The discussion surrounding online data privacy is a popular topic that won’t end anytime soon. While the idea of transferring data from analog to digital applications is noble, it leaves our data at risk of breaches. Cloud data encryption is just as important for your small business as it is for large companies.
Cases of data breaches are not uncommon. A good example is Equifax, which affected millions of users within a short time. In 2010, the US government began the implementation of Cloud First policy and software as a service as a way to protect its data on the cloud.
Even with the increased use of cloud services for small business, the world is still experiencing cases of data breaches. Yes, storing sensitive data safely on the cloud is still a challenge. In this article, we shall look at encryption techniques that can help you secure your data on the cloud.
Let’s get started.
Securing Your Cloud Data
Cloud storage involves the encryption of data before it’s transferred to the cloud. Cloud encryption is meant to ensure that any unauthorized parties cannot read your data if they gain access to it.
Encryption uses a complex algorithm to scramble data into a series of characters to form a ciphertext, making it hard for anyone without a decryption key to read it. The two common methods of data encryption include:
Private Key Encryption – Private key or symmetric encryption has one key for encryption and decryption, which is shared between the sender and the recipient. Anyone without this key will no be able to decrypt the data.
Public Key Encryption – Unlike symmetric encryption, this method does not have one key. Instead, it comes with encryption and decryption keys. The encryption key is publicly available, while only the recipient can decode the message.
If you’re serious about your sensitive data, then securing your data on the cloud should be a priority. Taking the following measures can tighten the security of your data on the cloud:
Encrypted Your Data Before Uploading It
In most cases, your cloud service will encrypt your data before moving it to the cloud. If that’s not the case, ensure to encrypt it beforehand. Third-party encryption tools will help you achieve this.
Use Cloud Cryptography
If you’re really concerned about the integrity and security of your data, then you may want to use cryptography. Cryptography is a data-centric approach that allows companies to protect their sensitive data against advanced threats in cloud services, mobility, and virtualization.
Cloud Access Security Broker
You can also use a cloud access security broker to protect your data at rest and in transit. CASB also allows users to control their own keys by offering a single point of access and visibility into a cloud app.
Ways to Maximize the Security of Your Data in the Cloud
In addition to the above measures, you can add more protection to your data using the following tips:
Define Your Security
Your cloud service provider will come with a plan on how to encrypt your data depending on your encryption needs. Ensure to talk with them so they can come with an effective strategy to encrypt your sensitive data. For instance, if you’re using the cloud for presentations accessible for public use, only your account information will need to be encrypted. On the other hand, you will need end-to-end encryption for files for the files you’re using the cloud to share documentation and source code.
Back Up Your Data
In addition to backing up your data on the cloud, you should also back up your data locally. This can be on a secured server or another device. This way, if the data stored on the cloud gets lost or corrupted, you can retrieve your data on your locally backed-up versions. You can also back up your data on a different cloud, for instance, Google Drive or Dropbox.
Encrypt Your Data through Your Service Provider
If your cloud service provider offers encryption services, you may want to use them. This will improve your data security as decryption will be needed before accessing the data. Apart from encrypting data at rest, it is also advisable to encrypt data in transit. Talk to your cloud service provider to see what type of encryption they offer.
Be Mindful of Your Online Activity
Your data security will also depend on the awareness of data security. Avoid accessing cloud data over an insecure connection or a public computer, as this may leave your data vulnerable.
If possible, avoid any unsecured Wi-Fi and be sure to log out every account or site once you’re done.