Cloud security

Secure Data Storage in a Cloud-Based Era

Is there an asset more valuable than your company’s data?

The need to keep off-site back-ups, seamlessly collaborate with others, and access data from any location has led to vast amounts of critical data being stored in third-party cloud-based services.

Your confidential data is such as Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, emails, contact lists and databases.

With hundreds of thousands of businesses placing these documents in cloud-based services like Dropbox or Microsoft One Drive, is it worth asking how secure they are?

Increased security efforts by providers come after successful hacks, including a breach of 68 million Dropbox customers’ passwords and usernames and Apples iCloud provision/service.

Most of the major third-party cloud-based services utilise encryption to afford your data some protection, but this is where the industry varies on the levels of security. Most only offer low levels of encryption rather than industry recognised, highly trusted encryption. Is it fair to say that encrypted data using a poor-quality encryption mechanisms is almost not worth having?

Even with top notch encryption; it is only as good as ‘who holds the keys to decrypt the data’. This is where utilising cloud based storage providers becomes a risk as they hold your data, can see your logon credentials and also hold the encryption key to decrypt the data.

What is needed is to separate the security components, only the data owner should hold all the pieces of the security framework.

This is where secure storage services offer a higher level of security. In order to make sure that your data is always secured, such services use encryption and decryption on the fly, so that the hosting provider who holds the data is not able to peek into your files. Encryption and decryption is processed automatically on the client side (PC or mobile device) therefore separating the encryption key from the data. This means that the secure storage provider cannot access the contents and does not even know the file names.

An additional benefit of these security services is that the software creates a secure folder inside your standard “Documents” folder. Everything inside this folder is a mirror of your secure stored files. This means that the system works within your existing environment and supports your normal workflow; all your regular tasks like create, copy, paste, move, change and delete of your files and sub-folders, keeps everything synchronised and fully collaborative with others invited to partake. All management related tasks such as invitations to your secure space, restoring files and versions, can be done using your personal management dashboard.

With the imminent arrival of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations, securely storing your data will be vital to avoid large financial penalties and reputational damage.