A rising number of organisations are making the move to cloud-based storage, and for good reason. The benefits are manifold and include access to data from any location, access from numerous devices, specialist support and backup, alongside constant updates and improvements to the system, to name but a few. With the added benefit of cloud based encryption, the cloud can become an even stronger asset.
What is cloud based encryption?
Cloud based encryption involves the encryption of data to turn it into something that is indecipherable to anyone who is not an authorised user. The data is then accessed via a decryption key or password. There are different levels of encryption, so more sensitive data can be more tightly encrypted. With ever-changing industry regulations and serious repercussions in the event of a data breach, encryption protects the large amounts of personal and private data held by law firms and should always be utilised.
Cloud security is the main concern when organisations are considering migrating to the cloud, and as a result, improvements are being made faster than ever. That said, many still express concerns about the accessibility of firms’ data by Cloud Service Providers, and about how data can be permanently deleted from the cloud when needed. There are also questions over control. By utilising the cloud, you are potentially handing over, in part, control of your data to the service providers. In order to continue to meet security regulations, strong and reliable security measures need to be put in place.
Most of these fears are understandable but unnecessary. By storing you data in the cloud, you are actually taking a big step towards making your data more secure. Local servers are just as more likely to be targeted by hackers, perhaps now even more so, as the security protocols used by professional cloud providers are improving daily.
When using the cloud, responsibility for data security falls with both your organisation and the cloud provider. The provider is responsible for the main security features, while you are responsible for your data and protection of passwords and keys. Therefore, you still hold control over your own data while also having backup from experts in the field of cloud storage. With the additional use of cloud based encryption, the threat of losing data to an unauthorised user is reduced even further.
Cloud-based data which is not encrypted can essentially be seen by the service provider, so for organisations like law firms in particular, cloud based encryption is essential. Data encryption is something that can be done your end, before data is uploaded to the cloud, although many cloud providers also encrypt data automatically either while data is in transit or once it is stored.
Not all providers will allow your organisation to hold the encryption key. However, encrypting data from the moment it migrates to the cloud and ensuring your cloud service provides client-side encryption, the chances of this data being accessed by unauthorised persons is hugely reduced.
Data can be encrypted both during transit and when it is already in the cloud. Most cloud service providers will already use encryption as part of their security service, and some give you the option while not doing it automatically. Again, this is not always a client-side encryption, and so some service providers may still have access to the encryption key. It is preferable that only you as an organisation are able to access keys and passwords and that you ensure they are tightly regulated. Passwords should be highly secure, not generic, and include a variety of letters, numbers and symbols. In addition, make sure you choose a reputable and secure vendor.
In addition, well-managed encrypted data can be successfully deleted upon deletion of the encryption keys. Without the encryption keys, which should only be available to a select few, the data can no longer be accessed by anyone, including Cloud Service Providers.
Since one of the biggest threats to data security is human error, cloud based encryption needs to be seen as a basic security step. If implemented in the right way, data which does end up in the wrong hands, would still be protected as an encryption key would be needed to access the data. Encryption also protects from the threat of ransomware and works in the same way. Although hackers may have accessed your data, they would not be able to read it.
How we can help
CBSIT provide cloud-based storage with strong security measures in place, including encryption. The benefits of using our service include cutting-edge security, disaster recovery, reduced administration costs, and reduced energy bills.
As specialist I.T service providers, it is in our interest to keep your data safe and protected to the highest possible standard. We provide network security and data protection services, and can review your I.T. security for free. To discuss how we can help you protect your data, and for information on our other I.T. services, contact us today.