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Three ways to protect both data and remote workers in an ongoing and post-Covid-19 world

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Wright Studio)

With this in mind, it’s clear that companies need to ensure their data is protected and recoverable - but how can this be done? And, is it even possible with the pandemic still raging? Thankfully, it is, and the following tips should help even a data management and remote working newbie to protect and manage their data.

When Covid-19 hit the United States and government-mandated lockdowns were first announced, businesses and organizations had to muster all their resources to ensure they could survive throughout the duration of the pandemic. For many, this meant switching from regular in-office work to remote working almost overnight. Suddenly, both businesses and employees were forced to completely change the way they operate.

The rushed nature of this transition introduced a number of challenges concerning the way data was created, stored, and protected. It makes sense too, considering the thousands of workers who suddenly shifted from using office computers and devices to working remotely on personal laptops and other devices, creating and storing sensitive company data on them. In many cases, this new mobile workforce did have the capabilities or infrastructure in place to back up data on company servers. Other workers were sent home with company-deployed devices, but without the time for companies to prepare pre-lockdown, this was done without implementing the right infrastructure to ensure data was protected. 

Whether it’s through regular human error, like accidentally deleting important files or folders, formatting the wrong data drive, or crashing a hard drive; or through infrastructural shortcomings like faulty external drives or faulty devices, this mish-mosh of personal and company-deployed devices, added to the universally-felt stress of the health and economic insecurities brought on by the pandemic. The perfect environment was crated for data-loss. Additionally, other data threats are looming, like scammers looking to install ransomware via Covid-19 themed emails, or those who are using the turbulence of the current landscape - not to mention the absence of proper security parameters - to intentionally share or exploit their company’s sensitive data.

Implement best practices

A major issue with the rapid transition to remote work was businesses being required to spend so much time scrambling to ensure that their employees had devices to work on remotely and adequate channels for communication. This left very little time to formulate and implement best work practices and guidelines to instruct employees on how best to store and protect their data. The lack of data guidelines has left many employees playing it by ear when it comes to data, and many organizations effectively chasing their tails when it comes to managing important files.

As such, the implementation of data best practices needs to be a top priority in creating a data management and protection plan. Despite the fact that remote working started in March, it’s not too late to implement a data best practices strategy now. Companies need to ensure that the strategy is tailored to the organizations’ long term goals, and that it covers both the data recovery and protection technology that will be used, and the best practices employees must follow in terms of data management and security.

Ensure data is recoverable

With these risks in mind, it’s imperative for businesses to source and implement the right technology to aid in the recovery of lost data as part of their data management strategy. The right data recovery technology should have the baseline capabilities to; restore all types of data, including emails, files, images, or videos; restore files from corrupt or external drives; recover data from lost partitions or crashed systems; and the ability to repair recovered or corrupt files.

Many IT Departments are continually receiving panicked phone calls from employees who have accidentally lost or deleted important files, and without the right data recovery infrastructure or specific skills, much of this data is irretrievable. The implications of this lost data are clear, specifically with business-critical or sensitive, private information, in that if the information is lost, so is valuable time, money, and information, while also risking the potential exposure of confidential client or business information.

Source scalable and simple technologies that fortify data security

Another important factor that needs to be considered when formulating a data management and protection strategy is ensuring that the selected technologies are both scalable and simple enough to move with the businesses’ data needs. Why? Because the moment a business reaches the limit of data that can be recovered, or if the software is too complicated to actually be useful, they’re back to square one. This doesn’t even take into account the competitiveness, efficiency, reputation, and quality benefits that come with implementing both scalable and simple technologies.

To have a truly fortified data management and security strategy, the supporting technologies must expand and contract with the business. To ensure this, prioritize the implementation of data protection and recovery technologies that don’t have limits to the amount of data that can be recovered, or the scope of files that need to be protected. This way, regardless of whether the business grows or shrinks, data is always recoverable and protected.

Thanks to Covid-19, businesses and organizations of all kinds are facing unprecedented challenges from all sides. However, with the right data management and security strategy that covers best practices, data recovery, and data security, businesses can move through the remainder of the pandemic and beyond knowing that their data is both well-managed and secure.

Sunil Chandna, CEO & co-founder, Stellar