BOBcloud Data Encryption
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A core feature of BOBcloud’s Cloud Backup Suite is the focus on data confidentiality
and security by using the most secure encryption methods and standards. By default
the encryption is enabled with the highest encryption settings. Along with strong data
protection capabilities, we provide our partners or MSP (Managed Service Providers)
with tools for easy encryption key management (protecting encryption keys from loss,
corruption, and unauthorised access) and the recovery of encryption keys.
What Is Data Encryption?
Data Encryption is
The process of completely re-writing a file using an algorithm so
that the data itself is obscured from being read”
unless a secret key or password is provided to decrypt the data back into its original
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How Does BOBcloud Use Encryption To Protect
This is how BOBcloud backs up your sensitive client data to our service or cloud
storage. Clients need to be confident their data is totally secure from unauthorised
The purpose of data encryption is to protect the confidentiality and security of your
data during backup, transit, rest and restore.
Backup / Restore Backup Server on Cloud
When data is transmitted via the Internet or other
networks during backup/restore or replication.
When data is stored in the backup destination(s), i.e.
on the cloud or a Reseller's own platform.
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All files are encrypted before they are transmitted to their cloud storage.
In the unlikely event the data is intercepted, it would be useless to the
unauthorised recipient. The backup data is stored in an encrypted format on the
backup destination.
Customer Server
Backup Server on Cloud
User le Compressed &
encrypted le
Compressed &
encrypted le
Cloud Storage
This is
a doc
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All communications between the Server and Desktop backup agents and the
BOBcloud server or public cloud storage is via 256 bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
channel. This uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) v1.2 protocol to ensure that your
data is transmitted securely.
Customer Server
256-bit SSL communication (TLS v1.2)
Backup Server on Cloud
Authentication parameters & encrypted les
are further encrypted within an SSL channel
Cloud Storage
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Encryption Algorithm
BOBcloud provides three encryption options: AES is the default we set.
AES, Twofish or DESede
AES provides the highest level of protection and DESede the lowest. Different
levels of encryption allows you to protect your backup sets at varying levels, as there
is a tradeoff between backup/restore performance and data security. When
encrypting data using an AES algorithm the backup speed may be affected verses
DESede algorithm. Therefore, you may want to use AES for sensitive data such as
client information, commercial secrets, and financial records. While for less sensitive
data, you may consider using a lower encryption option such as Twofish or DESede.
In addition, two encryption methods are available:
ECB (Electronic Cook Book) and CBC (Cypher Block Chaining)
where CBC is the stronger method, along with support for 128 bit and 256 bit key
The default encryption algorithm provides the highest level of protection and is the
industry standard AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption algorithm. It has
a 256 bit key length and CBC mode. This is the only publicly available encryption
algorithm approved by the US government for securing top secret information.
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Can an AES Algorithm Be Cracked?
Given enough time and processing power, any known encryption algorithm can be
cracked using a brute force attack, i.e. systematically checking through all possible
To put things into perspective,
AES 256 bit encryption algorithm has 1.1x10
) possible
This would require approximately
5.42 x 10
years to crack
with a brute force attack using a Tianhe-2 Supercomputer @ 33.86 petaflops.
Therefore, the practical feasibility of a successful brute force attack is limited.
Age of planet Earth
4.54 × 10
Estimated life of planet Earth
7.79 × 10
Time required to crack an
AES 256 bit encryption
5.42 x 10
Encryption Key
The encryption key is used by BOBcloud to encrypt and protect your backup sets and
data from unauthorised access. Once an encryption key is confirmed for a backup
set, it cannot be removed or changed later.
If the encryption key on a backup sets needs to be removed or changed then:
A new backup set will need to be created with the new encryption key.
The data will have to be backed up again from scratch.
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Encryption Type
BOBcloud offers three different options for generating the encryption key
depending on the security level required by the customer; Default, User password,
and Custom.
Although different encryption options are available, BOBcloud provides partners
and MSPs with an easy way to customise which encryption options clients can select.
This will encourage good practices in data security via BOBcloud group policy.
Note: If the “User password” option is selected for generating the encryption key:
BOBcloud Server / BOBcloud Desktop will use the current login password as the
encryption key.
The encryption key will not change, even when the login password is updated
User password
Encryption Level
AES, 256 bit, CBC
AES, 256 bit, CBC
Client preference
Encryption Key Strength
The default option and is the most secure as the encryption key
is a randomly generated 44 character key string with; upper
case (A-Z) and lower case (a-z) characters, numbers (0-9), and
other characters (/,\,=,+..).
