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Shadow Copy: A Nefarious Secret Hacking Society or Ultimate Cybersecurity Partner?

By:Christine Fettinger

What’s The Mystery Behind Shadow Copy?

Shadow Copy

Have you ever heard of Shadow Copy or by any of its other names, Volume Snapshot Service, Volume Shadow Copy Service or VSS? If you haven’t, it is a Microsoft Windows technology built right into your computer.

What the technology lets you do, is manually or automatically take snapshots or backup copies of your files or if you prefer your volumes or logical drive. And you can do this when your files or volumes are still in use.

It executes as a Windows’ service. If you do not know what that is, it’s a computer program running in the background, but only operates as long as the Windows environment is running. That assistance is called the Volume Shadow Copy service or Shadow Copy. The other thing to know, to use Windows applications, you must have a software VSS provider service. That provider comes as part of your Windows operating system.

The Shadow Copy technology also requires the file system to be New Technology File System (NTFS), where it will store or create your shadow copies. Any Windows component that uses the VSS technology can create Shadow Copies on removable or network volumes and can be local and external.

What Is a Virtual Private Server?

To begin with, in computing, we have emulators. Emulators are hardware or software that permits one computer system, we’ll call the host, to act like a completely different computer system, and we’ll label that as the guest.

A basic visual example of this is your laptop or desktop. You are the administrator of the computer; you can create guest accounts, granting access to use the device and the applications, but restricting access to your computer system at the same time. Those guest accounts cannot access your computer system because they are only emulations of your computer system. They sit as partitioned folders on the dedicated server.

That’s what you have with a VPS. It is a Virtual Private Server, which is a virtual machine, which emulates a computer system. Also, a Virtual Private Server has two distinct features. They are VPS hosting and is also a virtualized server. So, it plays two roles 1) dedicated hosting and 2) shared hosting.

Just like the Thailand caller who has a website on the internet. For that site to be there, they needed a VPS web hosting account to upload their website files, to a web server.

How Does Cybersecurity Become Part of the Equation?

That is the best part. But, let’s start with the VSS and the VPS first. With your Virtual Private Server, you are running an emulation of your system. The actual system is unseen and untouched where it can perform the Windows service in the background.

That leaves plenty of space for the Shadow Copy to start making copies of your emulated system files, while you are using your computer. With each copy made it is moved and stored on your actual device or mobile device, where the emulated system cannot access those files. Now in the invent of hacking, if your emulated data gets stolen, your Shadow Copies can produce the last backups.

Now let’s say you have several virtual servers and PCs in your network, and they are in different locations. What the IT Security team can monitor and detect, is which VPS is under attack, isolate it, quarantine the breach, and then recreate a new guest account, from the last Shadow copies, because they are not accessible.

Final Thoughts

Virtual private servers, located on dedicated servers, but access to your emulated hardware or software is accessible just about anywhere. If you are wondering about geographical restrictions, the actual equipment may be in another state, country, or on another continent.

Where you might run into any problems could be governmental regulations or interference. Some countries do restrict internet access, which may block you from gaining access, in the event of a data breach or web site getting hacked.

As you start considering your website cybersecurity options, reach out to your local IT company, like the caller from Thailand did with CyberStreams. They can show you how managed IT services will help your online or offline business thrive.

Like this article? Check out, What Security Precautions Should You Take If Using Snapchat? And Does A Hacker Have A Foothold In Your Network Without You Knowing It? Or Are You Safe From A Cyber Attack? (Business Owner Information) and discover more.