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AvantGuard Is Compliant With UL Virtual Workplace Guidelines In Preparation For COVID-19

Mar 17, 2020 2:17:16 PM

All central monitoring stations have the great responsibility of keeping their customers protected during times of crisis. Of course, this goes beyond processing alarm signals. Central station monitoring centers are also trusted with customer’s personal account information. UL certified stations such as AvantGuard follow and exceed the standards set by UL to continue to provide remarkable service to customers.

One of AvantGuard’s core values is innovation. Not only does that mean finding the newest, best and most efficient ways to provide our dealers and customers service, but also to be ready and prepared for the unexpected.

The Underwriters Laboratories recently released a statement in regards to the spread of COVID-19. In order for central monitoring stations to continue to service customers, while keeping employees safe from the spread of the virus, they created a list of guidelines for virtual workplace monitoring — an unprecedented idea in the monitoring world.

Weeks prior to the mass gathering shutdowns, including the postponement of ISC West, AvantGuard was already taking the necessary steps to create an emergency plan to continue service, while keeping employees and the community safe from the spread of the virus.

AvantGuard began testing a virtual workplace by having the IT team set up an encrypted virtual private network for operators to access the necessary monitoring software. Mobile workstations (laptops) were provided to operators as well as a list of guidelines and best practices for monitoring virtually. AvantGuard began its testing with a single operator, and has been incrementally testing the virtual monitoring program.

AvantGuard’s advanced preparation for the COVID-19 virus has put its employees and customers in the best possible situation to continue to be safe and secure. AvantGuard is pleased to announce that we are already compliant with the virtual workplace guidelines set forth below by the UL, and that our customers, dealers and employees are at the forefront of what drives us to be the best central monitoring station.

Below you can read the UL virtual workplace guidelines:

UL VIRTUAL WORKPLACE GUIDELINES

These guidelines are designed to provide procedural guidance to operators who perform job duties at alternative work sites, most specifically at home offices. The virtual work arrangement requires remote operators to be self-motivated and work well with minimal supervision.

The following guidelines apply to the virtual environment:

1. Virtual workplace operators should be provided with a computer. Home/personal computers shall not be used.

2. Connections between virtual workplace computers and central station automation systems shall be made through a secure, encrypted virtual private network (VPN)

3. Internet speed may be affected by others in a home using the same internet. This may require a virtual workplace operators to suspend use of the internet by other individuals in the home.

4. Multi-factor authentication should be required every 24 hours.

5. When not on shift, computer should be in shutdown and put in a secure place. This is to prevent any damage of theft of the computer.

6. When processing alarms the computer should be setup as not to allow others to view the monitoring screen or any other information.

7. When walking away from computer while on shift lock the screen so others cannot gain access to the monitoring window.

8. Virtual workplace operators are expected to have an appropriate workspace that is suitably designated for work and segregated in order to eliminate distraction and noise.

9. Due to the nature of virtual work arrangement, operators may not provide primary care for a child or dependent during the on duty hours except in the case of an emergency. The focus of an operator’s core working hours must remain on job performance and meeting business demands.

10. Virtual workplace operators are advised not to release their home address and telephone number to non-employees of the company.

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