One of the most important features of online backup is data security. Having your information land in the wrong hands could be disastrous. Data security is important for business owners, as storing your employees’ personal data, such as social security numbers, driver’s licenses, and other personal information, in an unprotected or public server can lead to identity theft that may take years to rectify. In addition to securing your business files, securing your personal files is important, especially if you’re storing tax documents or other confidential information.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a cryptographic protocol that provides data transmission security over the Internet. This means that when you send information over an SSL encryption your data is encoded with a randomly generated set of numbers, letters, and symbols. If anyone happens to intercept your information it will be incomprehensible.
Most SSL encryptions use the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm, which is a “symmetric-key” encryption standard adopted by the U.S. government. There are several types of SSL encryptions, but the most commonly used in business data transmissions are 128-bit encryptions.
More complicated 256-bit SSL encryptions are commonly used by government agencies to store top-secret information. Medical records are also sent using 256-bit SSL encryptions in order to maintain Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance.
How does Data Security work?
Although online backup services may offer different features, they all secure your data in a fairly standard way, as follows:
- First, you upload your files onto the online backup software. The software encodes your documents, images, etc. with an encryption code. An Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm is the most common type of code applied to data transfers and storage.
- Some online backup services produce multiple copies of your data so that it can be stored on multiple servers in separate locations to further ensure the permanence of your files. This practice is called geo-redundant storage.
- The encrypted files are then transferred from your computer to the data storage centers through an SSL tunnel so that anyone who might intercept your data will not be able to decipher the information.
- The encrypted data is then stored on an onsite server where it is protected by both encryptions and physical security measures set up by the online backup company.