. They said they would be doing all that they could to boost their systems to lessen congestion on the networks, but encouraged people to use the systems responsibly and only when necessary.

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