Data Security In The Cloud: Solutions For Consumers And SMBs

Data Security in the Cloud: Solutions for Consumers and SMBs

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

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

2 Responses to Data Security In The Cloud: Solutions For Consumers And SMBs

  1. Cloud providers have controls and can help with encryption and authentication, but businesses have to select the right security controls. According to a new report by IDC (http://bit.ly/KTgheN), SMBs spending on data security technologies will exceed $5.6 billion in 2015. Endpoint, messaging, network, Web, identity and access management (IAM), and security and vulnerability management (SVM) are six areas that SMBs will invest more in terms of security. Data privacy, security and reliability are important to a company’s success – another report from Intermedia (http://mwne.ws/JE1Fjl) suggests.

  2. Cloud providers have controls and can help with encryption and authentication, but businesses have to select the right security controls. According to a new report by IDC (http://bit.ly/KTgheN), SMBs spending on data security technologies will exceed $5.6 billion in 2015. Endpoint, messaging, network, Web, identity and access management (IAM), and security and vulnerability management (SVM) are six areas that SMBs will invest more in terms of security. Data privacy, security and reliability are important to a company’s success – another report from Intermedia (http://mwne.ws/JE1Fjl) suggests.


CloudTweaks Sponsors - Find out more!


Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts It’s no secret that Cloud Computing is more than just a buzz term as that ship has sailed off a long time ago. More and more companies are adopting the uses and benefits of cloud computing while aggressively factoring cloud services spending into their budget. Included is an excellent…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and store data. The…

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends For nearly every business, the concept of business intelligence is nothing new. Ambitious organizations have been searching for any type of data-driven advantage for some time now – perhaps for as long as they’ve existed. However, the historical use of competitive intelligence pales in comparison to the…

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Jaspersoft Big Data Survey Shows Rise in Commitment to Projects and Decline in Confusion Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft Community Members Participate in Second Jaspersoft Big Data Survey San Francisco, February 4, 2014 – Jaspersoft, the Intelligence Inside applications and business processes, today shared results from its Big Data Survey. Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft community members responded to…

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery Preventing a Cloud Disaster is one thing. Recovering from a disaster is a whole other area of concern. Today’s infographic provided by CloudVelox outlines some best practices and safeguards in order to help your business make more informed decisions. About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009,…


Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021
contact@cloudtweaks.com

Join our newsletter