The Future of Work and Protecting Your Cloud-Based Office from Cyber-Attacks

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Over the last five months, the UK has seen unprecedented change in the way we work. The “office,” a combination of a physical workplace and the digital infrastructure that powers it, has transformed.

As businesses and employees have forcibly and collectively moved towards remote working, the UK’s productivity has been up for debate – albeit, this is not a new debate. With the UK considered to have a poor productivity record, and stagnant economic growth – it is being discussed whether COVID-19 has become the catalyst we needed to finally solve our ‘productivity puzzle’.

However, there are a few challenges that must be addressed to make this a reality. To start with, not all businesses have the proper tech infrastructure in place to equip, support and manage productive remote working – especially in the long term. Yet, 41% of employees are planning to continue working remotely in a post-COVID world, as stated in a report by Gartner. If this is the case, it is clear that the infrastructure of an organization will be the make or break in a new nation of virtual businesses.

The second challenge is that the surge in remote working has increased pressure and demand in data and technology; furthermore, opening up industries and businesses to an immediate security concern – an impact that will be felt across the entire technological supply chain.

With all this in mind, we need some answers: what must we do to effectively manage the transition to long-term remote working? What systems do we need in place to redefine productivity and collaboration as we know it? Are our cloud-based offices leaving us vulnerable to cyber-threats?

Embracing the cloud

Will the future of work see businesses shifting from their deeply entrenched and integrated on-premise systems to a long-term cloud-based office?

When it comes to scalability and capabilities, the cloud’s infrastructure and offerings are unrivalled. The cloud is the perfect platform for storing data in detached, independent, and secure locations, whilst ensuring regular back-ups take place.

However, in order to maximize and enhance the security of a cloud-based office, it is imperative businesses collaborate with their cloud provider vendor, like AWS, which is hosted on an independent OS. With an understanding of the shared responsibility model, and by enacting policies like end-to-end encryption, enterprises will be able to strengthen protection against potential cyber-attacks or ransomware attacks that may target your server or cloud-based systems.

The number one mistake an organization can make, towards the safety of their network, is incorrectly storing data against the same service and OS that operates the core aspects of their business, such as Microsoft Office365.

The purpose of backing up data is to ensure that a duplicate source is available, should the original be compromised. However, by storing data on a separate OS and in an unrelated, disconnected location, it is possible to safeguard your data from security threats – and therefore, effectively managing and sustaining a cloud-based office as the future of remote working.

Staying Safe

In the world of business, there is a common misconception: that the perfect solution to keeping data secured safely and remotely is to deploy Microsoft Office365, because it is a cloud-based solution. However, this is not the case.

The reality of Office 365 is that it is known to have substantial flaws when it comes to data protection. This is because its included protections ignore the foundational rule of storing backups on a separate platform and lack the sophistication or urgency that modern businesses require when there are data security threats, or when cyber-attacks take place.

It goes without saying that the ideal backup solution should be getting these basics right: it should automate backups regularly, with runbook execution for rapid recovery, the capability to safeguard business continuity and meet compliance requirements (such as GDPR) to protect an organization from falling liable to hefty fines.

So, as the future of work looks towards long-term remote working, and cloud-based offices, businesses are faced with increased risks of cyber-attacks and ransomware threats. In this new working world, it is important to be reassured that you have the sophisticated tools established to recover files from an unexpected problem, whilst ensuring automated solutions are in place to repair any damage and save your business from an unnecessary headache.

Putting security at the front of your remote working agenda is imperative. With the power and protection of the right cloud service, whilst managed correctly, the benefits of a cloud-based office make it a no-brainer for a more collaborative, connected, and productive workforce.

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