Are Cloud Backup Solutions Really Secure?
Imagine that you arrive at work and turn on your computer to find everyone's computer encrypted a ransomware demand. Fortunately, you regularly backup important files on Google Drive — or so you thought. You quickly discover that your most important data was actually "owned" by a former employee and it was deleted when the employee's account was removed.
Let's take a look at how to avoid these scenarios and others by ensuring that your cloud backup solutions are secure from cyberattack, negligence and other risks.
Data backups need to be secure from more than just cyberattacks — there's hardware failure, data corruption, user error and countless other risks to consider.
Why Backups Matter
Gartner estimates that the direct and indirect costs of downtime amount to $5,600 per minute, or about $300,000 per hour. Given these high costs, Dr. Stephen Haag estimates that 43 percent of major data loss victims immediately go out of business and only 6 percent survive two years.
Despite these troubling statistics, nearly half of small businesses don't have a data backup and disaster recovery plan in place, according to Riverbank IT Management. Only about one-fifth of the small businesses surveyed had a full disaster recovery plan in place that would effectively shield them from the impact of data loss.
Remember, there are many different ways that you could suffer data loss, and many are impossible to predict or prevent:
- Hardware failure (45%)
- Power loss (35%)
- Software failure (34%)
- Data corruption (24%)
- Security breaches (23%)
- User error (20%)
*Statistics via Dynamic Technologies
In addition to mitigating data loss, cloud backups may be required for many small businesses — especially those in certain industries. The IRS requires that all businesses keep their tax records for a set number of years, which means that they need to be stored somewhere that's safe and secure. Other companies have industry-specific regulations like HIPAA or PCI.
Common Backup Flaws
Many small businesses use external hard drives to conduct backups on a semi-regular basis, but these devices are prone to theft or other forms of physical loss, as well as potential mechanical failures. The actual backup and data recovery processes also involve a lot of time and effort, which translates to greater downtime and lower compliance.
Download our free Cloud Security Checklist to help evaluate your cloud backup policies and vendors.
Other companies rely on built-in backup tools provided by Apple or Microsoft. For example, Apple's Time Machine automatically backs up a computer on a regular basis. The problem is that these solutions are difficult to scale and enforce across a large number of computers and devices. The data recovery process could also be painfully long and complex.
Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and other cloud services are tempting places to store data since they're free and easy to share between employees. Unfortunately, this data could be easily lost if an employee leaves the organization. Even worse, the data could be stolen if the employee’s account is compromised — and the odds are that it wasn’t encrypted!
Business cloud backup solutions provide a safe and easy way to ensure that data is backed up on a regular basis. With automation tools, it's easy to conduct cloud backups in the background without the need to remember and securely store encrypted versions on remote servers. These backups can be instantly restored with minimal time and effort.
Securing Your Cloud Backups
Most business cloud backup provides follow basic security precautions. In particular, they encrypt data before storing it on their servers in order to reduce incentives for hackers (the data they access is useless without a key) and ensure that their clients' data is secure if they experience a data breach. They may also have redundant or failover servers.
Don't forget to download our free Cloud Security Checklist to help evaluate your cloud backup policies and vendors.
For example, Jungle Disk's Encrypted Cloud Backup produce uses military-grade AES-256 bit encryption with audited data centers to ensure that sensitive data is protected at all times.
Many small businesses have requirements that go above and beyond these simple measures. For example, healthcare organizations must comply with HIPAA requirements, ecommerce shops must comply with the PCI standards, and other companies may have to require with SOC2 and SOC3 requirements for data storage.
When evaluating cloud backup providers, it's important to examine both basic security measures, such as encryption and redundancy, as well as the advanced tools that they provide to manage any other security requirements that your organization may face from government or industry groups, such as limiting access to certain employees.
Jungle Disk's Advantage
Jungle Disk provides compliance-focused collaboration tools for small businesses that require both basic and advanced requirements. In addition to encrypting data on audited servers, we provide administrative user and group permissions, enabling companies to restrict data access through a central configuration portal between employee groups.
We also use advanced at a compression for backup snapshots in order to save 30% on transfer time and storage costs, enabling our users to benefit from more frequent data backups at less expense. Each employee account receives 10GB of free storage and unlimited free data transfer bandwidth.
In addition to cloud backups, Jungle Disk provides a comprehensive cybersecurity suite that’s designed for small businesses with a simple per employee, per month pricing model. You can access secure cloud backups, active network protection, malware/antivirus protection and other critical cybersecurity services for an affordable fixed monthly fee.
Sign up for Jungle Disk's Cloud Storage solutions today, which start at just $4 per month per employee.
The Bottom Line
Almost all small businesses are aware of the importance of data backup and most plan to transition to cloud storage at some point. When doing so, it's important to consider both basic cybersecurity measures and regulatory requirements when deciding on the best solution. The right solution depends on your individual business and its specific requirements.
Small businesses should ensure that their other systems are secure to prevent the need to use cloud backups. Jungle Disk provides a comprehensive cybersecurity suite designed specifically for small businesses with less than 250 employees, providing secure cloud backup, active network protection and many other services.