It's common practice, right? Slip a USB drive into your PC or laptop and copy critical data from your hard drive. Then, put the USB drive in your pocket before leaving the office. Voila! Your data backup is done for the day.
So when it comes to USB data recovery, why is USB data backup an extremely risky option? Well, to understand this, one needs to understand the workings and the dynamics behind a USB drive. While it's true that USB devices are a lightweight, easy-to-transport means to migrating information from one computer to the next, these devices are not reliable and should not be used as part of your data recovery routine.
What are the obvious risks and problems with USB data recovery?
USB disks are re-writable devices and it's common practice to overwrite data on every daily/weekly/monthly backup. The result of this is that you may only have a single backup of critical data. If the original data file is corrupted or infected, so is your data backup.
USB disks are easy stolen and, more often, merely left in a PC or laptop. Either of these scenarios completely negates the effectiveness of any backup routine.
Data is backed up to USB devices in the data native format. This means that anyone who has access to the device can copy and read your data.
USB devices break very easily. USBs are amazing little devices and really convenient and cost effective. However, they are not designed to be robust data storage devices but rather to be a convenient way to transport data from one device to another.
The famous Moore's Law states that microprocessor power doubles every two years and the relative size of the process decreases by half. The size of the circuitry is now so minute that physically fixing a track or component that is has broken is impossible to do by hand. USB disk drives are machine assembled. USBs are built by loading magazines with blank USB circuit boards and then putting these into a machine called a solder path printer. The track pad and size of the components are getting into microscopic levels. This makes USB data recovery virtually impossible.
I'm sure that almost everyone has at least one USB device that is no longer operational as a result of being damaged. Don't assume that if your USB device is damaged that you will be able to get it repaired.
Because USB data recovery is so risky, the modern, effective, reliable and cost effective way to back up data is to use a cloud-based backup solution. Cloud backup solutions include the following essential features:
The benefits of cloud backup versus USB data recovery:
Daily backups are 100% automated. As long as the PC is switched on and connected to the internet, a backup will take place. No operator intervention is required.
All selected data is backed up, even if a user is busy transacting in an application. This means that even open files will be successfully backed up.
Cloud backup solutions back up daily incremental changes to your data and store a catalogue of changes. This means that you have multiple recoverable versions of your data and can thus restore to a historical point in time.
Data is encrypted and encoded before it gets transmitted from your computer, thus the data is made inaccessible and unreadable to unauthorized personnel.
Good corporate governance dictates that data should be backed up and stored at a safe and secure off-site data centre. (This does not include your handbag or your bedside table!) Cloud backup solutions house your encrypted data across multiple secure servers in secure data centres.
The moral of this story? Use cheap and convenient USB drives for what they are designed for: a great way to share and transport non-critical data. To ensure that you have a secure, recoverable version of your data, subscribe to a cloud-hosted backup solution.