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Encrypt your data before the cloud
The only way to keep data safe in the cloud is to encrypt it before you let it go, claims PKWare executive.
To keep your data safe in the cloud, you must encrypt it on-premise before it goes out into the ether.
This was the sentiment of Todd McLees, executive vice president of sales and service at PKWare – the firm famed for investing the zip file.
Presenting today at IP Expo in London, he claimed it was the multi-tenant nature of cloud storage vendors that could lead to numerous problems with security and especially regulation.
Dropbox deduplicates all the data uploaded to its service to remove all the replicate files and then allows its users to access the one copy it has, explained McLees.
“This is no big deal when it is a music file,” he said, “but when it’s a corporate file? That sends shivers down the spine of everybody worried about privacy and compliance.”
“Having unrelated tenants on the same file; that will fail every test [by auditors].”
By encrypting before entering the cloud, it prevents this security issue. However, it leads to an increase in the volume of data a company puts out to the cloud and with a per GB pricing structure, this could mean big bills.
“When you encrypt, you can’t compress [and] you can’t dedupe,” he said. “So, now you are talking about an inability to take full advantage and maximise the savings available in cloud storage.”
McLees’ answer? “Reducing the amount of data yourself is the only way to do this.”
He suggested companies don’t just encrypt in-house but compress their own files, cutting down the amount they have to upload to cloud services and saving cash.
Cloud Pro asked McLees if this would just lead to bigger costs for a company, both monetarily to buy in the technology and in the time taken to execute the processes.
However, he insisted the time taken to dedupe your own data and upload the significantly smaller volume is a lot less than how long it would take to upload each individual file.
“The cloud storage providers, they are not signing up to take on responsibility,” McLees concluded. “But there is one fact and that is the only way to maintain control of the data is by keeping the private key to that data yourself.”