IT Services covering Chester, North Wales & The Wirral

Red Hill House, Hope Street, Chester, CH4 8BU

Office 330, Cheshire College, Ellesmere Port Campus Off Sutton Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 7BF

Email: info@tst.uk.com

Phone: 01244 457870


Why cloud storage is not a backup

Why cloud storage is not a backup

There are lots of good reasons to keep copies of files and folders in the cloud.  It makes synchronising data across devices easy and is great for sharing large files to external contacts. However, a cloudsync/cloudshare isn’t the same as a backup.  If you delete a file or folder in your synchronised folder locally, the same file or folder is also deleted on the cloud server.  Similarly, if your computer is struck by a ransomware attack and all of your files are encrypted then the corresponding files on your cloudshare could suffer the same fate.


To understand why they are not the same, lets look at what they do (and don’t do).


Secure Cloud Backup

Snapshots of files and folders at a particular point in time are taken and uploaded to the cloud server.  Usually a backup is scheduled to be taken each day and then that days backup is retained for a short period (such as 7 days).  Files are transported securely (encrypted) to the backup server and then are stored in an encrypted format.  This method prevents ‘man in the middle’ hacks and data breaches on the storage server.  In the event that a file needs to be recovered, it can be restored to any location.  Access to the data for the restore process is only available via the secure login and the password is the unencryption key – only the user has this password.



Continually synchronises files and updates any files that have been changed.  There is a local folder on the users PC that synchronises with a cloud server that it mirrors.  By adding the same account to multiple devices, the files are kept the same on all devices.  If a file is created and saved to the sync folder, the new file will appear on all sync’d devices.  Similarly, if a file is deleted, it will be deleted on all devices.  From the web login, large files can be sent to external users – the external user will only ‘see’ and have access to the specific file or folder that they have the link for (therefore maintaining security).  There is a limited ‘undelete’ function and version control in case of mistakes.


Cloud sync and cloud share can be vulnerable to ransomware attacks because they are constantly synchronising. When ransomware strikes, it is going to rip through files locally and encrypt them.  The file sharing engine will will sync this change to the cloud storage copy as well. Some cloud sync and storage have ransomware protection and some use versioning.  Not all cloud storage have these features and it is best to find out sooner rather than later.


The only real protection for a ransomware attack is a full system wipe and complete backup restore.  If you have cyber insurance it is usually a requirement that you maintain an up to date backup of all of your data.  Many industry authorities and governing bodies require a UK based secure backup of your data.  Having a secure backup of your data is not only good sense but also essential to be compliant.


To set up your UK based secure offsite backup, contact us today (01244) 457870.