Employees depend heavily on their PCs, and new threats like ransomware make it even more critical to protect their important data.
IT Infrastructure in your small business is becoming more complex. It used to be that you only had servers and generic desktops to deal with, but the world has changed. Now there’s virtualization, cloud VMs in IaaS clouds, data in SaaS clouds, and even mobile devices to worry about.
However, one very important area of your company operations tends to be ignored when it comes to data protection and business continuity – Windows PCs and laptops. Here are five reasons you should include your employees’ computers in your data protection strategy. 1. Protection for Important Data
Almost everything your employees do is done on their computers. Sales use laptops to furnish contracts, and communicate with customers. Marketing and communications use PCs for planning, design, promotions, etc. Your finance, HR and legal teams couldn’t exist without PCs. In essence, your users and your company cannot operate without PCs. Up to 80 percent of vital company data is kept on PCs – just think about laptop of your CEO or CFO. You have to back up all that data, so you can always recover if anything happens. 2. Safety from Ransomware Infection
In 2016, nearly half of all organizations were hit with some form of ransomware, the type of malware that encrypts files and demands payment for decryption. The average ransom was $679. Industry experts predict that the threat – and the size of the ransoms – is only going to grow. You have to protect your entire organization, and the only assured recourse to recover PCs from a ransomware infection is a good backup. 3. Efficiency with Storage Deduplication
Many IT professionals cite the lack of storage capacity when justifying the absence of PC backups. Indeed, a company with 100 users may have to provision anywhere from two to 20 TB for full backups, plus more space for incremental and differential backups. There are network bandwidth concerns as well.
However, this issue is easily resolved with storage deduplication. Usually your users’ PCs will have a lot of common data – operating systems, applications, even the copies of the same files. This makes deduplication quite effective, and your storage capacity requirements can be reduced significantly. In addition, if your backup solution supports source deduplication (like Acronis Backup Advanced), it will help with network bandwidth as well, as only unique data is transferred over the network. 4. Mobility with Cloud Storage
Another common argument in discussions of PC backup is remote users. Indeed, up to 70 percent of your staff can be mobile, working at remote locations, airports, cafes, and at customer sites. The perfect solution for them would be to store backups in the cloud, instead of backing up data to your office via a VPN. The data can be securely encrypted at-source, so it will be safe in-flight and at-rest. Moreover, with backups in cloud storage, you can guide your users to recover their data and even their systems without needing to bring the PCs to your office. 5. Productivity with Ease of Recovery
The most important benefit of having PC backups in place is the ease of recovery. If the file is lost (or encrypted by ransomware), you can restore it with a few clicks. If the system has crashed, you can restore the full image – including the operating system, applications, settings, and even desktop wallpaper. It will take little effort on your side, and your users can return to work in no time. You will be more productive (no tedious reinstallations), your users will be more productive (and happy), and your company will be more successful.
You should include your employees’ PCs into your business continuity plan, if you haven’t already done so. You company and your users heavily depend on their PCs, and new threats like ransomware make it even more critical to protect their important data.
New technologies, like storage deduplication and cloud backups can alleviate issues with capacities and roaming users. And most important, the easy and complete recovery will let you and your users sleep well at night.
The evolving cybersecurity landscape presents SMBs with a host of new threats to their clients, their data, and their bottom line. In part 2 of this blog series, learn three quick processes Webroot’s CISO, Gary Hayslip, recommends to help small businesses beat modern threats.
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