If you’re in IT at a small-to-mid-sized business (SMB), you know what it feels like to wear many hats, one of which will be backup and disaster recovery. It’s a rare SMB that has anyone in IT specifically dedicated to this function, much less a full data protection team. And given that the way people work has changed dramatically and, likely, permanently due to the pandemic, data protection will change as well, which could substantially increase the amount of chaos an SMB IT manager’s day already contains.
Don’t fret. We’ve got some guidance to help you adjust to the new roles and responsibilities for data protection within an SMB.
Back Up SaaS Data
During the pandemic, organizations of all sizes increased their use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, but SMBs did so more than larger companies. Don’t neglect the data stored in these services and don’t depend on the vendor to protect the data for you. After all, what if you have a billing dispute or if they experience some kind of disaster?
We go into this topic in more detail in a recent post on protecting SaaS data, but it’s worth investing in a point solution if it exists for the app, such as Veeam for Microsoft 365. If there is no point solution, then work something out with the vendor to regularly ship you a copy of your data, and once that’s done, make sure it’s stored in three places on two different media with at least one offsite — the 3-2-1 rule. It will likely add some cost, but it’s worth it for the added protection.
Protect Remote Worker’s Data
Remote workers have a habit of saving data locally, which is a bad idea, especially if they’re using their personal machines. But, in a nutshell, there are several best practices:
- Provide employees with virtual desktops: This keeps all user data and applications behind the company firewall where it can be backed up the same way as always.
- Map drives on employee laptops to a cloud drive: This way, they’ll be saving data to a drive you can back up … assuming they follow the rules.
- Deploy endpoint protection on every device: This can be a cumbersome process to roll out but will ensure that any data an employee stores locally will be backed up.
Disaster Recovery – Ensure Everyone Will have Access
You’ve not recovered from a disaster until employees have access to the restored applications and data — they’re of little use to anyone if they can’t use them. Update the disaster recovery plan to include providing access to remote employees, and test it to make sure it works. You don’t want to learn that half the company can’t access the apps they need to work following a disaster simply because they are remote.
If you’d like to go into even more depth on these aspects of post-pandemic data protection, check out our new eBook: Backup & Disaster Recovery Strategies for the New World of Work.