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How to Prevent Online Backup Threats to Your Network

online backup threats

Online backup services are regarded as a fast and simple method to save, secure, and back up important files. These services are enticing, especially in a business perspective. Web-based backup services resolve the difficulties of not having the means to regulate backups altogether. The issue with online backup threats arises when employees start to use these services to store their personal data on computers used for work.

Security Risks When Business Online Backup is used as Personal Storage

You may think that an employee backing up personal data on a work computer can’t affect your business. But in reality, mixing the two posts a number of risks for both parties. The main risk involves security. The online data backup service itself isn’t the issue. It’s the simple fact that the service is being used on the company’s network without the consent of the office. The ironic thing is, the company’s IT department is typically out of the loop. It’s the same during an internal audit. Perhaps even worse, the management is often unconcerned to the business risks these online backup threats bring. These include the mishandling of confidential customer data, exposure of intellectual property, and violations of policy contracts.

Gain Control of the Online Backup Services of the Company

It’s hard to protect what you don’t acknowledge. To secure the files, not to mention the integrity of the business, you need to contact the company’s online backup and file sharing provider. Even if the issue mainly revolves around security, it can still affect how you regulate backups.

Listed below are three actions you can take to gain control of the online backup security of your company.

Work with the company’s network administrator to keep track of traffic patterns that involves sites of online backup providers.

Work with the company’s desktop supervisor to execute a software audit to determine which of online backup apps are running on work computers.

Work with the company’s management to figure out how you’re going to take care of this issue, ethics wise.

Based on the results of these actions, establish an applicable guideline concerning online backup services in the office.

The option to just block online storage application may seem an obvious solution. However, this option is not as easy as it sounds. It’s time-consuming and detail-oriented. Besides, even if the company provides manual backup services at every workstation, some employees are still likely to use online backup and file sharing services.

Some workers may claim that several of these services are for personal use and don’t really have a damaging effect on the company. But if online storage services are operating on computers and other devices that process and retain business information, then it is a business property. And any problem about the services becomes a company oversight and control issue. So for the sake of security on both ends, implement a strict policy over online storage service for business. This way, no backup threats will occur and no employee will get a memo.

What other threats online backup services can bring to a company? Share your two cents below.

What You Can Do to Ensure Online Backup Security

Privacy protection has become serious business even for ordinary people. In the past, you didn’t have to worry about how you use your phone because you were sure that nobody else would gain access to it unless you allowed them. Nowadays, it helps to be a little paranoid, especially if you’re using cloud storage and online backup services. You may not be Jennifer Lawrence, but chances are, somewhere in the world, someone’s trying to find a way to get into your personal web space, as useless as that may seem.

online backup securityOnline backup security is even more important if you’re using your phone for business or financial matters. A lot of people store work-related email, files, and contacts in their phone which get transmitted to their online backup accounts. Without proper online backup security, this might lead to career or financial disaster.

There are so many online backup services to choose from that it’s hard to figure out which ones work best. If you’re just an ordinary smartphone user, you probably won’t understand the technical terms they use to convince you to choose their service. However, only a few of them matter to the regular user. Security should sit at the top of your checklist, way above price and storage space, if you have important files stored in your device or if you love taking photos of yourself in the shower just for the heck of it.

Here’s what you can do to ensure online backup security:

Understand the difference between online backup and cloud storage.

There is a very thin, albeit important line that separates online backup from cloud storage. Online backup is limited to storing your files online then restoring them to your device when you need them. On the other hand, cloud storage gives you more freedom since you can make changes to your stored files using their platform.

While cloud storage seems more enticing, it’s riskier than online backup. As of this writing, there are no known widespread security disasters related to online backup services. Cloud storage is a different story though. Back in 2011, Dropbox, which is one of the most popular cloud storage services around, experienced serious security breech. Another incident of the same degree happened in 2013 when Microsoft’s SkyDrive provided PRISM, a secret government agency, access to their servers.

If you really only need backup, choose an online backup service over cloud storage.

Choose security over convenience.

There are two encryption types available when choosing your online backup service. You don’t need to understand much of it, only that personal encryption is safer as you have control over your password. However, this is less convenient than letting the online backup service control your password because you won’t be able to do a password reset via email if you forget it. This might require a lot more conscious effort and a shaper memory, but it’s still better if you value privacy.

Take good care of your passwords.

Treat your passwords like an extension of yourself. Remember that these are the keys to some of your darkest secrets and most humiliating photos. Choose passwords that are long and hard to remember, but make sure you remember them. If you don’t trust your memory enough, store your passwords somewhere safe and keep multiple records. Using password manager programs, such as KeePass, should also be helpful.

Now that you know more about online backup security and encryption, which do you prefer: security or convenience?