Working from Home Can Create Data Protection Issues


With the increase in employees working from home, many companies have had to adapt quickly to the changes. This process hasn’t been without its pitfalls. For instance, managed services providers (MSPs) have focused on setting up employees to work from home, ensuring system access, and working to secure newly remote endpoints. During this time, they may have come to realize the limitations of their backup strategy—specifically the limitations of a local-only backup strategy.

If your backup system relies on the assumption that someone will be in the office or data center every day, what happens when that’s no longer the case? It’s easy for problems to pop up when someone cannot be physically present.

Local-only backups don’t work for work from home

If your data protection strategy relies on a local-only backup device (such as a USB drive), what happens if no one can switch out the full drive for a few weeks because they aren’t in the office? It could mean the last good backup stored on your device is several weeks old. That could be the case even if your data protection software continued to show your scheduled backup jobs were running successfully the whole time. If that happens, it could equal considerable data loss for your customers.

Likewise, if you use a local appliance that consolidates your backups and sends them to the cloud, it could cause a problem if the device malfunctions. Until someone discovers the malfunction and can get into the office to fix it, it could become the single point of failure that stops your backups from successfully completing.

The benefits of direct-to-cloud backup

A direct-to-cloud backup solution may be a better option for work from home (WFH) environments. With direct-to-cloud software, agents on each protected device can communicate directly with the cloud storage location. Since you don’t have to depend on local storage, there’s no need to keep someone at the office for extended periods of time. The backup process can run smoothly without anyone there to maintain the local-only backup device.

Direct-to-cloud software systems are designed to be accessed and used from anywhere with a web-based SaaS management console. This makes them easier to manage than systems dependent on VPN or those that connect to a local application server from a remote location.

The importance of flexible restore and recovery

Your data protection strategy in the WFH era should also include flexible restore and recovery options for failed devices. For example, you should be able to restore data to its original location, to new hardware, to a VM residing in a secondary location, or in Azure. You should also make sure to routinely test the recoverability of your backups. While it’s easy to forget to do, it’s extremely important. If your data protection solution includes automated recovery testing, it can give you and your customers peace of mind.

All of this can be found in SolarWinds® Backup, a direct-to-cloud backup solution that offers an easy-to-use, web-based dashboard. With SolarWinds Backup, there is no need to host a local application server or to have local data storage, since your backups go directly to our private cloud. Even so, you can choose to keep a local copy of your backups if you’d like using our LocalSpeedVault feature and an existing network share or hardware you may already have.

The Recovery Testing feature delivers regular, automated test recoveries of your most critical servers. To take advantage, enroll your servers in a recovery test plan and SolarWinds will automatically spin up a test VM in the cloud, restore the server from your most recent backup, take a screenshot, and delete the VM.

Note: This article has been republished with some changes from the SolarWinds MSP Blog. You can read more blogs here: Additional SolarWinds MSP guest blogs are also published here on MSSP Alert.