Data encryption has been the cornerstone of cyber security. Encryption essentially transforms the data to an indecipherable format so that no one can access them without the key. Cloud encryption works the same way. It uses an advanced algorithm to transform the data from plain text to unreadable format before sending it to cloud storage.    

Cloud encryption
Methods of encryption

There are two types of algorithms used in data encryption:

  • symmetric
  • asymmetric.

These methods continuously evolve to mitigate the newer challenges thrown in their ways. 

The symmetric algorithm, which uses the same key for encoding and decoding, is usually used for bulk data encryption.

  • The process is fast.
  • Hardware can implement it easily.
  • Best suited for closed systems.

On the other hand, the asymmetric algorithm method uses two keys mathematically linked together, one is public, and another is private. The process is more complicated than the symmetric algorithm, but it provides more robust security. 

Key benefits

Encryption is considered one of the most effective ways to protect cloud data.

In this process, the data of a file is scrambled in such a way that it becomes almost impossible to read the content without the key. While businesses store their sensitive data outside their premises, it becomes even more critical to protect it from unauthorized access. Data encryption ensures that safety. Even if someone steals the data or someone loses it, they remain safe. No one can access them without the decryption key. 

Moreover, cloud encryption can be highly beneficial to the businesses that collect and store sensitive personal data. These companies are obliged to protect their clients’ data by adhering to stringent compliance requirements like General Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). Migration to the cloud can be challenging for such companies due to these compliance issues. However, if they implement cloud encryption along with other security measures, they can adopt cloud technology without compromising the required data security.

Cloud encryption best practices

Cloud service providers may offer various degrees of encryption as part of their service package. Such as:

  • Limited encryption only for sensitive data
  • Full end-to-end encryption protecting all the data stored in the cloud space.

An encrypted connection is another way to protect your data while in transit. 

First, you need to determine what are the data that require encryption. You may want to encrypt all the data, but that is often unnecessary. It involves a significant cost to encrypt cloud data. So, you must be selective about the data you need encrypt.

Mainly four categories of data require encryption, and they often overlap.

These data include personal identification data, data that come under regulatory compliance requirements, data that are core to the company’s operation, and data containing intellectual property. The list may expand depending on the nature of the business. 

Besides, you also need to decide whether to encrypt only those data stored on the cloud or if you need to encrypt the data in transit as well. If your organization deals with sensitive data, in all probability, you will need to have an encrypted network to protect the data in motion. 

Once you know what data to encrypt, the next step is to choose a cloud service provider who can offer you the required level of encryption. Selecting the right service provider can be the key to protecting your data online. Do your research, read their policies and procedures of encryption before choosing one. Make sure that their cloud encryption capability matches your need. 

Another important thing about cloud encryption is key management. That means, paying attention to who is holding the keys, and where they store it. Some cloud service providers offer key management services. In such cases, the service provider ensures the safety of the keys. They may also let you implement your own key management strategies. Whatever the case, always ensure that the person holding the keys are storing it separately away from the data. Using multi-factor authentication access, and ensuring the backing up of the key storage is a great method. 

AiNET offers cloud solutions to organizations of varied sizes and needs. We provide you with multiple services to cover all your data needs. Let us know your requirements, and we will help you take your business to the next level.