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World Backup Day 2021: Hybrid Workforce Makes Backups Critical

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Since the onset of the pandemic, organizations have accelerated their remote workforce support, digital transformation journeys, and migration to the cloud. The resulting data and application sprawl is putting enormous pressure on the teams that protect and secure your data. With the increasing importance of data and the expanded threat vectors, organizations need an integrated approach to data security and protection. A well-architected protection solution can even give companies the flexibility to evolve with confidence. In honor of World Backup Day, it is important to remember why backups are critical to success, not only today but for the future of business.

Backups are a part of an integrated cybersecurity solution

Cybersecurity is one of the biggest concerns for the majority of IT leaders today. Many IT leaders agree that protecting data from threats will be one of the biggest challenges of managing data in the future.

With COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, organizations are moving to a hybrid workforce model that brings evolving cybersecurity challenges. Since users are the entry point of most cyber attacks, organizations cannot prevent cyberattacks 100% of the time. Just as security teams have begun to manage the threats caused by a remote workforce, the users are bringing those threats back into the office.

A comprehensive data protection and security strategy is critical to restoring business operations after a cyberattack. First, the protection solution should secure backups offsite. Second, since the backups have visibility into all the data, they should identify anomalies indicative of an attack. Third, the protection solution should restore malware-free backups. Finally, the protection team should be able to provide the forensics and legal teams information of what happened and when.

Backups benefit the hybrid workforce model

Backups are the most reliable way to recover data in the event of malicious or accidental data loss. Unfortunately, too often, organizations forget to set up backup until it is too late. With data getting dispersed outside of data centers to endpoints, cloud workloads, and SaaS applications, organizations either assume that the data is protected or hope that nothing will happen to their data. Unfortunately, hope is not a viable strategy in the face of errors, outages, and auditors.

Organizations need to adopt a holistic data protection approach that offers full visibility across their entire data environment. With the need for agility, companies cannot manage a unique solution for each environment. Therefore, they need a solution that spans data centers, endpoints, SaaS applications, and the cloud. This approach ensures that whether an employee is at home or in the office, the data needed for their job is accessible, and the company can be confident that they meet security and compliance standards.

Backup best practices

The following are best backup practices for businesses looking to support a hybrid workforce.

  • Review existing data: Before developing a backup and recovery strategy, review the current data architecture. Knowing who owns data and applications, current backup policies, and applicable regulations and requirements positions you for success.
  • Follow the 3-2-1 backup rule: Don’t forget the basics. Always keep at least three copies of your data, using two different backup media, and storing one copy offsite, ideally in a separate account to isolate it from ransomware attacks.
  • Invest in a cloud backup solution: Since data is so distributed, investing in a cloud backup solution has become a necessary line of defense in today’s modern IT landscape. Unlike on-premises backup protection, the cloud offers connectivity to all data sources, limitless storage for backups, and significantly lower management costs.
  • Perform regular tests: A backup that has not been tested is a backup that should not be trusted. The best way to ensure that your backup is tested on a regular basis is to automate such testing. Not only will this ensure it gets tested more often, but it will also ensure that the team will be comfortable with running a recovery when the disaster strikes.

Applying these best practices will prepare organizations for any event, whether it’s an accidental deletion, user error, or malicious attack. It will empower businesses to respond and recover their data in a robust and organized fashion.

Looking ahead to a post-pandemic world, more employees will shift between in-office and remote work. As a result, the data landscape will continue to evolve and become more complex. IT leaders must ensure their data protection and management strategies address today’s changing needs and provide the flexibility and future-proofing to support tomorrow’s opportunities. While World Backup Day serves as an annual reminder to backup applications, documents, and information, it is essential to integrate these steps into day-to-day operations to ensure success.

Stephen Manley is CTO of Druva.

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