FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the difference between the image-based backups ShadowSafe uses and file-based backups?
Many solutions offer only file-based backups, meaning they back up individual data files (e.g. Word files, Excel Files, PDFS) only. If you experience a disaster while using a file-based backup solution, critical data and applications will be lost, and your business will likely suffer substantial downtime and expense associated with obtaining new software and manually recreating your systems. ShadowSafe’s solution creates a complete image of your entire system, including your operating systems, programs, and configurations. As a result, ShadowSafe can quickly and remotely restore your system to the exact state it was in when the snapshot was taken.
Why isn’t backing up to the cloud alone a sufficient solution?
Offsite backups (i.e. backups uploaded to the cloud) are highly problematic given the time it takes to initially upload the data to the cloud and, more importantly, to re-download the data in the event of a non-catastrophic loss (e.g. a failure of your server or workstation). Even with the fastest internet connection available, downloading your business data from the cloud can take days or even weeks to complete. Such delay can cripple a business. ShadowSafe protects against these risks by maintaining onsite backups at your office and keeping offsite backups at our offices in addition to the copies stored on the cloud. In the event of a disaster where your local backup is compromised, we can have a complete copy of your systems to you in 24 hours or less.
Is ShadowSafe’s solution going to interfere with my business’s normal operations?
Never. ShadowSafe creates backups of your entire machine without requiring employees to shut down programs and without slowing down your company’s internet connection. Your business doesn’t have time to take a break or slow down to allow backups to be created. Our solution ensures that your data is protected while simultaneously ensuring your business’ continued productivity.
What does it mean that ShadowSafe keeps a full year’s worth of backup images?
ShadowSafe takes snapshots of your system as often as you desire, although most clients opt to have snapshots taken once daily. We then maintain copies of those daily backup images for a full year. As a result, if you realize that a specific data file or application has become corrupted or accidentally deleted, we can go back to any specific date during the previous year and pull exactly what you need.
Is ShadowSafe’s solution consistent with regulatory requirements like HIPPA?
Yes. The primary focus of privacy laws like HIPPA is to ensure that sensitive information is protected against unauthorized disclosure and readily accessible to authorized users. ShadowSafe’s service is consistent with these two objectives. ShadowSafe’s service encrypts every backup image at backup time (using AES-256 encryption) and before it is written to disk, meaning all backup image chains are always protected against unauthorized access no matter where the backups are stored (onsite, external hard drives, flash drives, or in offsite cloud storage). Moreover, ShadowSafe’s image-based backups ensure that customers’ data is always readily accessible.
How is ShadowSafe’s service priced?
ShadowSafe charges customers a monthly subscription fee that includes everything you need to protect your business. We provide all hardware, all software, and all the services associated with implementing our solution, monitoring and testing your backups, and assisting you in the event of a disaster. There is nothing to purchase and no hidden costs associated with our service. Our prices are based principally on the number of machines (servers, workstations, or both) that we back up and the total amount of data stored on those machines.
What kinds of clients does ShadowSafe serve?
ShadowSafe serves clients of varying sizes across a wide range of industries. Our clients include dental and medical offices, law firms, accountants, insurance companies, manufacturing operations, and non-profit organizations, to name a few. ShadowSafe is currently the exclusive data backup and disaster recovery solution endorsed by the Alabama Dental Association.
What is ransomware and does ShadowSafe protect against it?
Ransomware is malicious software designed to hold your business’s data hostage by encrypting files and demanding sums of money (typically in Bitcoin, which is nearly impossible to trace) in exchange for a decryption key that may or may not be provided even if you pay the ransom. Ransomware attacks are exploding, with industry experts reporting that over one million new threats are released each day. This malware is also growing more sophisticated--infecting not only your computer systems but also erasing files on external backup drives and even infecting certain cloud backup systems. Due to the nature of this malware, anti-virus software offers no protection from this threat. ShadowSafe renders ransomware harmless by enabling our clients to quickly and easily restore their programs and data using the complete backup images we create.
I already have an outside firm that handles our routine IT functions--can’t they handle my backup and disaster recovery needs?
If you have a brain tumor, you don’t go to your primary care physician for treatment because he can also address your sore throat. You go to a specialist, someone uniquely qualified to handle your potentially life-threatening condition. Protecting all of your data from every threat is a complex undertaking, one that many IT personnel don’t have the capacity or experience to effectively manage. Data backup and disaster recovery is all we do, so we have the expertise and the focus to manage it properly. We routinely work with clients’ in-house or outside IT personnel to seamlessly implement our solution as part of your business’s overall IT structure.