Cloud Backup Ownership, Security and Access

Customers occasionally ask us about the ownership of their files once they have backed them up. Our answer is clear – ownership of your files remains 100%. In light of some of the very public recent security leaks in the US and Europe (Edward Snowden, PRISM and Tempora) and the questions over access to data, we are steadfast in our position.  You can review our most recent terms and conditions and EULA for more information, too.

Our managed backup cloud in South Africa ensures that your data is only stored in-country, and generally only transmitted in-country too, unless of course you are outside South Africa and backing up data, in which case, your data is 448bit blowfish encrypted between the backup client and our servers anyway, and the connection is secured by industry standard methods (TLS). We’ve also discussed previously how our service will help you achieve and maintain compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI).

As far as access to your data is concerned, it is possible to set an encryption password on your backup client. This ensures that you are the one and only person who is ever able to restore your data, as the encryption password would be required. The danger of this is if you forget the password, your data will be rendered impossible to restore, and so we only recommend this if our customers employ good practices and/or methods of storing passwords, such as a fire-safe or offsite secure storage, and where there is no identification or association as to what the password is for.

Our Cloud Backup Solutions provide you with full ownership of your backed-up files, compliance, full security and encryption, and the only possibility to access your files is through the restore process.

Why not try our service for free? You have nothing to lose and there are no setup charges. You only pay if you decide to continue after a 30 day free trial period.

Mitigating a potential data loss disaster

A new customer of ours recently told us their most unfortunate story of data loss. A small business with a handful of employees, they had a number of desktop machines and laptops, and a server in their office. The server functioned as an email, data storage and backup device, with a 1Tb RAID5 external network storage array attached comprised of 4 x 1Tb drives.

Of course, the customer thought that implementing a storage device with RAID5 would provide them with adequate protection, and that their data was safe. What they, and perhaps others did not realise is that RAID storage technology can have its own risks and pitfalls.

To provide a simple explanation, RAID implements disk striping to ensure that data is spread across a number of different disks and provides a level of resilience by ensuring that a single disk (or multiples in different RAID configurations) can fail and then be replaced. The RAID volume is then rebuilt to include the newly replaced disk. However, this is solely dependent upon the controller of the RAID volume. Sometimes the RAID controller is software-based, and sometimes it is a hardware-based RAID controller card.  In the majority of cases for non-enterprise class devices, these provide a single point of failure.

For our new customer, the storage device had a hardware-based controller – and this failed. The end result was several hours of invalid data spewed all over the RAID volume, and unrecoverable, irreversible damage to the RAID volume. Data destroyed. Gone. Lost forever.

Our customer has purchased a new storage device and spent many months recreating some of their data that they still had on individual machines, but it was impossible to recover it all. Having learned their lesson the hard way, they also back the storage device and their individual devices up to our Cloud Backup Solution, ensuring that should anything happen to any device in their office, they have a guaranteed method of restoring all of their data, quickly and easily.

What would you do if you lost your data through the unpredictable failure of hardware? Theft? Fire? Accidental deletion? What would the implications of this loss be to you personally, or to your business? Your customers?

Our Cloud Backup service is ideal for individuals and small businesses, provides a secure and resilient backup solution with a simple method of quickly achieving automated install-and-forget backups for Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris.  Our solutions scale all the way up to enterprise customers who may wish to deploy a private cloud backup appliance either in their own datacentre, or in ours, which we then manage for them.

Remember, as our service is 100% based in South Africa, we also help companies gain and maintain POPI compliance.

Take a look at the features of our Cloud Backup Solution. You can sign up for a 30 day free, no obligation trial and see how simple and easy our service is. Install once per device, backup your data, sit back and relax as the backup agent monitors and backs up your files in real time.

Cloud Backup and POPI Compliance

Today we are taking some time to highlight the South African privacy law, commonly referred to as POPI (Protection of Personal Information Act).

If you have not heard of this, you should take time to review the official bill, as it contains a number of laws surrounding what you are permitted to, or must do with personal information, including electronic transmission of related data.

This KPMG page summarises it nicely. Principle 7 (Security Safeguards) specifies “The underlying theme of Principle 7 is that all personal information should be kept secure against the risk of loss, unauthorised access, interference, modification, destruction or disclosure.

On Deloitte’s page they talk about backing up data counting as sending information out of the country: “Most companies have no idea where their information is stored. They know that they outsource to a company but where that company sends information, they have no idea. They may not be intentionally sending information across borders, but may be unintentionally allowing information to cross borders.

Don’t risk your company’s compliance. Our South African Cloud Backup service helps you comply with the Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) by making sure that your backed up data does not leave South Africa.  It is all backed up and stored locally.
Further recommended reading:
  • ITWeb – Is POPI a necessary evil or opportunity for value add?
  • Entrepreneur South Africa – How can I ensure that my business is compliant with the new Protection of Personal Information Act?
  • MyBroadband – PoPI and your business – Ignorance is not bliss, the risks are real
Protect your business and your data. Sign up for a 30 day no obligation free trial of our South African Cloud Backup Service.

Cloud Backup Data Privacy

You may have become aware of the high profile furore in the United States of America that has recently erupted surrounding data privacy and the speculation that the NSA (National Security Agency) may have some sort of access (PRISM) to the data stored by any individuals with companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and a number of others.

This may concern you, if you use Google Mail, Google Docs/Drive, Facebook, or a number of other services which are headquartered in the USA.  This probably includes the majority of large cloud backup services too, such as Dropbox.  Perhaps you have concerns about this, perhaps not.

Another consideration are the new laws in South Africa which are soon to be passed by parliament under the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) act.

Our South African Cloud Backup service guarantees that your data never leaves the country.  It is fully automated, simple to install, and once it starts backing up to our servers you can effectively forget about it.  With file and folder level protection, your critical data is automatically backed up in as real-time as possible.

Is capped bandwidth preventing you from backing up?

Is capped bandwidth a factor in whether you run a cloud backup service or not ?  It doesn’t need to be.  With our South Africa based cloud backup solution, for a minimal fee we are able to perform an initial data load of your encrypted backup data on your behalf, directly from an external hard drive to our servers.

The advantage of this service is that your latest and most up-to-date backup is put on our backup servers as soon as possible, leaving you in no doubt that your data is now safe.  Future backups from any of your backed up devices – and you are able to have any number under a single account – simply carry on from where the initial data load left off.  And if you ever need to restore, we can also assist you in doing this manually if required.

Don’t risk your photos, documents and important files – take steps to protect it today – why not sign up for a no-obligation 30 day free trial account – and back up as much as you need to.  Your data is 100% secure, encrypted and safe.