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Method for Time Delayed Cloud Deletion Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246369D
Publication Date: 2016-Jun-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


The Time Delayed Cloud Deletion offers an efficient, automated disk based backup in the cloud which is isolated from logical-level data loss by a fundamental deletion and overwrite policy which the user themselves cannot eliminate once they have chosen it. The approach ensures that users have an opportunity to reverse a mistaken data deletion.

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Method for Time Delayed Cloud Deletion


Increasingly, users are storing important data on client devices and in the cloud. Often client devices and cloud accounts are tightly coupled via data replication. The data is replicated to both the client devices and to the cloud with no need to keep a stand-alone copy on a PC. This frees users from needing to provision their own local backup solutions and from needing to manually copy large volumes of data from one PC generation to another during hardware refresh. PCs and mobile devices essentially become cloud clients that hold a locally cached set of data while the primary version of the user's data lives in the cloud.

However, it's important to understand that this form of replication does not actually provide protection from logical data loss. For performance reasons data may remain stored on both client devices and the cloud but this is fundamentally just local caching - not an independent redundant copy of the data. Further, in many cases it is possible to remotely wipe the data on a client device (or even reformat the device entirely in the case of many smart phones) from the cloud. These solutions do a good job of protecting users from data loss due to physical destruction or loss of a device. However, they leave users vulnerable to user error (e.g. one's own young children deleting photos from a logged in tablet), data corruption, and identity theft (e.g. where a malicious party uses social networking to impersonate a user, change

their password, and take control of their cloud account). In these cases, when the data is deleted in one place - either on a client device or in the cloud - that deletion is replicated to the rest of the cached copies and the data is lost.

Existing cloud backup solutions do not solve this problem because under traditional cloud offerings, any cloud backup that can be created by a user can also be deleted. This means there remains the possibility of inadvertent primary and backup deletion by the user themselves or malicious primary and backup data deletion by an identity thief.

The idea described herein solves the problem described above by establishing a method for time delaying the deletion of off-line cloud backups which in turn protects against the risk of replication based logical data loss.



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The Time Delay is selectable by the user at the time they start the service; in general it would be at least 2 weeks and could be as long as a year. This means that even if a hacker manages to assume a user's identity and wipe all of their cloud data and client devices, they CANNOT delete the user's cloud backups for at least the minimum Time Delay period. The assumption is that within this period of the Time Delay the user will regain control of their online...