When users work remotely, they are statistically more likely to suffer data loss – whether it’s accidental or malicious. In this blog, we explore some key methods your organisation can use to protect its remote workers from data loss in 2023.
How do you enable your users to work in an agile, productive way while minimising the cyber security risks they face? Remote working has presented a challenge to IT and cyber security professionals since long before 2020 – when 20% of organisations experienced a beach due to remote workers, but with agile working now the norm it’s never been more important to protect your remote workers from data loss.
Let’s discuss the main causes of data loss and explain how to protect your remote workers from data loss in 2023.
What Causes Data Loss?
Data loss isn’t always caused by nasty hackers – in fact, many of the most common causes of data loss are somewhat prosaic. Some common accidental causes of data loss include:
- Accidental deletion. Your drive’s full and you need to free up some space. What to do? Perhaps you can sort your files by size, and mass delete all those large files you haven’t touched in years. Hopefully you don’t accidentally delete files you end up needing in the future…
- Forgetting to save. It’s annoying. It’s unnecessary. But it happens. How many times have you been hours deep in a spreadsheet, a PowerPoint, or a Word document, only to be distracted, forget to save, and lose all that hard work?
- Spills near the hardware. Maybe your cat has knocked your coffee all over your laptop. Maybe YOU have knocked your coffee all over your laptop. Maybe you left your laptop by an open window just before a cloudburst. It happens – trust us. And it can stuff up your laptop and all the local files you have stored on it.
- Device loss or theft. We’ve all heard about the laptop stolen from a coffee shop – it’s an IT blog tale as old as time. But what about the laptop trapped in lost luggage purgatory after a flight, the laptop left on a train, or the laptop hidden by your toddler that you just can’t find for the life of you? All future IT blog future classics, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Of course, malicious data loss does happen. Here are two biggies:
- Phishing emails. They’re getting better and better, they work, and hackers are sending more and more of them. If you don’t remain vigilant at all times, it’s going to be not if but when you click on a seemingly inconspicuous link and all hell breaks loose.
- Ransomware attacks. Hackers are getting better and better at executing ransomware attacks – to the extent that sometimes, you don’t know that you’ve been attacked for months before that dreaded alert comes through.
How to Protect Your Remote Workers from Data Loss
We hope we’ve convinced you by now that data loss is something to be taken seriously – especially when your users are working away from the traditional office. We don’t want to present you with a problem without solutions, though. Here are five steps you can take to protect your remote workers from data loss.
- Ensure you are using third-party backups. If you are using productivity software like Microsoft 365 – and let’s face it, there’s a better than evens chance that you are – it’s best practice to use third-party backups to add a layer of protection to your data. Datto offers a great Microsoft 365 SaaS Backup service that is easy to deploy, manage, and restore from.
- Keep your software versions up to date. There’s a massive, global game of cat and mouse playing out every day between hackers and software developers. Hackers find a software vulnerability, and software developers patch it. Software developers find a software vulnerability and try to patch it before hackers find and exploit it. Rinse and repeat. The best way to protect yourself and your organisation is to always stay up to date with all your software versions.
- Implement robust login protocols. We’re talking complex passwords. Password managers. And multi-factor authentication. Please, please, please implement multi-factor authentication. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent illicit access to your network that leads to data loss.
- Carry out appropriate cyber security training. Hackers are getting better and better at tricking users into carrying out actions they really don’t – or shouldn’t – want to. A robust programme of cyber security training that goes way beyond the occasional email from your IT Manager will empower your users with the knowledge they need to identify and correctly address any suspicious events they encounter.
- Follow the principle of least privilege. The principle of least privilege dictates that users should only have access to the tools and data they need, when they need them. By following the principle of least privilege, you can significantly reduce hackers’ ability to propagate cyber-attacks throughout your network and increase the damage they cause.
Protect Your Remote Workers from Data Loss in 2023
When users work remotely, they are statistically more likely to suffer data loss – whether it’s accidental or malicious. In this blog, we’ve explored some of the main causes of data loss, along with key methods your organisation can use to protect its remote workers from data loss in 2023.
We’ve created an infographic that explains how SaaS backup can help protect your organisation from downtime and data loss. Download it for free here.