Using Dropbox or OneDrive as a backup solution? Think again.

The risk of data loss keeps growing with the increased importance of our data.
Losing your data can be devastating. Luckily, there are good options to safeguard and recover it.

In the world of digital, the past few weeks have been completely crazy. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, information security issues have been thrust square into the spotlight. Due to a marked increase in cybercrime and ransomware attacks, experts and governments alike have been pushing for greater awareness of the risks involved with having more and more of our lives in the digital space. The White House issued a statement on March 21 urging businesses to "harden your cyber defenses immediately". These warnings are not without reason.

Many of us have gone over our passwords and changed them to stronger, less memorable ones, as well as checking devices for vulnerabilities. Others have decided to use different services than they had previously.

But we're still not all that much safer.

Crime never sleeps

The reason is that it's almost impossible to stay completely safe from attacks. There are many security measures we can take, but in the end, it's important to understand that there's very little chance of our data being completely protected.

Why? Alas, crime never sleeps. As your data becomes more valuable and important to you, the motivation for bad actors to find new ways to exploit it becomes stronger. There is just too strong an incentive to steal, ransom or destroy data, be it for financial, political or personal reasons.

So, are we just f#@&€d?

Thankfully, no. Even though the risk of data loss is growing, some sophisticated (and others not so) data security, backup and recovery solutions have also been created.

However, it can get a bit tricky to know which of these solutions suit your needs. Many services claim to provide data backups when they actually don't, others have various limitations on file types, sizes, retention periods or how many devices can be backed up and recovered. Some lock you into a proprietary system, making it very hard to change vendors while creating a dependency and removing the control you ought to have over your data. Most have subscription-locks, making you pay more for services, features or storage space you don't actually use while making pricing less transparent. A few even make you pay extra to recover your files!

With these types of services, there's always a drawback.

Many backup and recovery solutions lock you into their proprietary system, taking away control of your data.
By forcing you to use a single destination for your backups, many services remove some of the control you should have over your data.

A closer look at popular options: Dropbox and Onedrive

Let's take a closer look at two popular tools which are marketed as data backup and recovery solutions; Dropbox and OneDrive. In all honesty - they are fantastic tools for what they're designed to do, allowing users to sync and share files between devices and users while providing an intuitive interface.

However, as backup solutions, they have serious shortcomings. How so? Consider this scenario: You accidentally delete an important file on your computer. These services then delete the file from all your other synced devices, as well as your online account (as they're designed to do). A couple of months later, you need to access the file, but it's nowhere to be found. You have no recovery options. Why? Because these services only offer a 30 day retention of your files by default. That's a very short frame of time. Sure, you can pay extra to get longer retention, but the cost adds up quickly and even with the largest allowance, 180 days might not be enough.

The insidious time-delayed attacks

Also worth considering is that ransomware attacks are becoming more sophisticated, with hackers implementing time-delayed or incremental strategies where your data is taken hostage with encryption over longer periods of time, file by file. This strategy is designed both to make detection of attacks and recovery more difficult, since it increases the risk of your provider's backup retention policy covering less of your data as time goes by. These types of attacks can make your entire backup and recovery plan completely irrelevant. Sure, you might get lucky and be able to recover some of your files, but what if all of your research datasets or customer data is already gone?

Furthermore, these services only allow you to back up files placed in specific folders, leading to additional risk of data loss if files are misplaced. Therefore, without additional tools, they don't allow backing up an entire device for quick recovery in case of loss or theft. And if you somehow lose access to your account, you're out of luck.

The most glaring flaw

However, perhaps the most critical shortcoming is the fact that neither of these services allow backups to an offline medium - the only surefire protection in case of a ransomware attack, as strongly recommended by security experts. There is only ever one copy of your data available, either on your local computer, or in the provider's cloud. The synced "files" on your local computer aren't actually files, they are links to a version of the file stored in the cloud. By "freeing up" space on your hard drive, you are putting yourself at greater risk of data loss. In the event that you lose your device, these online services do not ensure that you'll ever recover your files.

Therefore, these services shouldn't be seriously considered as a robust and secure backup and recovery solution.

If you're relying on sync services like Dropbox or OneDrive to back up and recover your files, you might want to reconsider.
If you're relying on sync services like Dropbox or OneDrive to back up and recover your files, you might want to reconsider.

So, what should I do?

When it comes to files that are actually important, you shouldn't settle for compromises. Here's what your backup and recovery service should at least provide:

Instead of taking unneccessary risks and relying on half-measures with your data, you can get complete peace of mind for as low as $5 a month with Relica.
If you'd lose your data, how much would you be willing to pay to recover it? $100, $10,000 or maybe a million dollars? How about not having to worry about it for only 5$ a month?

Backup Without Compromises!

Luckily, Relica offers all of the above and has additional features that make it the ideal backup and recovery solution, giving you complete peace of mind. Consider these:

With the increased risk of data loss, it's not a good idea to wait if you don't already have a robust backup and recovery solution, or if your current service isn't suitable for the task. So make sure to start your free 30-day trial of Relica now!

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail us. We look forward to serving you!