Transferring personal data, corporate data or any sensitive information over the internet into cloud storage is inherently risky. All you need to do is look at the number of data breaches in the US to realize that cloud storage can be a porous way to store your data.
When you use a cloud storage account such as DropBox, iTunes Cloud storage or any other account your data is controlled by their software and IT personnel. Most cloud storage services offer data security and encryption yet still hold the keys and can have data breaches or get hacked.
One of the best ways to protect your online data is to have it encrypted. The problem with encryption provided by the cloud storage provider is that they often also have access keys to your data. Essentially you have a username and password with encryption access keys that allow you to access your data in the cloud; while at the same time the storage provider also has a master access key. Should the provider get hacked at the root level, data leakage can occur simply because the master access key has also been hacked.
Other reasons for losing data even though it is encrypted is by having substandard encryption or by not encrypting your data at all points in the data chain, including at rest, in transfer or in storage. The best level of encryption should include the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140 – 2, a government accredited level of cryptographic encryption in use by the government and considered military grade. This level of encryption is generally inaccessible without the access key.
Points of Risk
For information in the cloud there are several security issues that you should be aware of. Data security is one of the most talked about issues surrounding cloud storage. There are several points in the data management chain where your data can be hacked or put at risk through insecure data transfer or data itself that is not encrypted and is at risk. The other major aspect is having your data at risk of being accessed by unwanted or unauthorized personnel. It could be like having your neighbor’s rifle through your garbage for information about you.
One of the best ways to ensure that your data is safe at every point in the data management chain is to have it encrypted at the point of creation. This means that you need encryption software such as SkyCrypt that is installed on your desktop, laptop or mobile device that enables encryption, by you, before data is transferred to the cloud. The process is simple and allows you to designate cloud storage accounts and create drives where information is encrypted before transfer.
This process is used by governments and military to ensure their data security. By encrypting your data before transfer it allows you as the owner and creator to have the only access key to the encrypted information. Should your cloud storage provider have a data breach, leak or get hacked your data is unreadable and out of reach for criminals or others trying to access your information. The process is simple and gives you data protection and peace of mind.
Ensure all your data stored in the cloud is protected by top level encryption software, such as SkyCrypt. By using encryption alongside your cloud storage service provider it enables a layering of security for your information, where you never have to worry about a data breach again.
Eddie Morgan is the creative writer at Data Locker providing secure data encryption worldwide. You can follow their business ramblings at @Datalocker