Digital Communication


Digital Communication

Encrypt Backup: Benefits and Strategies


Encrypting backups protects your data against unauthorized access and ransomware attacks. To do this, you have various encryption methods, such as software, hardware or cloud solutions.

Why encrypt data backup?

Regular backups are worth gold when combined with a solid backup strategy: they allow you to quickly restore your files or your system in the event of loss of your data. One advantage of online backup providers is that they can access your data anytime and anywhere in the event of an emergency. But how secure are these backups? Does it make sense to add a layer of security by encrypting them?

With encryption (or encryption in English), your data is protected against illegal access and abusive use. Thanks to different encryption procedures, you not only get a particularly high level of security, but also exclusive control over your personal data. Backup encryption is above all a good idea if you want to protect your company’s confidential or commercial data.

Backup encryption: pros and cons

With the right encryption software, encrypting your backup is very easy and offers many advantages:

  • Data protection : When you encrypt your backup, you protect your data from unauthorized access. Even if your backup is stolen, the encrypted data cannot be read or misused, for example for identity theft.
  • Ransomware Protection : By performing backup encryption, you can be sure that your data remains protected, even in the event of ransomware infection.
  • Compliance requirements : In certain areas, specific data protection and compliance requirements apply, for example in the context of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Encrypting backups helps meet these requirements and avoid potential contractual penalties or legal consequences.

However, some disadvantages may appear if you have encrypted your backup:

  • Complexity : Encrypting a backup requires additional investment, as well as technical know-how. Additionally, the encryption key must also be stored and managed securely, which creates some complexity.
  • Loss of performance : Encrypting backups can extend backup and restore times. In particular, processing large volumes of data and the associated decryption process during restoration may take longer and require higher hardware performance.
  • Lost key: If you lose your encryption key, you cannot restore your backup. It is therefore important to have a reliable method of key management and retention.

What are the backup encryption methods?

There are various options for encrypting backups and reliably protecting your data against unauthorized third parties. Software or hardware methods are available to you, as well as cloud encryption.

Software encryption

Many backup software solutions already have a built-in encryption function. This allows backup data to be encrypted as soon as the data is backed up itself. Major advantage: encryption is seamlessly integrated into the backup process, so no additional encryption software is necessary. However, when choosing the appropriate backup software, make sure that the encryption algorithms are strong and secure enough.

Even with backup tools built into operating systems, like Time Machine for Mac and File History for Windows, creating incremental backups is relatively easy. While Time Machine works with FileVault to encrypt a Mac backup, encrypting a backup is rather tedious with File History on Windows. Here’s another benefit of Time Machine: encrypted backups can be saved to network attached storage (NAS) servers.

Hardware encryption

Some storage devices, such as external hard drives, come with built-in hardware encryption features. It is hardware security modules (HSM) offering particularly high security, because encryption is carried out directly on the device and the data is saved already encrypted on the backup device. The key is stored jointly in the corresponding hardware and cannot be easily extracted.

Cloud encryption

Cloud storage is a convenient way to securely save backups. You can therefore access your data at all times, wherever you are. However, be sure to choose a supplier with end-to-end encryption. TLS is a security protocol often used in this context. If you place your backup in unencrypted cloud storage, such as Dropbox or Google-Drive, you do not have full control over who sees or accesses your data in the respective cloud.

The IONOS HiDrive service is an example of a Cloud service offering end-to-end encryption (E2EE). In the Pro version of Cloud Storage, E2EE is already included and can be requested at any time in other versions. This feature ensures that your data is encrypted on your local device before uploading to the Cloud and that only you have the decryption key. Thus, your end-to-end backup (or end-to-end backup) is also protected and secure in the Cloud.

With IONOS HiDrive online storage, your data can be quickly restored in an emergency thanks to automatic backup. For maximum security, your encrypted data is stored in certified European data centers.

How to make your backups more secure?

If you want to increase the level of security of your backups, you can supplement encryption with other measures:

  • More secure server location : Ensure that your backup data is stored on servers located in secure or certified data centers. To do this, choose providers that operate their servers in regions with strict data protection laws and high security levels.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) : Enable MFA for access to your backup services. An MFA ensures that in addition to the password, a second factor of authentication, such as an app that generates one-time passwords or a text message, is required to access your backup account. The likelihood of unauthorized access is thus significantly reduced. Unlike two-factor authentication, MFA combines more than two authentication factors and thus provides a higher level of security.
  • Access rights control : Ensure that only authorized users have access to your backup data by regularly monitoring access rights and deleting or disabling unnecessary user accounts.
  • Data Restoration Test : regularly test that the data from your backups can be restored completely and correctly. This ensures that your backup strategy works and that your data is available in case of emergency.

IONOS Cloud Backup gives you reliable, automatic backup of your data so you can quickly restore it in the event of an emergency.

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