Data Security In The Cloud: Solutions For Consumers And SMBs

Data Security In The Cloud: Solutions For Consumers And SMBs

Data Security in the Cloud

A recent small business cloud computing survey from Microsoft found that a chief concern of potential SMB cloud customers is the security and privacy of their data. A full 70% of small businesses are concerned about where their data is stored. Just over half of all SMBs cite data privacy as a potential deal breaker for adopting cloud services. And only 36% of businesses think their data is as or more secure in the cloud than their current on premises solution.

Most data security and privacy concerns revolve around four general scenarios:

  1. Hackers compromising data center servers that contain customer or proprietary information.
  2. Hackers “sniffing” improperly secured network traffic.
  3. Data center employees accessing (and possibly sharing) confidential information, especially within a corporate espionage or financial cyber crime context.
  4. Employees losing improperly secured laptops or mobile devices with saved credentials for accessing cloud services.

Thankfully, simple and relatively inexpensive solutions exist for all of these concerns.

Local Data Encryption: Most cloud storage services offer end-to-end data encryption as a standard feature. Unfortunately, relying on a storage provider’s encryption could still leaves data vulnerable to data center employees or hackers who directly compromise the data center’s servers. The simplest method for cloud storage customers to ensure data security is locally encrypting files before uploading them to the cloud. Programs like BoxCryptor allow one-click encryption of individual files or folders.

Encrypted Backup Services: For customers who rely on the cloud for automated backup (without the hassle of individually encrypting files) a third party backup tool can provide an additional layer of security. For example, Duplicati will locally pre-encrypt all designated files using a single user-provided encryption key before automatically archiving and uploading data to a cloud storage provider of the customer’s choice.

Email Encryption: Companies that share confidential information via email should seriously consider PGP for Outlook or GnuPG for Thunderbird. These products encrypt individual email messages using 256-bit AES encryption. Users who prefer webmail can also use FireGPG for Mozilla Firefox to encrypt their email. Email messages encrypted with PGP or GnuPG require that message recipients know the sender’s unique encryption key to decrypt and read the contents of a message.

Third Party Services and Appliances: An entire industry has sprung up around data security in the cloud. Porticor is an example of one such company. The Israeli startup combines a virtual cloud appliance and key management service to securely encrypt data stored in the cloud for Microsoft and VMware cloud applications. Porticor enables companies to run applications in the cloud while keeping their data encrypted.

A number of third party apps, such as Lookout Mobile Security, also exist for locking or wiping mobile devices that may contain saved credentials for cloud services.

HTTPS vs. HTTP Web Services: Many websites offer both HTTP and HTTPS versions of their apps. HTTPS combines the standard HTTP web protocol with the SSL/TLS encryption protocol to provide secure end-to-end data transfer over the Internet. Users concerned with data security should select services which offer the much more secure HTTPS protocol.

When properly deployed, most of these solutions are all but foolproof, but they do require both employee training and commitment. For such security measures to be effective, businesses must invest time and effort into communicating the importance of data security and reinforcing standard security routines.

By Joseph Walker

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Pitney Bowes Selects Aria Systems for Billing on the New Commerce Cloud

Pitney Bowes Selects Aria Systems for Billing on the New Commerce Cloud

Top-Ranked Cloud Billing Company Enables Greater Speed and Frictionless Billing for Unparalleled Customer Experience San Francisco, CA – August 23, 2016 – Aria Systems, which helps enterprises grow subscription and usage-based revenue, today announced that Pitney Bowes has selected Aria’s cloud-based monetization platform as the key billing and monetization component of their new Commerce Cloud…

The Golden Age of Wearable Technology

The Golden Age of Wearable Technology

The Golden Age One of the biggest fads in the technology sector right now is wearable tech. From Smartwatches that let you check your emails, chat with friends and search the web, to fitness accessories that monitor your heart rate and your sleep patterns, this is truly the Golden Age of wearable technology. But some…

