With businesses now handling unprecedented volumes of data, cloud storage has become a much sought-after solution to ease the pressure on in-house servers. However, while the cloud certainly brings many benefits, there are justified concerns over the security of data stored within a cloud server. The best way of attenuating the risk of a security breach is to have cloud-based data encrypted, thus making it indecipherable to potential hackers.
Many business owners are probably aware of the cloud encryption concept at least, although they might be unsure as to how best to adopt it within their own organisation. In that case, this infographic from Paradyn explains the various approaches to cloud encryption and which of these may be best suited to your business, depending on your industry and the subject matter of the data that you need to store.
Client-side encryption occurs when data is first encrypted on a user’s device and then uploaded to the cloud via a digital key unknown to the storage server. You might hear it being described as “zero-knowledge storage”, as the organisation is unaware of what has been stored by the user and where it has been stored.
If your organisation handles huge volumes of highly sensitive data, you would almost certainly need client-side cloud encryption. It is especially recommended for healthcare facilities that store confidential information pertaining to patients. If using this form of encryption, though, be warned that the keys must be minded with great care, as information cannot be decrypted if the keys and the data get lost.
In-transit encryption refers to the security of data while it is moving from a user’s computer to a file server. Encryption keys are exchanged between the two, ensuring that the data being transported is not accessible to anyone else who is on the same network while the data is uploading. It is not quite as robust as client-side encryption, as data is only encrypted when it begins transferring to the file server, but it still represents a sound form of encryption for organisations with little or no sensitive information to be encrypted.
At-rest encryption refers to data that is kept in an encrypted state on the storage provider’s servers. Like in-transit encryption, it is ideal for businesses who don’t need to worry about handling highly sensitive data. If using this option, though, check the user agreement policies surrounding data encryption and decryption very carefully.
Now that you know about the various types of cloud encryption and which may be the best fit for your business, here are some further tips worth considering before you begin encrypting cloud-based data.
- Identify the most sensitive data within your organisation and devise a strategy to ensure that this data is encrypted as securely as possible.
- Always back up sensitive data to multiple sources in case one is hacked or gets corrupted. You could also back up cloud data locally to create an additional copy.
- Educate your staff on the importance of data security and discourage any measures that could compromise the security of data, e.g. asking devices to remember login details, not signing out of accounts, using unsecured WiFi networks.
Check out the infographic below to read more about cloud encryption and how it can be of enormous benefit to businesses.