The reports on the companies that operate on cloud computing systems vary as this number rapidly grows. Even though it is hard to determine the exact number of companies relying on cloud storage, the amount of data stored in Amazon and other servers is definitively huge. As the cloud data grows the question of data encryption becomes more important.
Encryption refers to translating pieces of information into codes using a particular algorithm that makes the information unreadable for anyone without the key.
Data encryption is not a new practice. Even before the Internet became so widely used there were some online frauds, cyber-criminals and security breaks. Even at the time when sensitive information were kept on floppy disks the encryption was a big word. Military and government used and developed different forms of encryption for a long time, but everyday people used to hear this word only in action movies.
Today, everything is different. The word encryption is almost a part of everyday vocabulary and is a common practice among individuals and in companies. It started to gain the importance with the development of banking and especially online transactions.
Current encryption standard for sending any kind of information via the Internet is AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), which is used by banks and governments worldwide. Any kind of information sent over the Internet or “the cloud” must be encrypted so it would not be readable to third parties. This is particularly important for banks and businesses for several reasons:
– Data security – all the customer data is by nature confidential as it contains personal information about users. Apart from regular customer database there are numerous other kinds of files that are highly sensitive. The access to these kinds of data is usually limited and internally regulated so the organizations would be sure the information won’t get into the wrong hands.
– Transactions – refer to both banking transactions as well as any other kind of internal and external transaction a company might have. Encryption is used in order to insure that the information sent won’t be taken on its way.
– Email – email is used for most of our personal and professional correspondence. It is not only an email message that might contain sensitive information, it is also an attachment that could be a very important document or another kind of file.
– VPN (Virtual Private Network) – network for the company employees that stores files on a single place so all the employees would be able to access them remotely. Sometimes there is a whole database here so it is important that no one outside the network members has an access to it.
Depending on a sensibility of the documents and the individual’s or company’s preferences, the type of encryption could vary. Companies are concerned about security of their confidential data, but an individual user may also deal with sensitive files that require a good protection. In any case encryption is a thing to think and take care about, especially in relation to cloud computing that has a mark of insecurity attached since the beginning of its development.
- Cloud Security Requirements for Big Data
- Cloud Encryption Best Practices