I was recently asked if cloud storage products like Dropbox or Google Drive would keep your data safe.
The answer is NO.
Cloud storage by Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and others are great tools. I highly recommend them and use them myself. However, you cannot view them as a safe haven for your data. They are intended to help you share files, they are not backup tools.
All three create a folder on your computer which syncs with the “mothership’s” online storage. The data is then synced with all of your other computers which have the same product installed. This means – if your laptop gets hit with ransomware it will first corrupt the data on the laptop, then sync that corruption up to the mothership, then sync the corruption down to your desktop or any other computer you have Dropbox installed on.
These products are not backup tools. To protect your data you need to use something that makes a connection, backs up your data, and then breaks that connection. Tools like Carbonite, Mozy, and JungleDisk, will protect your data and some of the tools available even allow you to go back a few days to retrieve data that was backed up before an infection happened.
Do not rely on file sharing apps to protect you, you must have a good backup solution in place to stay safe.
And remember, you are your best line of defense. Trust nothing – do not download or open attachments. For more info see yesterday’s post.