SDL Episode54

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Secure Digital Life #54

Recorded on February 27, 2018 at G-Unit Studios in Rhode Island!

Episode Audio

Coming soon!


  • Doug White
    Cybersecurity professor, President of Secure Technology, and Security Weekly network host.
  • Russell Beauchemin
    Cybersecurity & Network Security Program Advisor and Director of Instructional Support & Learning Innovation at Roger Williams University.
  • Topic: Online Backup Providers

    The backup on the river Kwai
    Online Backup Providers
    Let's use several categories of backups here

    • Backup as STORAGE only (this is an image backup)
    • Incremental backups on the cloud which run in the background

    These two things are very different since they focus on different kinds of backups

    • An image is an entire drive (usually your boot drive) which can be restored to new bare metal
    • Incremental backups are collections of folders or files you have designated and are backed up when they change (or each period of time)
    • Faux backups like OneDrive

    So, let's put some categories down and talk about several products in terms of

    • How much space?
    • Can it be encrypted?
    • Can you do an image or just incrementals?
    • How safe is it from malware?

    Here is my list:

    • IDrive
    • CrashPlan
    • Carbonite
    • Acronis
    Product Idrive Computers Crashplan Carbonite Computers Acronis Computers SpiderOak
    Vague Cost Estimation 69.50 yr --- deprecated see Carbonite 288yr --- 149.99 --- 129.99
    How much Space 2TB --- --- 250GB --- 1TB --- 2TB
    Encryption? Yes --- --- Yes --- Yes --- Yes
    Image or Incremental Both but images are local --- --- Incremental only --- Both --- Sync
    Malware? Not at all --- --- Not at all --- Maybe --- Yes
    Restore Use a boot disk and download? --- --- Boot disk and download --- Boot disk and download --- Basically copy the folders back
    Note Multiple --- --- Multiple --- Multiple --- Unlimited more like one drive.

    What should you look for?

    1) You need to understand what is going on in terms of the backup. A sync is not the same thing as an image

    A) Where will your boot disk image be found and how will you get it back onto a drive
    B) Ensure you have a boot disk, not your boot disk image (this may be called a restore disk by windows)
    C) Are your sync folders going to resync over your boot image and still be corrupted?
    D) Develop a a backup plan and test it

    A good way to test all this is to just pick a small flash drive and put some things on it. Now, how are you going to back that up. You need both syncs and images of this drive. Now, pretend it fails, how will you recover? Something has to boot.

    Bare metal recovery -- if you really have a total failure, you will need, new hardware, original install media or a restore disk (or some sort of boot disk) that will let you either:

    A) Connect to the internet (boot with networking)
    B) Restore an image from media.

    Windows Restore does these things but it uses the Windows backup images that are stored locally (you can copy them somewhere if you have space).

    Some thoughts:

    • Backup to media: Well, that's a problem because a DVD only holds 4GB so if you have a TB drive that's a lot of DVDs
    • Backup to external media: Removable hard drives are great but you MUST remove them. After you copy, disconnect it. If you leave it plugged in it can be corrupted.
    • System to system: This can work locally if you have another machine that has more space (backup server, etc.) and should be fast on the local network. Just be sure that the remote requires login credentials so it can't be corrupted.

    Use Anti malware (malwarebytes) and think before you click.