Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

David Zax

A View from David Zax

Website Time Machine Stands up to Hackers

CodeGuard backs up your website, in case hackers ever break in.

  • June 9, 2011

It has been a season of rampant hacking. The massive breach on the Sony PlayStation Network kicked off the season, exposing 100 million user accounts. Since then, other Sony businesses (Sony Pictures, Sony Europe, Sony Greece, and several others) have been hacked repeatedly. After airing a special on WikiLeaks, PBS recently had its website hacked by a group called LulzSec. PBS issued a statement announcing the hack on its website—and then the hackers hacked the statement on the hack.

These high-profile cases are just the tip of a very ugly iceberg. Every half second or so, a new webpage gets infected with malware—about 4 million pages per month.

Websites fearful of LulzSec and its ilk might do well to examine CodeGuard, a startup that recently garnered attention at TechCrunch Disrupt, and just nabbed half a million in funding from Imlay Investments. CodeGuard is, essentially, like an Apple Time Machine for websites. Just as Apple’s Time Machine continually backs up your Mac by taking a snapshot of what’s on your hard drive, CodeGuard does the same for your site.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based startup wants to differentiate itself from other backup services out there. There are some ISP-based backup options, but these tend to leave much to be desired. CodeGuard claims that many victims of hacking often discover that the backup is “hard to access, out of date or has been affected by the same event.”

CodeGuard says its system won’t run into any of these problems. Rather than just passively taking periodic snapshots of your site, it’s smart enough to know exactly what files were added in a given day or hour (you can choose how often you want CodeGuard to check in on your site). By maintaining a roster of past versions of your site, CodeGuard essentially gives your webmaster and undo button, making reverting back to a former, “clean” version of the site easy.

CodeGuard also is more proactive about actually notifying you if your website has been hacked. Oftentimes website owners only learn their site has been compromised well after the fact, and almost incidentally: they Google themselves, and a warning comes up; or a customer will email them tipping them off to something strange. But by scanning new and modified files, CodeGuard is able to identify a hack right away—before malware spreads and damages the site.

CodeGuard’s free to use for sites under 250 MB; up to a gigabyte, it’s $10 a month. Beyond that, it offers “custom pricing.” Money well spent, though, when the alternative might be falsely reporting to your readers that Tupac Shakur is alive and well in New Zealand.

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.

Subscribe today
Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to All Access Digital.
  • All Access Digital {! insider.prices.digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The digital magazine, plus unlimited site access, our online archive, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    Digital magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.