I often hear “I have OneDrive/Dropbox, so my data is backed up”. Yet no where do these tools say they are “backup tools” they are known as “Cloud Storage” and “Synchronisation” tools. In the Terms and Conditions, you will see they say “you should ensure you backup your data”, but surely if they were a backup tool you wouldn’t need to be backing up your data? It is because they are not backup tools – they are synchronisation tools.
Yes, One Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive have many properties that backups have, and they are improving all the time. However, they can only protect you against up to 90% of the things that can go wrong. A backup up is by definition a copy of your data in a different location that is only used for recovery purposes, and the data you have in these tools is the active data you are working upon.
Why do you need a backup?
Accidentally delete a file, edit a file incorrectly and need to go back to how it was, your computer suffers from a hardware issue, the hard drive fails or your computer is stolen. All of these the Synchronisation tool usually can recover from.
What if you are infected with Ransomware? At the time of writing this I am only aware of One Drive that has integrated a roll back feature to a previous date, the others you must restore each file to a previous version. As the Ransomware will encrypt your live data, which will get synchronised to the server, the servers data will be encrypted. How well this works, time will only tell.
What if you have someone maliciously delete your data, and have access to delete it from the “undelete” area of the cloud storage? i.e. a hacker or a hacked off ex-employee, or what happens if the service closes down? This is where all the tools can fail, and this is why you do not have a backup.
Remember a backup is a copy of the data in an alternative location that can only be accessed for the purpose of recovery. So the hacker or ex-employee has no access to this backup so can’t delete it. If the Cloud Storage service closes down and the live data becomes inaccessible your backup stored elsewhere will still be accessible.
Backups do not need to cost a fortune, a user’s complete Office 365 account (Exchange, Sharepoint, One Drive) can all be backed up from as little as £2.50 a month.
Remember “Do not keep all your eggs in one basket”
Today’s guest post comes courtesy of Tristan from TLMartin Ltd – Tristan loves looking after Virtual Assistant businesses of any size. He truly understands the IT issues they face and offers lots of guidance to help them keep their data and the data of their clients safe.
If you want to find out more about backing up raher then just synchronising your data – I highly recommend speaking to Tristan who has a range of solutions to suggest!
Tristan also offers an IT Health Check without charge at https://www.tlmartin.ltd.uk/services/it-health-check/ where he will give you a report of your strengths and weaknesses and how they can be easily fixed.