Dependent on login password complexity
Dependent on client preference
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Where Is the Encryption Key Saved and How Is It
The encryption key which protects the backup data is stored in a special file
(settings.sys) encrypted using AES 256 bit algorithm. This is stored on the machine
where the Server or Desktop backup agent is installed.
Depending of the operating system of the machine the settings.sys file is located in
the following folder:
Operating System
Linux / UNIX
Mac OS X
Synology NAS
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When Do I Need To Enter My Encryption Key?
The common situations where the Server or Desktop backup agent will require you
to enter the encryption key:
Note: If you do not have the correct encryption key you will not be able access the
backup set and data or perform any backup/restore jobs.
The original machine has suffered
a fatal outage and you need install
Server or Desktop on a new machine
to restore the files.
When accessing a backup set originally
created on another machine.
The .server or .desktop folder
on the machine is deleted.
The settings.sys file is accidentally
deleted or corrupted.
When using BOBcloud to restore files
(Service Providers only)
When using BOBcloud to
restore files.
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Encryption Key Best Practices
For backup sets protected with “User password” or “Custom” encryption setting it is
very important to make sure the encryption key will not be easily cracked or guessed.
Please consider the following recommendations when creating an encryption key for
your backup set.
The encryption key is the password that allows access to your data, without the
correct encryption key your data will not be recoverable. It is highly recommended
that you keep a separate copy of your encryption keys and store them in a secure
place. Clients are prompted to do this during the creation of each new backup set on
BOBcloud Server / BOBcloud Desktop.
Do not use an encryption key containing personal information,
i.e. name, birthday, qwerty, login name, abc123, 123456 etc.
The encryption key should be at least 8 characters long.
The encryption key should contain both uppercase (A-Z) &
lowercase (a-z) characters, numbers (0-9), and other characters
Keep a copy of the encryption key.
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How To Manage Encryption Keys?
To meet both the needs of your clients and to satisfy any contractual, legal, or
regulatory requirements related to data confidentiality and security, BOBcloud
allows partners flexibility on how they choose to manage their clients’ encryption
Allow their clients manage their own encryption keys.
The client encryption key is not uploaded and stored on the BOBcloud backup
Server. Clients managing their own encryption keys provides the highest level of
protection. The downside is, if a client loses or forgets their encryption key they will
not be able to access their backup sets or recover data from their backup sets.
Manage their client encryption keys.
A copy of the encryption key is uploaded and stored on the BOBcloud platform
in a special file (EncryptionKeys-YYYY-MM-DD.json.rgz) for each backup set.
This is encrypted using an AES 256 bit algorithm to maintain the confidentiality and security
of the client data.
The EncryptionKeys-YYYY-MM-DD.json.rgz file located in BOBcloud user home
path: %_USERHOME%\{%username%}\%backupset_id%\settings folder.
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If a client ever loses their encryption key then BOBcloud can request an encryption
key recovery direct from the Ahsay web management console using our "Self Service
Encryption Key Recovery Service".
Security Level
The client only knows the encryption key.
If the encryption key is lost or forgotten,
the backup data is lost forever.
The keys are stored in a file protected by
AES 256 bit encryption on the BOBcloud server
(BOBcloud staff cannot access this password).
The partner/MSP does not have access to keys.
Encryption keys can be recovered by contacting
BOBcloud. We will open the request with Ahsay
and they will send the password to our customer
and not us.
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Encryption Key Recovery
People unfortunately make mistakes, and as a result passwords or encryption keys
are lost or forgotten over time. This causes serious problems as the data you have
invested time and money into protecting is no longer accessible.
To provide partners with peace of mind, BOBcloud has introduced the Self Service
Encryption Key Recovery. Partners can now perform a recovery of client encryption
keys directly from BOBcloud. The recovered encryption key is emailed directly to the
contact email on the backup user account.
During the whole process the recovered encryption is only
disclosed to the authorised recipient.
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To use the Self Service Encryption Key Recovery Service partners must have:
A valid maintenance contract.
BOBcloud version must be on v7.9.2.0 or above.
BOBcloud Server / BOBcloud Desktop must be on v7.5.0.0 or above.
The "Upload encryption key after running backup for recovery" setting is
enabled on the backup user account on the BOBcloud backup server.
The "Encryption Recovery" option must be enabled on BOBcloud Server /
BOBcloud Desktop backup client.
BOBcloud Server / BOBcloud Desktop v7 must have successfully uploaded the
encryption key details to the BOBcloud after a backup job.
Which is saved in the EncryptionKeys-YYYY-MM-DD.json.rgz file located in BOBcloud user
home path: %CBS_USERHOME%\{%username%}\%backupset_id%\settings
The contact email address in the backup user account must be valid.