By Paul Ibarra
Feb 23, 2017
I store a lot of information in the cloud, but who doesn’t these days, right? The most convenient way to get information uploaded to the cloud in a quick, accessible and usable format is to sync them from copies I already have stored locally. All I need to do is point my cloud storage solution’s sync application to my Documents folder and that’s it. Magically, these documents appear in the cloud where I can browse, edit and share them just as I can locally. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? I’m going to get off my high horse now and explain why this isn’t enough.
I know what you must be feeling right now because I would feel the same had I read this post for the first time. “Why did you speak so highly of sync a moment ago and now you’re telling me it’s not enough!?”
Syncing data is arguably the best method to utilize to get your information stored in the cloud and it’s extremely convenient to use. You set it and forget it. I set the location of where my data is stored locally, let it simmer for an amount of time and viola, it’s in the cloud.
As I continue this post, you’ll notice that I don’t point to a specific cloud storage solution because sync has become a feature that all major cloud storage solutions offer. At Jungle Disk, we offer sync with our cloud storage as well. However, the purpose of this isn’t to tell you which one is better over the other, but rather to educate you on why you need to do more than “set it and forget it.”
With sync, you’ll have two copies of the data you’re pushing up the cloud; the copy stored locally and the copy you’ve uploaded to the cloud. As an IT professional, I’m never going to argue with someone who wants to store an extra copy of their data. In fact, I love it when they do. I will argue, however, that solely having these two copies won’t save you from every scenario. Enter malware…
Malware takes many forms from viruses to spyware to adware and the list goes on. More notably you may have heard of ransomware. If not, I invite you to read Ransomware - What is It and How Can Jungle Disk Help Keep Your Data Safe? Some types of malware (including viruses and ransomware) target the files stored in your local file system, so they become infected, rendered inaccessible and in most cases unusable. What happens next is that these same infected files then sync to your cloud storage location. Essentially, this means you have two copies of the infected files, which isn’t ideal.
Redundancy is truly the best policy if implemented the correct way. Separating the “working” copy of your files and the “safe” copy you have stored for backup ensures that you’re protected from this scenario and more. Here are some additional posts that give more details around how different cloud storage solutions can be backed up: