The Importance Of Backup And Disaster Recovery For Remote Workers 

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Negosentro.com | The Importance Of Backup And Disaster Recovery For Remote Workers | Operations have undergone rapid — and in many cases permanent — change as remote work has become the new business reality. While companies have invested significant time and effort into boosting digital cooperation, collaboration and task completion, challenges remain. 

One of the most time-sensitive is security. With accidental insider threats already ranked as top threats for technology-driven enterprises, the adoption of remote work at scale only amplifies this risk. 

Even more worrisome, security issues are a matter of when — not if. This means companies must be prepared to quickly and completely recover when remote work introduces unexpected issues. As a result, it’s critical to develop comprehensive backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plans capable of accounting for and addressing the emerging risks of socially distanced operations.

Making the Move

As businesses embrace the new normal of day-to-day operations, remote work rates are on the rise. Prior to the pandemic, almost 5 million employees in the United States were working from home. As COVID concerns evolved, 88% of companies made the choice to encourage or mandate remote work.

While the first few months of this move posed logistical and operational challenges, many companies are now enjoying similar and, in some cases, superior overall staff performance compared to pre-pandemic rates. As a result, effective off-site employee frameworks now underpin long-term ROI, prompting some organizations to offer more permanent work from home policies.

Remote Risk Factors

Amid positive performance outcomes, however, new security concerns are emerging. 

For example, recent data shows that 54% of IT pros consider remote workers more worrisome than those on-site. It makes sense. More than half of at-home workers said they don’t password-protect their home networks. Further, 90% of those asked noted they’re using employer-provided technology for personal activity.

From the perspective of malicious attackers, this is a golden opportunity as increasingly uniform enterprise security frameworks are fragmented across multiple locations and myriad access points. From business email compromise (BEC) attacks to malware infections and social engineering efforts, the blurred line between work and home comes with commensurate uptick in overall risk.

For companies, the consequences of compromise can be disastrous, with 40% to 60% of all businesses shutting their doors completely after massive data loss or theft.

Building Better BDR

While there’s no single solution to socially distant security, business owners and managers can significantly reduce their risk with robust BDR policies that address the realities of remote work. 

Top tips for building more robust remote work BDR include:

  • Revisit your current BDR plan: What are your current recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs)? Can you meet them with current technology infrastructure? If so, does this ability extend to remote workers? By evaluating current BDR performance and limitations, companies can identify specific pain points and redesign BDR plans to meet new goals.
  • Prioritize better passwords: The most popular password in 2019 was “123456,” followed by “123456789.” For staff, these passwords are easy to remember. For attackers, they’re an easy entry point. As a result, it’s critical to reiterate the importance of strong passwords on all devices — from personal smartphones to corporate tablets and laptops — and implement policies that require users to regularly change passwords to gain network access. Even better, deploy extra layers of protection, such as 2FA, wherever possible. 
  • Double down on data backups: What happens if data security is compromised by remote staff? Here, reliable data backups are critical to get companies back up and running. Yet this can prove problematic if employees are living or working a significant distance from local servers that house backup data. Here, it’s worth doubling down on data backups by using local and cloud-based storage to deliver maximum safety with minimum recovery time
  • Secure secondary solutions: If 2020 has made anything clear, it’s that change happens fast. Companies can’t afford to ignore the specter of another large-scale disaster that could potentially disrupt business operations. As a result, it’s worth equipping staff with secondary connections — such as hot-spot-capable smartphones that can connect to company VPNs — along with secondary power sources such as USB power blocks to help ensure business continuity even during an emergency.

Permanent changes driven by pandemic pressures mean that working from home is here to stay. Be sure to read the accompanying resource for further information and make sure your BDR plan is prepared to meet these challenges.

Infographic created by MXOtech, an IT company in Chicago