Online Backup: Why people are delaying
This blog entry is about online backup. What are the advantages – and disadvantages – of backing up your data into the “cloud”. What are the risks? Is an online backup suitable for everyone?
It is easy to see why people are attracted to backing up their data online. It is relatively easy and there are no hardware costs attached. A lot of people and companies alike are going down this route, and it is understandable. However, there are just as many if not more that are holding back. Why is that?
In todays blog entry I will elaborate on why you should be careful with the decision to back up your data online. And on what you can do now should you be skeptical of the security of online backup.
The facts concerning online security
The fact that online backup occurs “somewhere” but not locally means people have difficulty establishing whether the really important things are being backed up, such as critical and confidential files. And does the service include backing up the operating system and the installed programs too? And what happens if a server fails – how long does recovery take and what sort of downtime can be expected? Even if this blockage is only a perceived one, it is very real to the person concerned.
Not as easy as it sounds. An organization must establish to the last MB how much space they need to backup everything they own – could you do this?! And if so, how long do you have to invest?
You must establish to the last MB how much space you need to backup everything you own – in order to choose the right backup plan and hold down costs. Could you do this?! And if so, how long do you have to invest?
Sadly there are a few scenarios where online backups simply fail to happen: where backup services cannot handle open files, incomplete backups due to system shut downs or reboots, and lost Internet connections that interrupt the backup process. You have to have a plan B in place to make sure that data is still being backed up regardless.
When backing up several PCs or even whole servers, a huge amount of data is involved. The initial full backup in particular places a massive strain on your internet connection and for often long periods of time: will the backup mean that the remaining bandwidth is so small that work is simply not possible anymore, or that customers cannot reach your company online? And what about local resources requirements, and is the data compressed before it is uploaded to save bandwidth?
Data retention and data protection compliance
What happens when backup data is removed from the online provider? Is it really removed or could it be kept and pose e-discovery liabilities? And who owns it – you or the provider? This is a scenario many Facebook and google users will find familiar. Important for companies: If private customer data is being saved, in what country is it being stored and under what country jurisdiction? What kind of data protection does that country have, and does it offer adequate protection against outside attacks? Can you still guarantee to fully protect data from being accessed by third parties, or the compliance of applicable data protection law?
Is your data automatically encrypted when uploaded? This is a major risk if you forget your online backup password. And what about when data is in transit, is it encrypted then? Again, this can be a weak link in the security chain.
This one is crucial – just how safe is the web interface being used for the online backup service? What security are they using? Flaws range from weak login mechanisms such as inadequate password requirements, accounts that do not lock after a number of failed attempts and easy to manipulate URLS. Firewalls, SSL and passwords are not the only safety issues now.
An affordable alternative – and Windows 8 compatible!
Ok, so the trend is to go online. But are you aware of the above pitfalls? And if you need a solution now, but do not trust the online option, what are you going to buy?
From just $29.95, including a boot medium and the ability to restore backups onto entirely different hardware, you can backup entire systems and/or individual files and drives locally with O&O DiskImage 6. So you can see your backups, you know exactly where they are, and you know exactly what will be backed up and what you can restore in an emergency. In other words, everything online backup currently cannot guarantee. And what’s more, we have already made it compatible with Windows 8! So you can be sure that you can backup your data now and be secure with the next Windows release too.
Backup your private PCs with O&O DiskImage
Learn more about how to backup your private PCs with O&O DiskImage 6 on our website.
The backup solution for your company
Learn more about our backup solution for your company on our website.
— Jim Harrison