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How Secure Is Your Data When It’s Stored in the Cloud

Cloud storage has resolved a lot of data storage and sharing issues for us. While it is a great help, it has also increased the data security concerns. Students and businesses are likely to be more dependent upon Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Amazon Drive, Microsoft one drive etc. But everyone also keeps concerns about the security of their data.

The data that we put in Cloud storage doesn’t open until its unique encrypted form is cracked by the intruder. But this information about the security of your cloud storage data is not enough. This is because of the reason that the keys of that encryption are held differently in different cloud storage services. It cannot be neglected that there are simpler ways users can boost their own security more that the built in capabilities of systems they use.

Who are the key holders?

The data you store on commercial cloud storage is encrypted by a specific encryption key for each user and it is unique encryption. The files are of no use without it because the data is no longer meaningful and appears like gibberish.

Now the main question is who holds these keys. The answer is, it is both ways, either the keys are held by the cloud storage service itself or the individual user. Mostly commonly these storage services keep the data to themselves and the major reason for that is the indexing of data for future searches. Your user’s passwords are also saved on these cloud storage services which they use to make your access easier and more convenient for the user.

Giving your credentials to the cloud storage makes your data less secure. This is the same as anyone else having your regular keys so your data can be stolen or misused without you even knowing it. It is also observed that some services are not as trustworthy as other cloud storage services because of flaws in their security practices which makes user’s data insecure.

Letting users keep control

There are certain cloud data storage services like Mega and SpiderOak that allow users to upload and download the flies through service-client applications that include unique encryption functions. This helps the users to keep their unique encryption keys to themselves. There are more security services in which users forgo some functions like they are able to search among their cloud-stored files.

However, using these services still don’t protect your data because there is still a possibility that these apps might be hacked and compromised allowing your data to be read by the intruder and be downloaded before they are securely encrypted or uploaded. These cloud storages are not flawless as they even can embed functions in their specific app that could make your data insecure.
Some new apps claim that they can keep the photos taken on the phone encrypted right after they are taken. They are able to do this through transmission and cloud storage. And there are new services that offer similar kinds of protection for other kinds of data. But it must be taken care of by the user to keep a keen eye on the potential for data loss in a few moments after the picture is taken and before it is encrypted and stored.

How to protect your data then?

If you want to make sure the security of your cloud storage then you need to deal smartly and use different features of many approaches in combination.

Use your own encryption software before uploading any data on the cloud storage and then upload the encoded file to the cloud. Now log in to the service, download it and decrypt it yourself to get the access of the file again

This strategy can prevent the users from getting their cloud storage hacked. They cannot do secure live editing of shared documents and searching cloud stored files. The storage service company that provides users with the cloud storage can modify the data by altering the encrypted file before its download.

To avoid that the best way is to use authenticated encryption. Through this method users can not only store encrypted files but also additional metadata that lets the user find out if the file has been modified since its creation.

So the most easy way to secure your data is to find an authentic cloud storage service with authentic software that uploads and downloads data through open-source and has validation by security researchers.

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Last Modified: October 5, 2020 at 5:14 am

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