One of the surreal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many businesses for the first time ever are instructing employees to work from home. In some cases, companies are taking these measures out of an abundance of caution. In other cases, businesses have no choice: State governments are issuing shelter-in-place orders for all but “essential” personnel. For a business that wants to continue operating through this crisis, the only answer is to allow its staff to work remotely. But what does this mean for your business’s data?

Even if this hasn’t yet happened to your organization, you need to prepare for the probability that we won’t get the coronavirus under control before these stay-home orders become more widespread. And with that in mind, if you haven’t done so already, this might be the most important time ever to implement a cloud backup and recovery solution for your business’s data. Here’s why.

1. You won’t have as much access to your onsite IT infrastructure.

If your staff backs up company data every day on physical media—backup tapes or disks, for example—you are vulnerable to a sudden order that prevents you and your staff from traveling to your office to update your backups.

Additionally, what happens if you experience problems with your onsite servers? And what if those servers are the only devices on which your company’s networked folders—and mission-critical data—are stored and accessible? If your staff can’t make it into the office to address the issue, and you can’t send in an IT consultant to investigate the issue, how will your employees be able to access that data and maintain normal operations? 

2. Your employees will be accessing company data from unsecured networks.

Another vulnerability that businesses often neglect to consider when allowing their employees to work remotely is that many of those employees will be accessing and sharing company data over unsecure WiFi networks.

What happens if an employee decides to take a laptop to an outdoor café to work and spends time on your corporate network from via unsecured WiFi? These are the opportunities hackers look for, and you need to assume they will find many more of them during this difficult period as we all adjust to the new realities of this pandemic.

3. We’re all anxious, and mistakes are going to be more likely.

One of the most common reasons for business data loss or corruption is simple human error. An employee accidentally deletes key files or folders. Someone forgets to save an important document, and the most recent changes to that document are unrecoverable. Or an employee falls for a social-engineering scheme by a cybercriminal—such as a phishing email—and unwittingly grants that hacker access to the company’s entire network. According to a 2019 industry study cited in TechRadar, employee error is responsible for 90% of corporate data breaches.

And keep in mind, these stats represent normal times. Your employees are vulnerable to these types of mistakes even when they’re not also preoccupied with worries about a global viral pandemic and its possible effects on their job, their financial security, and their family’s health.

Clearly, these are not normal times, and you need to prepare for the fact that in their new, unfamiliar work-from-home environment, your staff is even more vulnerable to making mistakes that could jeopardize your company’s data and your ability to maintain business operations.

With that in mind, you need to prioritize a highly reliable, highly redundant cloud backup and disaster recovery solution. We can help—right now. 

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