In our blog, we have talked about the ways of how to secure cloud computing and touched upon the topic of encrypting. We found that it is a topic that deserves a whole separate article to describe it in detail, examine the techniques of cloud encryption and the reasons for why it can be a solid investment for your business.
What Is Cloud Security Encryption?
Online data encryption in cloud computing is a sophisticated and quickly changing area that requires a systemic approach. Encryption in cloud computing is a comprehensive security strategy that helps avoid the risk of random data leaks and hacking attacks.
Just like any other technology, encryption must work within a broader digital infrastructure. Evaluating the benefits of cloud computing encryption against potential tradeoffs such as pricing, effectiveness, and expenses down the line is vital to understanding the ROI of this technology.
Encryption is one of the most underutilized security measures in the cloud today, despite being proven to be very effective in security. Reports estimate that the healthcare industry suffers $7 billion in losses due to data breaches. By using secure key management, companies can give out unique keys to people who are allowed to use the encrypted database while keeping it safe from the unauthorized personnel and hackers.
Encryption occurs on many levels of the cloud, including storage, connection, and transmission. You see the base elements of connection encrypting when you visit an https website, or our corporate website and blog, for example.
Encryption creates additional costs that your storage provider has to bear by increasing the prices for the clients, due to the additional bandwidth used to transfer bigger amounts of encrypted data. Because of that, providers are put in a very unsuitable position in which they are raising prices and losing clients in the process. This makes many of them simply limit their encryption services. Another solution to the challenge used by some customers is to encrypt on-premises and move the data to the cloud after that. Many cloud software buyers simply encrypt on-premises and save up on the bandwidth costs at the same time. This way, they keep the entire process and all keys within their own infrastructure, leaving only encrypted data exposed by putting it in the cloud.
Encryption Techniques in Cloud Computing
When a company is in the market for a storage vendor, it is important to analyze the enterprise security needs and demands that are needed to be applied to the cloud platform and data. For example, let’s consider a marketing team that wants to use the platform for the purpose of storing graphics and videos. They may need encrypting of account credentials and not require other more advanced techniques. But manufacturing and engineering departments may require the cloud to store and share more sensitive information, such as source code for an upcoming release or design documents and schematics, leaking which may result in great losses to the business. In this case, a more thorough approach must be taken to ensure a greater level of security. If protecting sensitive data is not the biggest issue that your enterprise is facing, it would still be wise to use HTTPS-protected connections, to protect your infrastructure from breaches.
Encryption Key Management
The loss of data wave that went through the biggest enterprises and bigger demands of security compliance have led to an increasing use of encryption. Just one company may use dozens of tools used to encrypt data, some potentially incompatible with the others, which results in a bloated system with thousands of keys that are unable to secure the information, as they are not kept separately and with due diligence.
A vital issue part that should not be neglected is providing key security for all keys, including the vendor keys. They must be stored separately from the data they are used to access. While obvious, this is often neglected and deserves a mention. Key backups must be kept separately and go through an audit regularly. It is also recommended you refresh keys regularly. If keys are set to expire, this happens automatically. While some companies decide to deal with key encryption themselves, in some cases, it can create a lot of unnecessary complications. Multi-factor authentication is also one of the tactics often used, and proving itself successful.
Key management means securing encryption keys from unauthorized access to the data. You can do a lot to protect your keys. This includes generating new keys often, managing key assignation and access to them. Also, a company must consider whether to use one key to access all backed-up keys, or if each one should have its own key for extra security.
Cloud providers often only offer encryption of password and account numbers, because of the increase in computing power associated with cryptography that is needed to encrypt big data bulks. Today, accounting for all the resource-consuming factors mentioned, it simply doesn’t make financial sense to require database encrypting on the side of the provider, and many companies would rather do it themselves and send the data in the already encrypted state, or just store data in-house. In order not to lose customers, cloud providers often offer other alternatives to encrypting the databases that require less computing power. This may be redacting or obfuscating of confidential data, or the use of proprietary encryption algorithms developed by the provider.
No one denies the challenges that are associated with encryption, but often business agreements and data security demands make it a necessity. Security specialists agree almost unanimously that encrypting your databases is one of the most important tools for data security, and cloud vendors offer a wide range of systems and approaches to meet an increasing demand of data security needs. One must take the time and systemically approach real demands for data protection they need look through the services and decide on real needs the business has, not to overextend the budget and keep the information as safe as possible, or, rather, as safe as required. This will enable your business to benefit from the cloud and not put your data in danger. Take a look at our website, sam-solutions.com, for more information about our services.
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