In its 2018 Global State of Remote Work study, Owl Labs found that 44 percent of companies don’t allow remote work. That was before the arrival of the novel coronavirus. Now, the new normal is working from home (WFH). Today there are millions of additional devices, managed and unmanaged, connecting to corporate networks from everywhere. That adds tremendous complexity to IT management, data security, and backup and recovery strategies. How do you ensure that every single device connecting from outside your company is properly secured? The short answer is, you can’t. Cybersecurity company Proofpoint’s January 2020 State of the Phish report found that globally, 50 percent of working adults don’t password-protect their home networks, and 90% said they use employer-issued devices for personal activities. So whether your employees use company-owned or personal devices at home, protecting your data is a challenge. Even with access from virtual private networks (VPNs) protected by next-generation firewalls, no network is completely secure. And how do you prevent someone from clicking on a link that could lock up your entire network? The answer is, once again, you can’t.
Revisit Your Backup and Disaster Recovery PlanThink of this new era as your opportunity to turn the challenges that come with a WFH workforce into a driver for improving your backup and disaster recovery (DR) plans and ensuring your overall business continuity. That means making sure your recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) are up to date and can be achieved with your existing backup and recovery technologies. You’ll find a complete list of IT disaster recovery planning checklist items on our blog. Clearly, if a ransomware attack is successful or a hardware failure occurs, the most important thing is recovering your data to ensure business continuity. And the best way to make that happen is by implementing the right backup and recovery strategy—one that includes off-site replication—like the StorageCraft Disaster Recovery as a Service offering.
Update Your Backup Solution for the WFH EraIf you are one of the majority of businesses that use Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite by Google or have recently moved from on-premises to software as a service (SaaS) applications due to the current pandemic, you may think your files are already backed up by Microsoft or Google. The reality is that your data is only backed up for 30 days, and even then there are no guarantees you’ll be able to retrieve your data. Just read the fine print in Microsoft’s Services Agreement: “We strive to keep the Services up and running; however, all online services suffer occasional disruptions and outages, and Microsoft is not liable for any disruption or loss you may suffer as a result. In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored. We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.” That’s why consistent backups are critical. With so much data being generated in so many places, your backup and disaster recovery (DR) solution should also execute frequent backups from your employees’ devices—every few minutes at a minimum—to the user’s local external drive, your corporate network, or to the Cloud. That way your users can quickly recover critical lost data. And that’s why you need a backup and disaster recovery solution that goes further in the WFH era.
Implement a WFH-Proof Backup and Disaster Recovery SolutionAs we discussed in a recent post, one critical key to ensuring business continuity is replication of your backups following the 3-2-2 Backup Rule. This backup and recovery strategy adds layers of protection by replicating your backups to remote storage and/or the cloud, where they are securely encrypted and always available so you can rest assured that your data will be recoverable, no matter what. All data is not equal, however, and fast recovery is critical if your remote workforce is going to quickly return to productivity following a data disaster. StorageCraft File Backup and Recovery seamlessly identifies the data on any given computer that should be backed up, excluding non-critical files (like your employees’ pet photos, for instance). That saves storage space. The solution also automates backups, sending them to the cloud—even files that are in use or locked by the user—ensuring frequently used and edited data is well-protected. Simplifying remote management—including licensing, installation, configuration, and monitoring—is also critical with the added complexity brought on by the WFH era. StorageCraft File Backup and Recovery does just that, while empowering end-users so they can easily find and download lost files and folders from the cloud if or when they need to, via the familiar Windows interface. That saves IT time and headaches.
Protect Every Endpoint to Ensure Business ContinuityWith much of your workforce now working remotely, a flexible, highly scalable solution that lets you quickly deploy service nodes to as many sites as you need is a necessity. That way you can be confident that your data is protected as new devices come and go on your network. StorageCraft ShadowXafe protects desktops, physical servers, and virtual machines (VMs) by making it easy to back up, replicate, and restore your data. ShadowXafe also provides you with real-time monitoring, reporting, and visibility from anywhere—more critical features for the WFH era. To ensure business continuity, ShadowXafe is tightly integrated with StorageCraft Cloud Services for complete protection in a cloud purpose-built for disaster recovery. StorageCraft Cloud Services also includes orchestrated failover for true one-click disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), so you can control which laptops or desktops and services are prioritized for recovery in the event of data loss and get critical services back online quickly. For organizations using Microsoft Office 365 or G Suite by Google, the StorageCraft Cloud Backup solution provides granular protection for your data. It’s simple to set up, with automated backups and recovery features that let you recover the version of a file or folder that you need, in its original format, in seconds through a simple web interface. By choosing StorageCraft Cloud Backup you never need to worry about having enough backup space, software upgrades, or failures from onsite backup servers. You can also be confident that your remote users’ data is always secure, protected from ransomcloud attacks, backed up, and easily recoverable.
ConclusionThe WFH era marks a transition in the way that many of us work. While this change is fraught with security, productivity, and efficiency risks, it is also an opportunity for companies to demonstrate their ability to adapt to fast-changing market forces and successfully meet the challenges in our future. The first step is ensuring your data is safe and recovery is easy. If you haven’t already done so, get started today.
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