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Cloud Encryption: An Enterprise's Ideal Defense
2014-07-21 by  Adam Chriss


Nowadays, new leaks, breaches, and hacks are ever present in media. New enterprises, companies, organizations in financial, healthcare, and technology sectors are facing such security and privacy problems regularly. Furthermore, at times employees within an organization can make foolish mistakes - or intentionally transfer highly confidential and sensitive data to unsecure, unencrypted locations within the cloud. Therefore, information technology departments and chief information officers have been quick to adopt ironclad security tools and services to lower the risk for such deleterious data breaches and leaks. One particular tool that's become popular and highly recommended is cloud encryption.

According to Clearwater Associates analyst Lionel Burt, "Cloud encryption is a must for businesses in the financial, healthcare and technology sectors - those dealing with highly sensitive data the most." Cloud encryption is an important feature that's now being touted and offered by cloud storage providers nowadays. Cloud encryption enables data to be completely altered beyond recognition via algorithms that conduct encryption before it's placed in cloud storage.

Cloud encryption basically takes a piece of a data, and converts into an encrypted format dubbed cipher text. Cloud Encryption maintains all similarities with in house encryption, with the exception being that customers of cloud encryption would have to examine the level of encryption being utilized. The reason behind this is that customers need to find encryption providers with specific grades of security, according to how confidential or critical a certain piece of data intending to be encrypted is.

In terms of cost to the service provider, in order for a provider to encrypt a complete set of data can be quite costly. Thus, it's plausible for some companies to just store their data on-premise, or they can opt to encrypt their data pre-upload to cloud. Sometimes, a more inexpensive alternative to encryption can be presented. These options include the redaction of critical information, or the obfuscation of data, via primary encryption algorithms created by the cloud provider themselves.

Previously, it was common for enterprises to allow cloud providers the responsibility of managing the critical encryption keys. This was because enterprises thought that security risks could be appropriately dealt with via control and audit operations. However, its now quite known that Cloud Security is a much larger issue than that, and that cloud providers often will forego such terms, when ordered to fork up sensitive data in a federal government request. Therefore, enterprises should create a Cloud Encryption management plan, and choose providers according to privacy regulations. Encryption key management is also a major factor information technology teams should be concerned about. Responsible organizations should aim maintain encryption keys with themselves. When keys are managed in the cloud its crucial the vendor vigilantly monitors live workloads in order to protect the data and defend from any risks that could be analyzing contents to try to receive access to the key.

In summary, Cloud Encryption has become one of the most popular and well-adopted security measures because of its strong impenetrability. Furthermore, when paired in tandem with cloud computing, it provides a very attractive value proposition for enterprises worldwide.

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Adam Chriss

Adam Chriss, a proud contributing author and a freelance writer with interests in various subjects and writes articles on several subjects including Cloud Technology, Cloud Security, Cloud Data Security, Cloud Encryption.

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