Is Your Staff Following Data Retention Best Practices?
The cloud’s inherent data backup capabilities won’t do you much good if your staff doesn’t know how to take advantage of them.
As great as a cloud-based solution like our Virtual Data Center is, in order to work properly, your end-users have to know where and how to store files. If they’re saving their work to a local device, it won’t benefit from the built-in data continuity and security features offered by the cloud.
That’s a big risk. Consider the facts:
- 33% of file folders are entirely unprotected.
- 140,000 US-based hard drives fail every week.
- Anywhere from 40%-60% of businesses close their doors forever after significant data loss.
That’s why you need to make sure your staff has the right data storage habits.
What Are Remote Desktops?
Before we talk more about our recommended proper data storage habits, let’s cover the basics. Remote Desktop Services give you access to and control over a given computer instance from any configured device in any location.
Known in the past as “Terminal Services”, Remote Desktop Services is a “component of Microsoft Windows that allows a user to take control of a remote computer or virtual machine over a network connection.” It gives users the capability to have the same computing experience whether they are using their in-office work computer or while remote working at home or on the go. Users have the same access no matter where they are, as they can utilize their work-related applications, access their files and data that are stored on the network, and do everything else they would be able to do in the office.
A major benefit of using a Remote Desktop Service (RDS) environment like our Virtual Data Center in our Private Cloud is the complete built-in data back-up, data retention, and disaster recovery solution it provides.
That said, in order to take advantage of this great feature, all stored data must be in the user’s Remote Desktop or on a shared drive designated for the user or the user’s organization. This means all file storage, saved files, file downloads, etc. must be located in one of those locations; either in the RDS or on the shared drive.
Does Your Staff Have The Right Data Storage Habits?
The bottom line is that your staff needs to understand the difference between their local device and the cloud. Anything stored locally is not backed up, which means if it’s accidentally deleted, encrypted, or something else happens, it’s gone for good.
That’s why your staff needs to follow data storage best practices. Any and all files that have been saved or downloaded to the user’s local computer and are being stored there must be moved to the RDS or the shared drive.
This is important to keep in mind when using conferencing applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, as they require the user to leave the RDS and utilize them via the local computer. Therefore, any files transferred, downloaded, created and saved, etc. to the local computer during that time would need to be moved to the proper storage location(s).
If you use an RDS environment, your standard IT policies need to dictate proper location(s) for storing data and the consequences of not following this policy. Those consequences would include the potential and likely loss of any data not stored in the designated location(s) due to acts outside of anyone’s control, such as hardware failure, software corruption, device repair/reset, etc.
If you want your users to be able to store data locally and still rely on a backup, you’ll need to subscribe to a cloud-based backup solution that provides that type of service. This can be costly, and you would need to be sure it is reliable, provides a high level of security, is regularly tested for data integrity, and is HIPAA compliant.
That’s why GO Concepts strongly recommends storing all files either in the user’s RDS or the designated shared drive location. It’s simpler and more cost-effective.
4 Reasons To Verify Your Staff’s Data Storage Practices
If your staff isn’t storing critical work files in the correct cloud-based location, then that data is at risk:
- Data Retention Contingencies: At the rate that technology evolves (and how quickly your standard operations and concerned policies are required to keep up with it), it’s no surprise that some businesses find it difficult to keep up with. When policy development falls behind the pace of adopted technologies, it can often lead to gaps, which can affect data retention. The fact is that many applications only have limited backup and retention policies, equipped to handle situational data loss – not the comprehensive, extensive level that you require.
- Cybercrime: Data loss is often the result of poor digital security; without the right defenses, cybercriminals can easily infect an IT system with ransomware or other types of malware and compromise company data. In a ransomware attack, a hacker gains access to an organization’s computer systems. Typically, an unsuspecting employee clicks on an emailed attachment that appears to be a bill or other official document. In actuality, the attachment installs malware onto the computer system. Once embedded, the malware allows a hacker to access critical systems, often giving complete remote control data and access. What’s more, in recent years, more advanced forms of ransomware have demonstrated the capability to encrypt backups as well. That means that offsite backups that are connected to onsite systems are just as at risk of data loss as those stored locally. This calls for the inclusion of air-gapped backups in a truly comprehensive data retention solution, which are a copy of your data that does not touch the network or Internet. This is included for all our Virtual Data Center clients.
- Maintaining Compliance: When it comes to modern compliance requirements, redundant data backups are critical. You’ll want to make sure you know what’s required of your industry’s compliance regulations, and make sure you have backup methods in place to meet those. The default backup capabilities offered by many applications may not suffice for the most stringent regulations. This is especially true when it comes to many industry and governmental regulations, such as HIPAA.
- Human Error: A majority of cybersecurity services offered today include the best in vital technologies, from firewalls to anti-malware to data encryption and more. However, as important as this technology is, on its own, it simply isn’t enough. The key to truly comprehensive cybersecurity (and therefore, data protection and data backup) is simple, yet often overlooked: the user. Much of data protection is dependent on the user, and as such it’s vital that you properly educate your employees in safe conduct. The more your workforce knows about the security measures you have in place, the more confidently they can use the technology in a secure manner. Human error can be detrimental to data integrity. Without a viable backup, all it takes is one accidental click to delete a file or encrypt a network of data, or one spilled coffee to fry a local hard drive.
GO Concepts Will Help Your Staff Develop The Right Data Storage Habits
Using new technologies and managing a team of remote staff members isn’t easy. We want you to know that you don’t have to do it alone — our team is here to help.
If you’re interested in the latest technology being employed by other organizations like yours and want Remote Desktop Services for your organization, get in touch with our team to discover more about how they work and what they have to offer your entire staff. We can help you ensure your staff has the right data storage habits and you have your critical data backup, retention, and disaster recovery needs properly addressed.