How to Protect the New Workplace
The workplace changed the moment businesses sent employees home with laptops and other mobile devices to continue doing their jobs remotely. Workers left the cyber safety of company property — something that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
“Now they’re all working in their living rooms, in their bedrooms, at Starbucks,” said Preston. “They’re all over the place, and they’re no longer behind the company firewall. And so much of your company data is now being created on devices.”
Some businesses might first look to expand their current data center protections, but that’s not necessarily the best option, says Preston. Organizations can end up wasting more resources to reinforce older technologies.
“You could potentially be spending more money and time on these systems to address these new challenges, but honestly, most of these systems were designed decades ago, well before there was anything like the cloud,” said Preston. “I would say just consider Data Protection as a Service, which doesn’t have any of the concerns that I just mentioned.”
The changes that companies have had to make often have left them at greater risk, he says, because many of them are using services they’re not as familiar with while understaffed.
“They’re thinking, ‘Hey, if we can move this to a service, or if we can move it to a cloud vendor, then this is perhaps something else that we don’t have to worry about right now,’” Preston said.
What to Prioritize When Protecting Data
There are things businesses need to consider when protecting data, Preston said. First and foremost, the devices that employees are now relying on must have the right security.
“They’re no longer being protected by the firewall,” said Preston. “They’re much more susceptible to things like ransomware and theft, and you’re still creating data on these laptops.”
Next, businesses have to make sure their services — such as Software as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service — are protected. Preston said that many organizations think that the protection is built into their services, but often it isn’t.
“Go look at your service level agreement and look for words like ‘backup and recovery’ or ‘restore’ or anything like that,” said Preston. “What you will generally find is you'll find words about availability. That’s availability of the system, not the availability of your data. So just think about that. And I think you need to protect these services that perhaps you’re now using for the first time.”
Moving data protection to the cloud can help secure organizations through uncertain times, but the right steps need to be taken. With secure devices and services, businesses can stay safe, compliant, and under budget.