Your business is made up of data, records, statistics, and confidential information. The value of that data goes up with its volume – as does the cost and time spent storing it. So it’s no wonder that you might be drawn to syncing software such as Dropbox Business. The service that’s primarily known for file sharing and collaboration is now launching efforts to promise cheap space, regular backups, and simplified syncing – Something that sounds like a no-brainer for busy business owners that would rather not think twice, or pay extra, to store records that are rarely used.

Having your data automatically synced with multiple devices and sent off to a repository in the cloud sounds great in theory – until you take a second glance at some common legal requirements that make quick and accurate data recover a must: retaining your vital information and records for extended periods of time, the ability to recover data in its original, unaltered form, and even limitations on what information can and can’t be stored across international borders. These requirements should all be considered when seeking storage for legal compliance and indicate that cloud services intended for collaboration may better be left to syncing.

The Myth of Cloud Storage

The number one reason cloud storage isn’t a viable archiving solution? Those terms and conditions agreed to when initializing your storage account ensure that the company isn’t held responsible for your data! But isn’t “keeping it safe” why you’re putting it there in the first place?

We’ve read through the fine print and found our fears confirmed through Jeff Pederson, manager of data recovery operations for Kroll Ontrack. He informs customers that cloud storage isn’t a secure contingency plan as “virtualization contracts often claim no liability for data corruption, deletion, destruction or loss.”

But My Cloud Storage Claims to Backup Data

While they may promise big, cloud storage services seem pretty reluctant on the whole to backup your data regularly.

A professional photographer’s experience highlighted in Forbes explores her frustrations when trusting 2.5 terabytes of data work to the service Carbonite, only to find that six months later the initial backup still hadn’t been completed due to limitations placed on data uploads.

When contacted “a Carbonite spokesperson confirmed the bandwidth throttling and sent me a link to where it is clearly spelled out in the Carbonite customer knowledge base. Carbonite claims that average users actually only achieve upload speeds of 3GB to 4GB per day for the first 200GB.”

The article states at that rate your data could take up to 360 days for the initial backup! That’s an entire year of unprotected data just waiting for a disaster.

The Big Backup

Cloud storage solutions are great for short-term offloading or conveniently syncing with multiple devices, but still can’t be considered a reliable solution for long-term data retention no matter what they name the service.

So while they remain great for sharing family photos, corporate files deserve more careful treatment when ensuring the durability of your data is a must. Until Dropbox and similar services can confirm they will shoulder responsibility for any data that’s lost or damaged, the services remain short on delivering the key requirement that any business owner should demand of their archiving solution: reliable storage data for easy retrieval in its original form.


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