In March, cybersecurity firm PC Matic gathered up findings from a survey of nearly 6,000 employees nationwide, focused on trends related to cybersecurity and people that had been working remotely since the start of the pandemic. It showed nearly 35% are still working from home. And as cybersecurity threats escalated through the year— ransomware attacks alone rising 437% — many were carried out by targeting this massive remote workforce.
The reason is, security on the home front is notoriously lacking, providing bad actors an easier way to gain entry into what companies feel are strongly protected networks that’ll safeguard vital data, applications and resources – and keep a company up and running. Further, there’s valuable corporate data on these employee endpoints, and that’s more easy to steal, too.
Yet, according to a 2020 report from Kaspersky Labs, half of companies that allow employees to use personal devices from home don’t even have basic policies on usage in place.
Cover those ends
Guaranteed, if your homebound employees have the ability, they’ll store important data on their local machine. This data needs to be protected, but it can be a bit tricky.
First, you need to figure where to store your backup. If you’re backing up all these end-user devices and bringing the data back on-premises, there’s a limited pipe for bandwidth, and at home, many have only basic connection. If your end-users are working with large data sets, consistently bringing volumes of remote user data into the corporate data center could slow performance to a crawl for everyone. Second, if workers are using personal devices, adding software backup clients could raise some sticky privacy issues. So keep these two things in mind as you evaluate how to protect the data of your remote employees.
There are several ways to cover endpoints on both company and employee machines:
- Company machines: There are quality endpoint protection products available. It’ll take IT a lot of effort to deploy and configure each machine, but you’ll know all data is safe. Alternatively, you can create a group policy and map remote employee “My Documents” folders to a cloud repository, such as Microsoft OneDrive or Box, which makes data easier to protect and saves on bandwidth … unless an employee doesn’t store it in the right place. For instance, if it’s on their desktop, it’s not safe.
- Employee machines: It’s understandable that employees might need to use their own machines, but if so, consider switching to remote desktops. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), while long touted, has finally hit its stride and is delivering performance and reliability just when its needed most. A mature platform can be configured so remote users can’t store data on their machines; instead it’ll be safely behind your firewall. What’s more, many VDI solutions don’t require a client, so remote workers can use any machine they like, so long as they possess proper credentials – and that should include multi-factor authentication.
Be safe, not sorry
The success of remote work has ensured it permanent place in business. It’s a new world out there, folks, and when it comes to protecting data and ensuring uptime, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
That said, it’s probably best to brush up on developments and best practices, which is why we created our latest eBook, “Backup & Disaster Recovery Strategies for the New World of Work.”
If you want pricing related to backup and disaster recovery, contact us here!