Remote Work Has Exploded: Can Your Disaster Recovery and Cloud Backups Keep Pace?

Liz Alton

In the wake of COVID-19, so many companies made their workers remote that it set off what Time called “the world’s largest work-from-home experiment.” One area that’s become a critical consideration is ensuring that the work employees do each day is backed up and can be quickly restored in the case of a security issue or unexpected crisis. TechRepublic reports that between the explosion of new cybersecurity threats and additional challenges stemming from teams working at home, organizations need to evaluate their resiliency plans. Whether you have a plan in place and need to stress test it for remote work, or current events have led you to invest in backup and cybersecurity options, here’s a closer look at what solutions you can put in place to help mitigate work-from-home risk.

Revisit Your Disaster Recovery and Backup Plans

Tactically, one of the first steps to take when you’re preparing to support a remote workforce is to take stock of the solutions you already have in place. Questions to ask include:

  • What technology tools have you invested in?
  • Are you leveraging them to their full capabilities?
  • Are there features or services that you need that aren’t available?

Identifying what you have to work with—and what gaps you need to fill—lets you develop a roadmap for how to move forward. Consider solutions across the business resiliency continuum, from backing up data on remote mobile devices to the ability to quickly deploy disaster recovery tools if there’s a catastrophic event. Exploring what you have and what you need in terms of backups, disaster recovery, and disaster prevention can help you assess your remote readiness and develop an implementation, technology, and services strategy you can roll out quickly.

Invest in Cloud-based Backup Across End Points

Your business data’s integrity is the cornerstone of successful operations. Backups are critical, and not just for your applications and central data centers. Workers, especially those working remotely, may be saving files to their local computer that are mission critical to customers or internal projects. Are your employees working remotely on company equipment or has work from home accelerated a bring your own device (BYOD) program? Each of these scenarios introduces unique challenges.

Cloud-based backup solutions can regularly (as in hourly or daily) send data from laptops and mobile devices to the cloud. Should a device failure or other issue can occur, you’ll have the latest information to work from. Another consideration may be using a file sharing solution to have all files saved to a centralized set of folders. Your team can then access the information they need (provided they have the right credentials) from any connected device, eliminating delays while you troubleshoot specific devices.

Address Network and Power Contingencies

If your employees are using their existing broadband connection and VPN to connect to your data center and applications, it’s important to think about what you’ll do if that connection is taken offline. Consider what will happen if a storm damages cables and it takes a couple business days to get back online. Connecting via a local business such as a coffee shop that offers free Wi-Fi is one option, but it can introduce unnecessary security risks (not to mention health risks in our current climate). Consider looking at investing in a failover connection or a simple solution such as mobile hotspot (which can be an individual device or an add-on feature to your team’s smartphone plans).

It’s also helpful to think about what your employees should do if they lose power. Many offices have generators or other contingency plans, but home offices are often at the mercy of the power company to get back online. Increasingly, organizations are looking at portable solutions such as an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) or a power block. These can offer several hours of reliable power to business-essential devices if the grid goes down.

Consider Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

The reality for many organizations is that their busy IT teams are already trying to manage an unprecedented volume of digital needs, from increased digital delivery for customers to the challenges that naturally arise when employees work remotely. Now may be the right time to consider Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to augment your remote backup and resiliency capabilities. With a managed services solution, experienced disaster recovery IT specialists will work with you to determine your specific needs, configure solutions, and ensure that your backups and other related software are running smoothly across the network. If a disaster occurs, such as a breach or a natural event related issue, key applications may be taken offline or critical data imperiled.

DRaaS provides the technology and services needed to shift your disaster recovery and business continuity efforts into a larger resiliency planning conversation. This can provide the natural jumping off point for how to optimize for new situations, such as a high volume of remote workers. One of the biggest challenges DRaaS addresses is the ability to work with experts who can identify your business-critical processes, apps, and data. From there, they can design a solution that may include different technologies, services, and support plans for your data centers and remote worker devices. DRaaS solutions also ensure that you’ll have access to top-tier talent if the unexpected occurs.

If you’re adapting to a long-term remote work arrangement or finding solutions that give you the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, Connection can help. Your cloud backup solutions and disaster recovery options can be adjusted and modernized to better meet your evolving needs. Our team of experts can discuss your needs with you and recommend options that fit your workflow, current equipment, and budget, including determining if Disaster Recovery as a Service is right for you. You don’t have to navigate business resiliency alone. Contact us today to get the conversation started.

Liz Alton is a B2B technology and digital marketing writer and content strategist. She has worked with a variety of brands including Google, Twitter, Adobe, Oracle, and HP, and written for publications including Forbes. She is a regular contributor to Connected, Connection’s official blog.