Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over the past 18 months global working habits have changed considerably. With the outbreak in the UK starting at the beginning of 2020, orders to stay at home were given across the country. As businesses rushed to implement strategies that would allow them to continue operations, cloud adoption and remote working accelerated at unprecedented rates.

Only 8% of UK employees had worked remotely before the pandemic but, as we adjust to a new normal, 62% of employers are looking to establish a permanent hybrid working model. Remote working is here to stay.

However, working from home comes with risks. Remote working often involves operating outside of corporate firewalls. This means that any data produced is left vulnerable to cyber attacks. During the pandemic, ransomware attacks have increased by almost 500% and the cost of an average ransom payment is now almost £150,000.

Data protection as a service (DPaaS) has never been more important.

Keep your data safe

Whilst the cloud is generally secure when managed correctly, SaaS providers are only responsible for the availability of your data, not its protection - your data, your responsibility. In order to ensure that your data is secure within the cloud, implementing DPaaS with backup-as-a-service (BaaS) solutions and disaster recovery strategies is vital.

BaaS solutions protect your data by storing copies in multiple different locations. These layers of redundancy mean that if one data centre is hit by a ransomware attack, your data would not be completely lost; it would be safe and accessible via an alternative centre.

BaaS also allows for easy data management. As the data is stored in the cloud, the manual movement of data to secure locations for its protection is no longer necessary. Instead, it is the BaaS provider’s responsibility to ensure that the data is secure. This is not only in terms of its protection from attack, but the provider also carries out vital tasks such as data compliance checks to ensure regulations are met.

It is also essential that organisations have a disaster recovery (DR) plan that is regularly and thoroughly checked. It is so important that organisations have a DR partner that understands their data so that an effective solution can be implemented. This will ensure that data can always be recovered no matter the means of its loss, such as a ransomware attack, fire at the data centre, etc. The DR plan should be comprehensive so data can be recovered between all cloud regions. Regularly running through your DR plan also ensures that the team knows how to recover the data efficiently so that downtime is kept to a minimum.

Prepare for the post-pandemic world

As we move towards the end of the pandemic, it is unlikely that things will revert back to exactly how they were before. The choice by many organisations to move to remote working and cloud solutions has become a permanent business decision. These new working habits will be highly beneficial so long as they are implemented and managed correctly.

Having a strong data protection-as-a-service solution is essential. With ransomware attacks on the rise and cyber criminals becoming increasingly sophisticated, organisations must always be prepared to defend against and recover from a cyber threat. Backup-as-a-service solutions and disaster recovery plans ensure that, should data be lost, it can be quickly recovered and business operations can resume with little downtime experienced – the ideal outcome for both company and customer.

By Jonathan Bowl, VP & General Manager – Northern EMEA, Commvault