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Remote worker data at risk

Read time 3min 50sec
Heidi Coerlin, Redstor.
Heidi Coerlin, Redstor.

Much of the data in use by millions of remote workers is inadequately protected – including data in G Suite and Microsoft 365. 

This is according to Heidi Coerlin, Redstor's head of sales for Africa, who was speaking at a webinar for managed service providers (MSPs) presented by Redstor in partnership with ITWeb.

Redstor noted that Google’s G Suite bundle of software for businesses, schools and public sector organisations, which had more than six million paying customers in March, shares responsibility for cloud security between the software provider and the data controller or owner. Microsoft 365, with over 180 million active commercial users each month, is a prime target for cyber criminals and also does not back up data that is lost, deleted or overwritten. 

Accidental deletion or malware could therefore result in the data being completely lost, said Coerlin. “The responsibility for data protection lies with the owner, and any gaps need to be filled by a third-party backup provider.”

Coerlin said the growing volumes of data being generated by users at remote locations, and growing awareness of the risks to that data, presented a new opportunity for MSPs.

She outlined five good reasons for MSPs to rethink their backup offerings, to help customers protect data and better manage increasingly complex environments:

#1: The ‘Netflix mentality’

It’s an on-demand world and even before working from home became widespread, nearly all business users expected that they would have access to the data they need, when they need it, Coerlin said. 

“They expect instant recovery and access from anywhere. MSPs now have the perfect opportunity to help companies eliminate downtime.”

#2: Point solutions aren’t enough

Most businesses have sprawling complex infrastructure, including legacy infrastructure. 

Today’s solutions therefore have to simplify disaster recovery and backup, archiving and insight using a unified platform; they must offer comprehensive support, simplified billing and unlimited test resources; they should slash recovery times by streaming data on demand; and they should protect M365 and G Suite data in disparate locations in line with regulations, off a single web-based control centre.

“By offering comprehensive service, MSPs can save customers time and money and increase stickiness,” she said. 

MSPs offering complete cloud-based data management solutions will stand out from the competition, according to Redstor. Redstor’s 4-in-1 data management solution (recognised in IDC’s Data Protection as a Service Report) is the best example. Simple to deploy and manage, the platform allows MSPs to take advantage of backup and recovery, disaster recovery, cloud archiving, and search and insight from a single vendor on a unified platform, the company said.

#3: The old tools are blunt

“With cloud at the heart of the majority of business strategies, data management must follow suit. Many companies still battle with getting full visibility of local and online data across their entire estate. To stay ahead of the game, MSPs must be able to offer cloud-based SaaS solutions as well as on-site or hybrid options,” Coerlin said.

#4: Recovery first

Many modern businesses classify data as a tier-one asset, but many still fail to plan adequately for data loss and breaches, said Coerlin. 

“IT departments often struggle to get the budget they need for comprehensive DR and backup, and often, they can’t do it alone. MSPs have an opportunity to offer tools to guarantee data recovery.”

Redstor says organisations should recognise that breaches are inevitable, and shift beyond prevention to response, ensuring that staff have the right tools to collect, aggregate, and analyse actionable security intelligence from all systems, devices and applications in real time.

#5: MSPs risk being left behind

“The main concern for customers right now is their business, and extracting maximum value at minimum cost,” said Coerlin. “While they love having your advanced tech expertise on tap, they need to evaluate and choose solutions that are right for them. The opportunity for MSPs lies in solving customers’ unique data management challenges, eliminating downtime, controlling the data explosion and storage spend, and safely helping users move to the cloud. In a constantly evolving marketplace, MSPs need to offer game-changing, differentiated technology and services or risk being overtaken by bionic MSPs.”

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