In a technology-driven digital world, shifting of gears towards cloud-based services is inevitable, if not already upon us. Online storage provisions nowadays have become a cornerstone, as more and more customers and businesses are taking an initiative to cherry-pick this new technology to store data remotely rather than locally. Storing of mission-critical data remotely through online storage provisions is far more economical than doing the same locally, as it does not necessitate any hardware or technical resources. Nevertheless, the involvement of a third-party service provider can be risky, and usually increases rational concerns over data privacy and security in the mind of the customers or business owners.
Whenever mission-critical data, or information, is interchanged or disseminated over the Internet platform, there is a high risk of infringement or trickery. Consequently, online storage provisions should employ multi-level security measures to protect data, both while in transit and in storage.
You must be thinking of what exactly should these security measures implicate to keep your data completely safe?
-Transport Layer Security (TLS) - Transport Layer Security (TLS) can be defined as a protocol that confirms and guarantees an additional level of privacy between interactive applications and their users on the Internet. When an interaction takes place between a server and client, TLS always ensures that no third party makes an attempt to snoop or meddle with any message.
It basically comprises of two layers: the TLS Record Protocol and the TLS Handshake Protocol. The TLS Record Protocol ensures protection of the information during connection time via encryption technique i.e. the Data Encryption Standard. The criterion of encryption is not that important in case of TLS Record Protocol as it can be used without it as well. On the other hand, the TLS Handshake Protocol enables the server and client to validate each other on the first hand, and after the validation is over then they reach terms on the encryption procedure and cryptographic keys before data is finally swapped.
We would say that before the data is uploaded or downloaded, the two hosts get engaged in the "Handshake" process to specify and ensure that each and every piece of information that is being trafficked is a corroborated secure communication or not. It is a standard mechanism used in the industry for web communications, which is not only integrated in the online storage provisions, but also in web-based email services, well-known and highly reputed e-commerce websites, financial institutions and more.
-Secure Socket Layer (SSL) - It is the antecedent of TLS, which is most commonly used as an encryption technique arrayed to manage the security of the data transmitted online. It is undoubtedly regarded as one of the safest and secure methods, but when we talk from a security viewpoint, TLS is usually preferred over SSL by the businesses.
-Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) - AES is an encryption algorithm of electronic data and the standard encryption method which is mainly used by the U.S. government. Albeit, TLS and SSL are used to encrypt data when the information is being transmitted or when it is being stored on a data server. But, AES is put into use for the data in rest. With this technique, a single electronic key is generated to both encrypt data as it passes in a server and decrypt it when it leaves the server. An AES key comprises of key sizes of 128, 192 or 256 bits; but usually 256 bits is mostly chosen, as it provides improved security.
-File and Folder level Permissions - Through this provision basic permission is granted to the files and folders to establish approvals when files or folders are shared. The permissions regulate the users who are invited to view the files are permitted to do and what not, whether it is merely viewing them or editing and deleting the files.
-Strong Password Protection - As we all know that it is highly imperative to have a strong password protection for any online account to avert any unconstitutional access to your account. If an online storage provision allows you to create sub-accounts, then always make sure beforehand that they are protected with a strong password.
Hence, would say that it highly indispensable to understand why and what all various security methods need to be employed or integrated in an online storage provision, as it will allow you to choose a service that is relatively secure and as focused on safeguarding your files as you are.