Q: What if we already have a tape backup system?
Using a tape backup system and a remote backup system offers the
best of both worlds. Critical files, like billing, customer contact
files and databases can be kept on the remote backup system. While,
the tape system can be used to create a full backup of the entire
system once or twice a month, instead of on a daily basis. The tapes
and drive will last longer and require less maintenance. The remote
backup system can provide a quick and easy way to retrieve critical
files and databases without the hassle of searching through tapes and yet provide the assurance that your data will still be safe from vulnerabilties such as fires, theft, viruses, or other threats, etc.
Q: What if we already have a zip or spare hard drive?
Frankly, we believe that it is not optimal for most users. Users should not
use a zip or other removable disk media for backup. A remote backup
service is completely automated and has the required file redundancy
to protect important data. The only safe way to use a zip drive for
backup is to have three disks and make the same backup three times.
That way when one of the disk fails you are still protected. However, the disks are still onsite and are vulnerable to damage, theft, fires, etc.
Q: Onsite, Offsite - What's the difference?
Basically, remote backups work like regular tape backups, with one
important difference. Instead of sending backups to a tape drive or
other media attached to the computer being backed up, a remote
backup sends encrypted file data over the internet to a computer
file storage system safely off-site.
This usually happens at night while your business is closed and
nobody is using the computers. It's completely automatic. In fact,
you may forget it's working every night.
Q: What is encryption?
Encryption is basically a mathematical formula that scrambles a data
file. And the only way to unscramble it is with the encryption code.
Types of Encryption
Adopted in 1977, DES is based on a conventional or secret key system in which the sender and the receiver use a single key to encrypt and decrypt data. The sender uses the key to convert the data to scrambled format according to a complex mathematical algorithm, and only customers with the correct key can successfully decrypt the data.
Having a key length of 64 bits, 56 are used as a key, while the remaining eight are used to check for errors. The DES algorithm will encrypt data in the same amount of space used by the original data. The user selects which one of more than 72 quadrillion transformation functions are to be used by selecting a 56-bit key. The theory behind the security of DES has been that, short of trying all 72 quadrillion combinations, there is no way to "break" the algorithm.
Blowfish was designed in 1993 as a fast, free alternative to DES. Unlike DES, however, the Blowfish algorithm has a variable key length, which can be extended from 32 bits to 448 bits. Blowfish continues to gain acceptance in the marketplace because is faster and more secure than DES. Blowfish has never been compromised by a hacker.