How confident are you about your backup and disaster recovery plans? Read these tips to assess your risk – where you work from home as a solopreneur, or you are a business allowing staff to work from home.
The past year compelled rapid change for many small and large businesses. Processes and projects that were historically on-site suddenly made the shift to remote operations as business leaders looked for solutions to keep workers safe without sacrificing performance. Resulting remote frameworks demonstrated overall success, with recent data predicting a 5% increase in productivity across the United States as more staff stay at home and avoid issues such as commuting time.
However, the move to out-of-office operations also comes with increased risk, especially in the areas of backup and disaster recovery. Absent the benefit of durable, redundant datacenters located in-house or linked via robust corporate cloud connections, businesses now face the challenge of securing data at a distance while simultaneously ensuring they’re ready to respond if disaster or recovery issues arise.
If you work from home as a solopreneur, it's extremely important to remember that YOU are responsible for your own backup and disaster recovery!
Assessing Remote Work Risk
More than 85% of businesses encouraged staff to work from home during COVID-19. For some companies, this encouragement came in response to local regulations, while others looked to streamline operations by embracing rather than fighting rapidly changing pandemic conditions.
Despite best efforts, staff pose a substantive security risk. Part of the issue stems from the lack of direct oversight that used to be present in local office operations, and part can be attributed to the incredibly stressful nature of making the shift to remote work at scale. In either case, however, the results speak for themselves: 45% of staff say they’ve used the same password more than once, and 90% use employer-provided devices for personal activity.
Not surprisingly, 54% of IT professionals now say that remote workers pose a larger security risk than on-site staff. This isn’t unfounded worry: Almost 30% of businesses have experienced a data loss in the last 12 months, with 40-60% of small businesses closing their doors if breaches are substantial.
Putting a Plan in Place
To address the rising risk of right-now, remote workers, businesses need a robust backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan — and yet 20% of organizations have no BDR plan in place. Some companies have bits and pieces of plans that have evolved over time but don’t provide continuous defense; instead, they offer piecemeal protection that often leaves IT pros in the dark about what’s really happening across remote networks.
While best-fit BDR plans vary based on industry and business need, four common components are critical.
- Examine existing plans: The first step to reduce remote work risk is examining any current BDR plans. Do they meet current expectations for recovery time and recovery point objectives? Will they be enough to address emerging needs as data volumes increase and hybrid work becomes commonplace? Assessing current conditions is critical to identify next steps.
- Execute frequent backups: Frequent backups are next. This is one of the easiest ways to safeguard remote data: By regularly backing up remote workers’ data to local external drives, corporate networks or cloud services, companies can ensure that even in the event of a disaster or breach critical information remains accessible.
- Educate employees: Staff training is also essential. Make sure your employees understand the risks of prolific security threats — such as phishing and ransomware — and create policies that compel users to regularly change their passwords. Even better? Deploy two-factor authentication tools for an added layer of remote security.
- Establish extra connections: It’s also a good idea to establish secondary Internet connections in the event of a disaster or attack, such as having staff use mobile devices as hotspots that allow them to connect to secure, corporate VPNs. This both ensures continuity of work and reduces the risk of eavesdropping or man-in-the-middle attacks.
Bottom line? Remote work comes with risk. To learn more about securing key data and services with robust and reliable BDR plans, check out the accompanying resource.
Infographic Created by MXOtech