Backup, Security, and Windows

Acronis recently announced a new software-only product that integrates backup and security and is targeted at home users.  While not the most original strategy, it should resonate with home and even SOHO buyers and give them a choice versus Symantec’s offering.  I’m intrigued with this not because the company for whom I work is a competitor of the offering (we’re not), but instead because Symantec, Acronis, and others tout security offerings while at the same time shipping backup software for Windows.

Putting your backup software on Windows isn’t just letting the fox into the henhouse, it’s giving the fox a knife and fork.  Windows, due to its incredible success, has drawn the attention of the vast majority of the malicious attacks and is the favorite of those hackers writing tools to make attacking easier.

Look – I really do like Windows.  I use it – at home and at work. Big fan of Windows 7 – didn’t really mind Vista all that much.  And I like where Microsoft is going with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V.  But it just seems — well — stupid — to put your backup software on an operating system that you are trying to protect at the same time you’re protecting that operating system and that operating system is the target of much of the wrath of those that think attacks are “fun.”

It reminds me of the biological diversity issues you have when you have too much homogeneous life in an ecosystem – in that situation a single virus can completely destroy the ecosystem.

The bottom line is simple.  Putting backup solutions on Windows is fine – as long as you’re not trying to protect Windows at the same time.  Otherwise, it’s foolish to the point of absurdity.


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