Is it Safe to Backup Files Online? Everything You Need to Know.

The threat of data loss to a business is a very serious one. Not only are there financial implications, there is reputational damage to think about too. With technology playing such an important role in everyday business, the risks of losing data because of human error, a crashed hard drive, natural disaster or a cyber breach are all very real.


Regular backups are helpful, but if backed up data isn’t stored offsite, it is all too easy to become separated from it in the event of an event that prevents you accessing your premises. It is for this reason that online backups for businesses have become so popular. But how safe is it to backup files online, and just what are the pros and cons of online backup?

What is an online backup?


Online backups for businesses scan your hard drive for files that need protecting. They then encrypt them so they cannot be read in the event of a cyber breach, before uploading them to a cloud server. Should you need to, you can access the files and restore your data anytime you need to via any internet connected device. So effectively, you could restore a backup and work from home or any remote location.


Online backups should not be confused with cloud storage and file syncing services such as Dropbox, Google Drive Sync and OneDrive. They are more sophisticated and able to protect servers and all types of devices, with no file size limits.


What’s more, online backup services for the most part provide 24/7 monitoring, management, and reporting, all of which help ensure that your data is safe at all times. 

Is it safe to backup files online?


It is vital to consider the security of any online backup solution you are thinking about investing in. The way they encrypt your files before uploading to the servers will differ, with some offering a private encryption key option that you manage yourself.


If you choose to manage your own encryption keys to decrypt your backups when you need to access them, then it will be your responsibility to remember them, because the service won’t be able to help you with a reset if you forget them.


The benefit is that no one can unlock your backups other than you, which is advantageous in terms of privacy and security view. If you are managing your own encryption keys, you are well advised to use a password manager so that you don’t forget them.

What are the pros and cons of online backup?


Whilst there are many benefits of online backups for businesses, there are some things you will want to considerations to make.


The first is speed. During the process of your data being copied and uploaded to the cloud server, there is potential to eat into bandwidth, which means network speeds may drop. If your systems are handling large volumes of data, you may need to look at upgrading your internet service, or investing in a dedicated leased line or full fibre connection.


Another consideration is data costs. If your organisation stores a large amount of data, the costs to backup files can quickly escalate. It is important to be aware of the potential costs and how they might rise as your business grows.


Finally, it’s important to realise that online backups for businesses use third party providers. This may be cause for concern, as you may feel that you are losing control of your data. However, this does not mean your data is not protected. You just need to be mindful of where the data is being stored, because certain data protection regulations or industry compliance requirements may provide that your data doesn’t leave the country.


Doing your research on the online backup provider is vital. Make sure you know where they store data, the equipment they use, the security procedures they have in place and the type of data monitoring and management they employ.


It’s important to be aware of what the backup provider will do in the event of an outage and how this will affect your ability to access your backup files.


Do they have a UK-based support team you can talk to when you need to? If the situation arises when you need to access your backup files, you need to know that you and your data are in safe hands.

Online backups for businesses from PC Docs


When choosing the right online backup service it’s vital to take advice from qualified experts who are in the know about the pros and cons of online backup options.


If you are considering moving to an online backup service, talk to PC Docs. We’ll take as much time as we need to thoroughly understand your business and industry, so that we can make informed recommendations for you on choosing the right online backup solution for your business.


To learn more about the benefits of online backups for businesses, please get in touch with our helpful team.

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