Work from home? You need a data protection, backup and recovery plan

No matter how big your operation, everybody should have a 'data care' plan.
30 December 2019

Your home office isn’t exempt from data protection practices. Source: Shutterstock

By 2030, artificial intelligence (AI) is estimated to contribute around US$13 trillion to global economic activity. 

The figure may reflect the readiness of enterprises of all sizes and industries to ramp up their AI investment, but it does not quantify the impact generated by technology and the significant changes it will bring to the world. 

As an example, chatbots are infiltrating customer service and by 2020, 85 percent of communications between enterprises and customers will be through chatbots or other forms of technologies. 

Technological advances are changing the landscape of business operations and data now drive important business decisions, but that does not exclude the SoHo (small office, home office) market. 

Data Decade, a survey, reported that 55 percent of senior technology and managers believe data analytics will be an essential skill for business survival in the next decade.

Large firms and SoHos alike may have silos of data with valuable weight, but it risks becoming redundant or even susceptible to cyberattacks if left stagnant. Therefore, every organization or operation of whatever scale should have a ‘data care’ plan, which includes protecting, backing up, and the option for recovering data through secured means. 

In a world of work where freelancers and remote workers are only growing in numbers, TechHQ is delving into the significance of ‘data care’ for SoHo.

Data protection

There are many considerations for selecting appropriate anti-malware software for home businesses, such as the efficiency of protecting connected hardware and blocking suspicious files and, of course, budget. 

Review sites on anti-virus products are a great source of information to help home businesses decide and often free trials or first-timer discounts are available; it is then advisable for small business owners to take advantage of these trials before settling on a product. 

One of the considerations includes the kind of data a business owner is aiming to protect. Those working in accountancy or in contracts with large firms, for example, may require tier-one data protection as the consequences of a data breach could be much more severe while small business owners may opt for more basic software. 

Developments in the cloud have yield cloud-based security. By adding AI and ML (machine learning) to the mix, the applications are further expanded such as automating virus checks and analysis of areas of weakness. 

Data backup and recovery

“Data doesn’t really exist unless you have two copies of it,” stated Jack Schofield in The Guardian. 

The quote reverberates the importance of data storage and backup. Data loss can cause major disruption to the daily operations of any information-based business and for home businesses, the damage is magnified as funds and resources are allocated to retrieving lost data. 

Based on statistics, it is estimated that small to medium businesses (SMBs) suffer a loss of 25 percent in daily revenue in the first week after experiencing data loss. Therefore, to minimize the risks of data loss, having a copy of valuable data is like having data insured. 

As an example, backing up business data on different media such as hard drives, SD cards, and online, helps businesses to recover lost files quicker. A mixed approach of storing data on hardware and having a copy stored online gives an extra layer of protection for home businesses from unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters or a break-in.

Moreover, a data recovery plan is the core of an overall business continuity strategy. The plan often includes how business can continue operating in the face of a disaster (data breach, data loss).

In regards to an effective data recovery plan, having a good data backup plan allows data recovery to happen faster. In the end, businesses need first to assess their present needs and select flexible systems which allow them to scale up for future needs