What’s cloud encryption?

At the beginning of the 20th century, oil was the most valuable commodity. A hundred years later, oil has been replaced by data as the most important commodity (and with good reason).

Data has infinite potential. It has already transformed the way we work, shop, communicate, and more. This information provides a significant advantage over competitors and helps enterprises make smart decisions. At the same time, all this data is also a goldmine for hackers who want to steal it.

To get the most out of big data and analytics, companies need to store all this information in the cloud. This makes cloud security (and cloud encryption) a critical component of all future business strategies and protocols.

It’s essential because a security incident can have dire consequences. If we take the Desjardins Group, for example, the recent data breach that affected almost 2.9 million members lead to a class-action lawsuit.

According to Gartner, global security spending is expected to exceed $124 billion this year. Security protocols will be focused on securing the data that will be stored in the cloud. That’s where cloud encryption comes in.

Cloud encryption defined

To put it simply, encryption is the process of securing information by scrambling it. This means transforming data by leveraging cryptographic algorithms.

Whenever you follow this approach, the contents within will be unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have an encryption key. Only authorized personnel with a key can decipher the “secret code” and read it.

Cloud encryption can be described as the process where the data is encrypted before it’s transferred to the cloud. For the most part, cloud encryption solutions typically range from end-to-end encryption of any data loaded onto the cloud to limited encryption where only sensitive information will be protected.

Cloud hosting providers that follow these cloud storage models will encrypt the data and provide the customer with the encryption keys to decrypt the secured data.

When it comes to cloud security, encryption is the most effective approach. This is because data can be scrambled and stored across the data center (or data centers). To decipher it, you’ll need the decryption keys.

Whenever companies implement and follow encryption best practices, they can ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive information. So even if you lose a device or the data is stolen during a breach, it can’t be read by bad actors. This renders the data useless (without a decryption key).

Cloud encryption best practices

Before committing to a cloud services provider, it’s important to first map out your security needs for the different types of data that will live on the cloud.

At a minimum, the cloud storage provider must at least use HTTPS to ensure that all connection coming in are encrypted. Whenever sensitive data is uploaded to the cloud, it’s always best to encrypt it on-premise before the data is in motion. This approach will help protect the data if it’s intercepted while in transit.

Robust encryption key management protocols must also be in place to ensure security. The encryption keys must be stored at a separate location (away from the encrypted data).

Backup keys should be stored offsite and audited regularly. Other best practices include deploying multi-factor authentication for all decryption keys (including the master). You should refresh the keys periodically and especially if the keys are scheduled to expire automatically.

Going forward, encryption will be vital to ensure privacy and data security. So take the time to understand your present and future protection needs.

There are different storage and encryption solutions that will help your company efficiently meet present security requirements and regulatory demands.

At Artmotion, we offer robust cloud encryption solutions that will secure your data in motion or at rest. We offer a combination of AES, 256-Bit, and XTS (a.k.a. block cipher) encryption solutions to protect your valuable data. Click HERE to learn more.

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