Malwarebytes, the San Jose-based anti-malware company, has launched a backup service that includes scanning files for malware such as viruses. Malwarebytes Secure Backup can back up multiple Windows PCs, and Android and Apple iOS devices, with optional encryption. The annual charges are $29.95 for 50GB of storage, $59.95 for 100GB, and $119.95 for 200GB.
Chief executive Marcin Kleczynski said: "Backup is an important pillar in security. Anti-malware software can only get you so far..."
Although backups can be used to rescue a device that has been compromised by malware, it's a problem if the malware is also in the backup. And since online files can be shared by sending someone a link, Kleczynski argues that the scanning process also helps users protect their reputations.
Malwarebytes Secure Backup can be used to back up files either to an external hard drive or by uploading the files to a cloud service. Backups can be made manually or completely automatically, and can keep unlimited versions of files that change. Deleted files are archived.
The backup software can be set to scan a PC for all the documents, photos, music and videos on a PC and upload them, or files and folders can be selected manually.
Both PC and mobile files can be encrypted using an AES standard system, in which case, the cloud service provider cannot read them. Nor can any government authorities who subpoena data. However, Malwarebytes warns that: "If you lose/forget your username/password combination, your data will be unrecoverable — there is no way to de-crypt data without that information."
The cloud service is provided by a third party, SOS Online Backup, which was founded in 2001. SOS's website says that it has "11 datacenters across multiple continents" and uses "military-grade security". It has offices in California in the USA, in India, and Ukraine, and uses datacentres in the UK, Australia, and South Africa, among other places.
SOS charges $99.99 for 100GB of storage in its Home and Home Office service, which is much more than Malwarebytes is charging. Also, SOS charges $20 per device for up to five devices, whereas Malwarebytes lets you "back up as many different devices and drives as you want".
Kleczynski said that Malwarebytes looked at several cloud services for encryption and security, including Dropbox, and SOS was "the fastest service we looked at".
Malwarebytes has been beta-testing the backup service before today's launch, and is targeting its services at individuals rather than companies.
Malwarebytes entered the business market last September with the Malwarebytes Enterprise Edition of its anti-virus product (see:), and Kleczynski is well aware of the high level of service required to satisfy that market. He aims to get the Secure Backup service running extremely reliably before thinking about a move to the next level.
However, SOS Online Backup already offers a business service with a centralised management console to manage remote backups.
There's a lot of competition at the low end of the online backup market, with Google's Gdrive and Microsoft's SkyDrive, as well as services such as Dropbox, Mozy, Carbonite, and many more. But Kleczynski reckons Malwarebytes Secure Backup is unique in combining anti-virus scanning with cloud storage, and will also appeal because it supports iOS and Android devices, as well as Windows PCs from XP SP3 on.
Malwarebytes Secure Backup has another advantage, in that the company can try to sign up millions of people who already use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.