7 top tips for backups in a world of remote working

Once again employees have been told to work from home if possible.  Whichever way you look at it; remote working seems to be here to stay.

Millions of devices are connecting to corporate networks or cloud solutions from everywhere: kitchens, living rooms, spare rooms, the list goes on . . .  all over the country, all over the world.

This makes managing IT, data security, backups and recovery much more complex than it was before; and also means there are additional things that you need to consider….

  1. Educate

First things first, educate your team on all things cyber security to ensure they know and understand the key best practice guidelines.  Cyber criminals, sadly, are taking full advantage of the situation.

However, even with that training in place, it is going to be virtually impossible to guarantee complete security – so having a backup plan and disaster recovery measures in place are essential.

  1. Document your plan

Ensure you have a proper, documented back-up and disaster recover policy in place and communicate this to all of the relevant people.  If you have a policy / plan in place already – re-visit it now to ensure it is robust enough to cover so many people working remotely.

Make sure everyone is aware of the standard operating procedure.

  1. Find all the files

Where are the documents being stored that people are working on?  Are they on random hard drives, on your VPN or somewhere in the cloud?  Or a mixture of all three?

Shared drives where everyone is supposed to save everything are fantastic.  But are they being used properly?

Make sure you know where all of your data is.  You can’t back it up if you don’t know where it is.  Again, train your staff to ONLY file work documents in the correct place, otherwise not only are you putting yourself at risk from a disaster recovery point of view, but you are also in danger of flaunting data protection legislation.

Ask each member of your team to tell you what they are working on, how and where.  You might be surprised to learn what they are doing.  They might be using things you didn’t know about or you thought had long been consigned to the history books (some people love using the old tech that they know best!).

  1. Don’t rely on your Microsoft 365 or G Suite by Google back-ups

These backups are worth having, they are better than nothing, but your data is only backed up for 30 days and recovering it is not always an easy process (and is not guaranteed).  You need to be using a third-party backup provider, which offers a much more robust and efficient solution.

  1. Hard drives and back up devices

If you are backing up data onto a physical device, make sure that it is encrypted. You also shouldn’t rely solely on one device.  Rotate.  Store it safely.  Ideally use an offsite backup solution as well.

  1. Back up your data every day

Obviously, this can be laborious if you are using a physical device and have a lot of data, but online backups are efficient and usually automatic.  Software can schedule a backup of your server; or your third-party cloud backup solution can schedule for you too.

  1. Name someone to check your backups are running and working

Have a named person responsible for backups and ensure that part of their role is to double check that the backups are running and working.  Test them regularly by trying to restore a random file every once in a while.

If you would like some help to make your data safe and recovery easy, or you would like us to manage your backup process and procedures for you, please do get in touch with us.