Encrypting data in cloud storage

03 October 2014 by Vertical Leap

If you’re a fan of Cloud folders such as Dropbox, Skydrive, Google Drive and others, you might be hesitant to store confidential information in them. This is completely justified. However, encrypting data in a Cloud application is entirely possible and it prevents the data from being read by unauthorised third parties.

Although it’s nice to have nothing to hide, it’s not a reason to leave it available to the entire world. There is information, either personal or professional, which cannot be shared. Would anyone like to have their payslip viewable to everyone? Moreover, would an executive or one of their right-hand men? No – there is information that must be kept available but not known and seen by everyone. This is an issue that comes up very often with the Cloud. Yes, when using the Cloud, but how confident are you with this “principle” in terms of data privacy? If the device is for business purposes, there is a very secure space that allows the company or individual to store its information with secure access. However, even when the location is difficult to access, it may be required to install a safe with a higher level of security access; a sort of “high security unit”.

In this case, there are many software solutions and they are quite varied, however some are better at adapting to the specific use of the disk space within the Cloud. This is the case with software, such as Boxcryptor, where you can install it on your PC, Mac or mobile system and you can access it as you would normally access your Cloud space. However, this is contrary to the norm in that you will have new features. The idea is to determine that a particular directory contains encrypted files to increase privacy. Similar to Google Drive, Dropbox or others, you can continue to share information from your space. You can also do this for encrypted files. The advantage of Boxcryptor is that it has free usage up to 2GB of encrypted data. By opening your account, you are able to access it from many environments, such as mobile, tablet or another within the same secure area.

There are other services similar to Boxcryptor, such Viivo, Cloudfogger and Crypsync. As a slightly different service, there is software such as Hippo that specialise in data encryption on both a computer and social network mode. This system piggybacks on normal computer usage with a software client that uses a Cloud server for identification. There are many functions. You can encrypt a file on the fly that you have just received so you can save it to your local hard drive or directly to the directory that is used to sync with Dropbox or your other Cloud space. Once it is encrypted, you can only decrypt it with your Hippo client. However, you must decrypt it to send it to a correspondent who is also equipped with Hippo, but it will be in a secure and encrypted tunnel, and the other party will encrypt it with their own key where desired. The big advantages of Hippo: it’s an encryption key of 512 bits and no installation is required, however there may only be one client on a USB key. Basically, we can see that the practice and consideration of high-level security is on the rise.

The only thing to remember is that if you are potentially accused of crimes, regardless of the software used for commercial encryption, the public keys and the publisher will be provided if the data needs to be analysed for legal purposes.