Common Data Backup Misunderstandings. – Backup creates a copy of data that can be recovered in the event of data failure. It can also be as a result of hardware or software problems, data corruption and human error in deletion of data. Backup allows data to be recovered from an earlier point in time. Good backup procedures include multiple point backups which are regular and consistent.
Data backup has once again become a current topic for discussion. When you delve deeper, data backup can mean different things to different people and platforms. So why has the confusion arisen?
Common Data Backup Misunderstandings.
Before cloud backup the main ways to create copies of data was via an external hard drive and carrying out the backup either onsite or offsite (or both). The introduction of cloud backup and storage where your data is stored on remote servers accessible from a network has added a third great backup option. This however does not automatically mean that any cloud-based software you use is automatically backed up.
When does backup not mean backup?
Not all cloud storage services offer the same options when it comes to data backup and recovery. Subscription based software on the cloud can vary widely when looking at data recovery and you only discover limitations when it comes time to restore the backups.
Office365 offers access to Microsoft applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. When looking in detail regarding their backup solutions, Microsoft offer online storage, file sharing and 24/7 security but Microsoft only provides recovery under the following events:
- Loss of service due to their hardware or infrastructure failure
- Loss of service due to natural disaster or data centre outage
- Short-term (30-day) user-error with recycle bin/version history
- Short-term (14-day) administrative error with soft-delete for Groups, Mailboxes or services-lead rollback
This means that if your e mail were to be affected by malicious viral attack or an employee left and their account data was lost or deleted, it is unrecoverable. So, to summarise, Microsoft does not support any of the following events:
- Loss of data due to departing employees and deactivated accounts (outside retention period / delete and recovery periods)
- Loss of data due to malicious insiders/hacktivists deleting content
- Loss of data due to malware/ransomware
- Recovery from prolonged outages
- Long-term accidental deletion coverage with selective rollback
Xero accounting software
Xero offers great straightforward and easy to use accounting software, but they make it very clear in their terms of service that you must maintain copies of all data inputted into the service. This means that you are ultimately responsible for backing up your data in Xero.
Xero follows best practice policies and procedures to prevent data loss, including a daily system data back-up regime, but it does not make any guarantees that there will be no loss of data. Xero expressly excludes liability for any loss of data no matter how this is caused, therefore the best solution is to make sure you have your own backup and recovery plan if you use this software.
Apple iCloud helps you sync content, but syncing is not backup. If you delete something from your Mac, it is removed from your iPhone too, because it is all in iCloud, there is no backup copy anywhere else. Apple does have iCloud Backup, and this backs up critical info on your iPhone and iPad to iCloud, but it is only for mobile devices. Your computer is not backed up by iCloud Backup. If you use a Mac, this isn’t backed up either. Having Apple iCloud does not mean your files are backed up.
Air-Gapped back up solutions
One final important point to consider is that of air-gapped back up solutions. If your computer is not connected to the internet or LAN, your computer cannot be remotely hacked. Air-gapping is a procedure where you can isolate your computer, network or device from internet or LAN access. The only way you can be hacked is if someone is physically there in person doing it. Air-gapping is a great way to protect your backups.
How reliable is cloud backup?
So, how safe is the cloud for backup? This has once again become the topic of discussion and there is open debate on this. EPX Technical Services who offer IT support to businesses provides the following guidance. “cloud computing is still relatively new and is evolving constantly. Before it came along, our advice was always to have at least two, if not three forms of data recovery. Definitely one preferably onsite and one offsite and this advice still stands. We work with many companies looking after their data backup, providing and working to disaster recovery plans. For example, we can already provide a backup solution for Xero. Further information on our support packages can be found here. Please feel free to contact us to find out more, call 01785 878 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us help solve any common data backup misunderstandings.