Marketing Execs Beefing Up on Martech Strategies

Marketing Execs Beefing Up on Martech Strategies

Martech Strategies As budgets shift from traditional marketing streams to marketing technology, it’s essential that both marketers and business leaders understand marketing technology and keep up with the developments. According to eMarketer, 78% of US senior marketers surveyed believe gaining this understanding of marketing technology is increasingly relevant to their success, and the majority of…

4 Monetization Models For The Digital Business Era

4 Monetization Models For The Digital Business Era

4 Monetization Models Digital business is expected to generate billions in new revenue in the next four to five years. However, MGI Research predicts that digital businesses will need to increase their time to market by 40 percent. Many global executives admit they are unprepared to monetize their operations. The million dollar question is: how…

Cybersecurity Experts Racing to Keep Pace with Growing Cyber Threats

Cybersecurity Experts Racing to Keep Pace with Growing Cyber Threats

The cyberwar is on! At this stage of the game, the stakes are higher than ever, and safeguarding networks from cyberattacks is a devilish combination of Chicken and Cat-and-Mouse. Attacks are now so commonplace that many events of serious cybersecurity breaches go uncovered by mainstream media. Despite the rapid advancements in IT security technology, hackers…

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence Supports Better Business Performance

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence Supports Better Business Performance

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence All businesses need a strategy and processes for governance, risk and compliance (GRC). Many still view GRC activity as a burdensome ‘must-do,’ approaching it reactively and managing it with non-specialized tools. GRC is a necessary business endeavor but it can be elevated from a cost drain to a value-add activity. By integrating…

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Customers in the Cloud Global enterprises in every industry are increasingly turning to cloud-based innovators like Salesforce, ServiceNow, WorkDay and Aria, to handle critical systems like billing, IT services, HCM and CRM. One need look no further than Salesforce’s and Amazon’s most recent earnings report, to see this indeed is not a passing fad, but…

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions Running a cloud server is no longer the novel trend it once was. Now, the cloud is a necessary data tier that allows employees to access vital company data and maintain productivity from anywhere in the world. But it isn’t a perfect system — security and performance issues can quickly…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

Get Ready For Virtual Reality and the Cloud

Get Ready For Virtual Reality and the Cloud

Virtual Reality Cloud We’re lucky to live in an era where virtual reality is no longer relegated to the confines of a sci-fi movie universe. Thanks to technology introduced by products like Oculus Rift, consumers now have access to virtual environments with fully immersive graphic capabilities. As a result, companies have only just begun to…

Cloud Infographic – The Data Scientist

Cloud Infographic – The Data Scientist

Data Scientist Report The amount of data in our world has been exploding in recent years. Managing big data has become an integral part of many businesses, generating billions of dollars of competitive innovations, productivity and job growth. Forecasting where the big data industry is going has become vital to corporate strategy. Enter the Data…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups Traditionally actors headed for Hollywood while techies made a beeline for Silicon Valley. But times are changing, and with technological job opportunities expanding (Infographic), new hotspots are emerging that offer fantastic opportunities for tech jobs and startup companies in the industry. ZipRecruiter, an online recruitment and job…

Four Reasons Why CIOs Must Transform IT Into ITaaS To Survive

Four Reasons Why CIOs Must Transform IT Into ITaaS To Survive

CIOs Must Transform IT The emergence of the Cloud and its three delivery models of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) has dramatically impacted and forever changed the delivery of IT services. Cloud services have pierced the veil of IT by challenging traditional method’s dominance…

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement In recent years, Big Data and Cloud relations have been growing steadily. And while there have been many questions raised around how best to use the information being gathered, there is no question that there is a real future between the two. The growing importance of Big Data Scientists and the…

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Off Premise Corporate Data Storage Cloud storage is a broad term. It can encompass anything from on premise solutions, to file storage, disaster recovery and off premise options. To narrow the scope, I’ve dedicated the focus of today’s discussion to the more popular cloud storage services—such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive—which are also known as hosted,…