You will find that businesses are quite skeptical about backing up data in online backup services. This is because they feel that their valuable data may be intercepted by employees and hijacked by criminals. Whether your data can remain secure in these facilities depends on the nature of encryption technique used for scrambling the data. You need to make sure that the encryption key which is used by you to unlock your data cannot be accessed by any other person. There are many online backup services which offer complete control of the encryption process to their subscribers. When you have already signed up for such a service, you can even upgrade the plans to enjoy greater ownership of data.
How to choose the Best Online Backup:
- You need to look at some important parameters when it comes to choosing the best online backup services. When you have encrypted backups, there must be someone that creates and owns this underlying key for data encryption before the data is stored. You need to know who makes this encryption key. In cases of online backup services like Carbonite, Backblaze, iDrive, CrashPlan, SpiderOak ONE and MozyHome the desktop backup software is responsible for creating this key. For two of these services, you can even choose to create the encryption key.
- You must also find out if the backup host keeps the key so that it can directly access it or if it is in “escrow” wherein there is a passphrase which protects it. The host is not aware of this passphrase which you create. There may also be instances where the host never gets to hold the key in the first place.
- You have to inquire whether the passphrase is converted into the encryption key through an algorithm or if it used for unlocking the encryption key. In the first instance, any attacker which is capable of recovering the passphrase can also decrypt your data backups because he owns the encryption key. When the backup service allows you to change your password it enjoys complete access to encryption keys which are guarding the backups. When this service cannot access the content in the files without you entering the password, it means you have been able to retain control.
- You need to decide on an online backup service depending on whether you need a single key or multiple keys for your backups. CrashPlan, for example, uses a single encryption key for unlocking all backed up files. But, Backblaze will generate a new encryption key for every single session. Likewise, SpiderOak ONE also has separate keys for its folders. When you use the greater number of unique keys, the lesser are the risks you will face from a single leakage.
- The hosted backups will also need native apps for the purpose of scanning drives and sending. The apps must use strong encryption methods before the files get sent to hosted services.
- It is also important to ensure that the best online backup services can keep the transferred data protected independently from the encryption which is used before the data is sent. Data must be encrypted in transit to guard it against attacks. There may be instances when others may try to intercept this data and find ways to break it. Incidentally, what may have appeared unbreakable a couple of years back may no longer be unbreakable.
- Data at rest also must also be protected by the best online data backup services. This encrypted data demands extra layers of security. There are hosting providers which offer information about ways in which they protect the data you have stored in them.
- Choosing an online backup service is useless unless it makes your data restoration process easier. You need to therefore choose services which can replicate the whole folder-tree structure to handle big data losses. Many online backup services also offer a versioning capability which lets you view the previous editions of files if you have made some unwanted changes in these. The number of versions that you can save and the duration for which they may be kept may vary from one service to another. For example, CrashPlan will save each version for good while SOS Online Backup will save files permanently even when these have been accidentally deleted.