4 Steps Businesses Can Take to Protect Their Distributed Workforces

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By Darren Yablonski

Post-COVID, many companies have shifted to more remote work models and cloud services. A Pew Research Center survey in December 2020 found 71% of workers who said their job responsibilities could be handled primarily from home were working remotely all, or most of the time. Pre-pandemic, only 20% of the same workers said they worked from home most of the time.

The shift to more remote work, supported by cloud-based IT services has boosted business flexibility. Unfortunately, in many cases, it has also made IT resources more complex to secure and increased the risk of falling victim to a cyberattack. Ransomware attacks have grown significantly in recent years and a  2021 IDC survey found more than one-third of organizations worldwide had experienced a ransomware attack or breach that blocked access to their systems or data over the previous year.

As companies continue to adopt cloud and software-as-a-service technologies, they need to take steps to protect their data wherever it lives – on-premises, in the cloud, or on employee devices. Following are some tips to help you protect your data – anywhere it lives.

  1. Use a single pane of glass for data management — Growing data volumes and operational complexity make it difficult to apply a Zero Trust security framework, where all users must be authenticated, authorized and continuously validated before accessing data, effectively. To manage data complexity, businesses need a constant and clear overview, ideally provided by an intelligent, cloud-native data protection, which works with data in any location. A simple online dashboard that’s able to automate security controls is an ideal solution.
  2. Deploy an efficient data backup solution — The growth of data and more distributed workforce’s mean IT resources are more stretched. Businesses need solutions that cover multiple use cases. A data backup solution is key to any effective security strategy and should support any infrastructure type — on-premises, cloud or a combination of both. It should also offer both source-side and target-based deduplication of data to avoid retaining redundant data and increasing data management costs.
  3. Update and test disaster recovery plans — When companies shift workloads to the cloud, they sometimes forget to update their disaster recovery plans. The cloud doesn’t protect you from a potential disaster recovery situation, but it does require you to adjust and update your disaster recovery plans. Any newly created plans should be thoroughly tested to ensure they will work effectively if an actual cyberattack occurs.
  4. Anticipate technology and cyberattack changes — Cyberattacks are constantly evolving, so technology and business leaders need to stay informed on current trends and anticipate the form future attacks may take. Having a single, unified view of all IT infrastructure and potential security is also a key step in spotting and countering potential attacks.

The shift to more remote work and distributed workforces has potential benefits for many businesses and their employees. It can improve work-life balance, boost engagement and ensure employees can access the resources they need from any location at any time. However, it’s important for companies to take steps to protect their data in these newly distributed environments by deploying solutions that can secure all their IT infrastructure whether it’s on-premises, in a hosted data centre, or in the cloud.


Darren Yablonski is a Senior Director of Sales Engineering leading teams in Canada, U.S. and LATAM at Commvault. He is passionate about solving the world’s data management challenges using intelligent data services. As a thought leader, Darren has over 20 years of diverse multi-functional IT and customer-facing experience interfacing with executives, leading sales, engineering, cloud, SaaS, project management and ransomware security discussions.

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