Should Cloud-Based Data Be Encrypted?

managed services

Recent years have seen a tremendous increase in the number of cloud-based solutions as part of their managed IT services. Cloud solutions have become integral to many companies by moving back-end infrastructure to a provider’s data center. This process removes the need to house this infrastructure on-premise. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many businesses to adopt disparate networks and remote working solutions, cloud solutions have become more vital than ever before.

But security remains a huge risk for many companies. The number of breaches and incidents grows every year. The cost of these incidents can be devastating. With the move to the cloud, many companies are left wondering how secure their data is. They may also ask whether the cloud-based data should be encrypted or not.

What is Cloud Data Encryption?

Cloud data encryption is similar to other types of encryptions. The data is encoded before it is moved to the cloud and decrypted when required by authorized users. Many cloud service providers offer encryption services, but the level of encryption and support may vary. It could range from an encrypted connection to the full-service encryption of sensitive data with encryption keys to decrypt the data provided.

Cloud encryption services may encode the data that is stored on cloud-based storage devices. These solutions have key-based encryption encoding and decoding. This process prevents outside users from accessing data streams that travel in and out of the cloud or accessing data files saved to cloud storage.

While many cloud service providers offer basic cloud security and some have additional options, the users should be familiar with the extra protection that cloud encryption delivers, including:

  • Secure protection of data from end-to-end that moves in and out of the cloud
  • Prevention of data breaches, theft, and data corruption
  • Securing the data from other cloud ‘tenants’
  • Achieve data security compliance with an easy-to-use solution
  • Additional protection from external threats and data breaches

These benefits mean that you can rest easy knowing that your company’s data will be kept safer, which is more important now than ever before in the light of increasing cybercrime rates.

Types of Cloud Encryption

There are two types of encryption used in the cloud. They are:

  • Data-in-transit: This form of encryption is handled natively in web browsers and FTP client software connecting to secure websites. The most commonly used type of data-in-transit cloud encryption s the HTTPS protocol. This protocol adds a security layer around the internet communication channel, called the secure sockets layer, or SSL. This layer encodes the data so that only authorized users can access the contents. In addition to this function, the SSL verifies the cloud user is talking to only the cloud destination it requested. It also ensures only the authorized server can read the data sent or received by the user. In essence, it establishes an authorized, secure transmission channel.
  • Data-at-rest: data-at-rest encryption works for data residing on a disk or storage device. It ensures that if unauthorized users access the data, it will be unusable or incomprehensible. Encoding and decoding the data is handled via key exchanges, granted to users with the proper authorization. The software takes care of the encryption and decryption in the background, meaning that the user only has to have the proper authorization and authentication to access the data.

Cloud encryption can also be deployed at several points in the cloud architecture, depending on its configuration. It can be found:

  • On the storage media or operating system. Many major operating systems offer cloud encryption software.
  • In the cloud application, which cloud service providers may offer. In some of these settings, the organization must use the service provider’s cloud encryption solutions.
  • In transit over the network. VPN and IP security connectivity provide data-in-transit protection.

With the growing popularity of cloud solutions, it’s natural to wonder about how secure your data is. In many cloud settings, the data may be more secure than data that’s been stored on a PC hard drive. However, that’s usually not a great standard. Most companies recognize that they need to exceed standard security measures, often looking for managed IT services and the solutions they can offer.

And security concerns with cloud solutions extend far beyond encryption. Therefore, before selecting a cloud service provider, you will want to get a comprehensive understanding of their entire security ecosystem, including how they implement encryption. This information can help you make informed decisions about any additional encryption needs or measures that you may have to take to keep your business’s data secure. To learn more about encryption on the cloud, contact Sagacent Technologies, a premier managed IT service provider.

Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning, and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.