The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations to rethink how they conduct their operations. As a result, remote working arrangements have skyrocketed, and more employees than ever before are now working from their homes, often using their own personal devices.
Because the outbreak of the pandemic was so rapid, organizations didn’t have much time to implement robust data backup strategies. That’s a huge problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid costly and potentially devastating loss of important business data, the likelihood of which has increased significantly since the last year.
Business Data Have Become Vulnerable During COVID-19
As if organizations don’t have enough to worry about, the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the consequences of lax backups by disrupting the established daily routines of employees across virtually all industries, making important business data more vulnerable due to an increased risk of:
- Social engineering attacks: Soon after the novel coronavirus started gaining traction outside of China, the number of complaints about cyberattacks to the FBI Cyber Division reached as many as 4,000 a day, a 400% increase from what they were seeing pre-coronavirus. Cybercriminals—opportunistic as always—are launching increasingly sophisticated social engineering attacks on remote employees, who they see as easy targets because of their lackluster cybersecurity defenses.
- Hardware failure: Before the pandemic, most employees relied on IT-sanctioned hardware to do their work. Now, a majority of new remote employees use their personal laptops for work, according to an IBM survey of more than 2,000 United States-based employees newly working from home. The problem is that personal laptops are not always in the best condition, making random hardware failures far more likely to occur.
- User error: It’s a well-established fact that the mistakes made by users are the leading cause of data breaches. Unfortunately, employees who have been forced to start working from their homes because of the pandemic don’t always have a suitable environment to work from. Distracted by kids, pets, and noisy neighbors, they can easily lose their concentration and delete the wrong file or fail to notice telltale signs of phishing emails.
It’s Time to Implement a Better Backup Strategy
Instead of giving cybercriminals a chance to take advantage of the chaotic situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations should implement a backup strategy that reflects the reality of doing business in these trying times.
Because employees are working from various remote locations using a combination of personal and work devices, they can’t rely solely on local backups. Why? Because local backups can be easily rendered useless by a ransomware attack, hardware failure, or user error.
Cloud file hosting services like OneDrive, on the other hand, benefit from fault-tolerant data centers that mirror all files into at least two different regions located several hundred miles away from each other, enterprise-grade encryption, and version history for all file types, among other things. Since many employees are already familiar with OneDrive, encouraging them to use it for work is an easy way for organizations to improve their existing backup strategy.
Organizations can also explore enterprise-grade cloud platforms for file synchronization and sharing like Egnyte , which provides a unified platform for content collaboration, protection, compliance, and threat prevention.
An alternative approach would be to set up remote connections to office computers using the combination of a virtual private network (VPN) and the remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). We should also mention more advanced cloud technologies like Desktop as a Service (DaaS), a type of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) that can deliver cloud-hosted virtual desktops to any device.
All of these backup solutions and approaches allow employees to continue working on their office computers from anywhere, eliminating the need to store files on personal devices.
Regardless of which combination of backup technologies you decide to implement, it’s paramount to act quickly and not wait for a data loss disaster to occur. If you need help with the implementation of a better backup strategy to protect your important data during COVID-19 and beyond, you can contact our backup experts at Spectrum Technology Solutions and learn more information about available backup solutions and their benefits.