Working from home is no longer only for a few employees in special circumstances. The pandemic pushed many organizations to enable remote work systems. At the time, the priority was getting things working and securing access for employees. Now that this is routine, it’s time to evaluate the quality and reliability of your remote backup solution.
Data backup creates a reliable copy of business data. An accessible, accurate backup prepares you for system failures, data corruption or deletion, natural disaster, or a security breach.
Regular readers of our articles know that we’re in favor of the 3-2-1 approach to data backup. You have three separate backups on at least two different mediums, and one is always off-site.
Yet even those with best practices in place may not have thought about the particular challenges of work-from-home backups. Still, with so many people moving to hybrid-office environments or even permanent remote work setups, you need to take a fresh look at your organization’s backup systems.
Your IT team should have already set up automated backup systems for the on-site work environment, but what procedures are in place to protect data generated remotely?
Remote Work Backup Risks
Backup puts important business data in a protected place to ensure a quick emergency response. Without a backup, it will take a lot longer for your business to bounce back from an IT disruption.
In the home office, or when people are working remotely elsewhere, there are new risks. Saving files locally on a home computer may mean that data is not available to others who need it. Plus, the laptop could be lost or stolen (or broken when a furry colleague at the home office knocks it from the table). The business could also be disrupted if a remote worker’s system goes down due to power outage, fire, or an extreme weather event.
Businesses in regulated industries must also store data safely on- or off-site. Medical, financial, or legal industry businesses face data storage, protection, and audit regulations. The fact that people are working remotely doesn’t mean they get a pass from compliance concerns.
Backup Best Practices for Off-Site Work
If your teams use MS 365, that can help with business collaboration. No matter where employees are, they can edit and share documents and other files. Tracking version history from any device also helps with data currency.
Yet this is not the same as a data backup. Set up an automatic backup of all files created on remote laptops and computers. Ask employees to back up to the cloud using Microsoft’s OneDrive, Google Drive, or another alternative.
We recommend setting up backups to upload every night after midnight. Backing up takes a lot of internet bandwidth, and scheduling for 2 a.m. is less likely to interfere with someone else’s Netflix binge-watching or video game play.
It’s also a good idea to get an outsider’s perspective on remote backups. You may need to manually save files to appropriate locations or to set up policies to safeguard off-site files in case of hardware, software, or security issues.
You could take advantage of remote monitoring and management, and you can test backups remotely. This also improves recovery time, as your IT department can restore data without needing physical access.
Need help upgrading your off-site backup solution? We can help. Contact us today at 240-839-5300.