Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Daren Low, an expert in cloud storage services who has done all the research to find the best providers available. He posts online storage reviews on his site, FindMyCloudStorage.com to help consumers and corporate users make the best choice for their needs.
Most organizations now store records digitally using the Cloud to handle the large amount of data generated. But is that data safe if it resides on the cloud? Have you ever wondered how easy it is for a hacker to access files stored in the Cloud?
In this age of digital information overload, it’s important that businesses take the necessary steps to keep customer records private and secure. It’s not only important – it’s often a point of law. It is critical that corporations select an online storage company that complies with the need for privacy, safety and security.
Recommended Reading: The Pitfalls You Should Know About Using The Cloud
Cloud storage providers take a variety of stringent measures to ensure that transmitted data is safe and their servers are secure. However, some are better than others at providing ultimate privacy and security. The following cloud storage providers are top picks for any organization concerned about data security.
Note: Pricing Plans are on enquiry basis, unless stated otherwise. The figures are correct at the time of publication.
SpiderOak is one of the safest and most secure cloud storage provider, due to their "zero-knowledge" privacy practices. SpiderOak does not store their users’ passwords and encryption keys. Their "de-duplicated central storage repository" represents uber secure cloud storage.
For developers, SpiderOak’s proprietary Crypton provides a way to build horizontally scalable and truly private apps. The company’s Nimbus.io is aimed at server-level storage and backup; it provides long-term cloud storage combined with an open backend. They’ve also founded the Zero Knowledge Privacy organization with the goal of promoting online privacy rights globally. [Pricing Plans]
BackBlaze uses a data center described as a "Mission Critical Facility" which employs biometric security measures for staff access. Their partners include 25 independent telecom providers to ensure secure transmittal of data to their data center. Upon arrival, the data is compressed and encrypted with AES military grade encryption. From there, data is moved to the cloud server using a secure SSL connection.
Customers have the option of setting a personal, private encryption key as well. Further, BackBlaze developed proprietary software for its cloud environment that "de-duplicates and chops data into blocks; encrypts and transfer it for backup; reassembles, decrypts, re-duplicates, and packages the data for recovery; and monitors and manages the entire cloud system." [Pricing Plans]
Carbonite‘s online storage plans are certified HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compatible. Their data centers are secured by guards working 24/7/365 and human access to the facility secured via the use of biometric scanners at entry points.
Data safety is ensured through 128-bit Blowfish encryption standards. Further security is provided at the customer level via personal encryption keys. Data transmission uses standard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. [Pricing Plans]
Hightail (formerly YouSendIt) allows customers to share folders with the ability to limit access to specific files. Account holders can also add an expiration date to file access and are able to use identity verification protocols, password protection and file tracking reports.
Data is sent with 128-bit SSL encryption and stored using 256-bit AES encryption. Hightail’s cloud storage is certified SAS 70 Type II, SSAE, SOC 2 Type 2, TRUSTe, PCI, HIPAA and GLBA compliant. [Pricing Plans]
LiveDrive customers have an SSL option at login to ensure all activity between their computing devices and cloud storage uses a secure connection. Data is encrypted using AES 256 encryption and stored on more than one server so that a security breach on one server will not provide total access.
Data transfers between devices and the Livedrive cloud are also encrypted. Customers have the option to set up their own FTP accounts, however this could leave data vulnerable during transfer since FTP doesn’t inherently employ security or encryption protocols. [Pricing Plans]
As with many other cloud storage providers, SugarSync allows account holders to limit others’ access to specific files when sharing data. Their admin dashboard provides access control and an activity log for all users. A unique feature of their plans is the option to remotely wipe of all a customer’s data in case of a security breach.
File security is provided by read-only access, industry-standard secure (SSL 3.3) Transport Layer Security data encryption, 256-bit AES during sending, and handshake protocol to verify secure communication during transmission via the internet. [Pricing Plans]
With an effortless backup features that allows you to mirror any folder on a hard drive, Bitcasa is very user friendly while also safe for storage data. The company uses a proprietary program that employs block-level encryption before transfer to their servers.
All stored files are encrypted before being uploaded and once they arrive at Bitcasa’s servers, no one can access them except the account holder – not even their own employees. [Pricing Plans]
8. SOS Online Backup
Although SOS Online Backup is geared more toward the personal user, it’s a good, and inexpensive option for a small enterprise. This online storage company ensures the privacy of your data by encrypting it 3 times: once locally, once during upload to their servers and one more time at the server level (what SOS refers to as "ultrasafe").
Their data centers use military grade equipment and security measures. Customers who use SOS are automatically HIPAA compliant and the services meets all SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) regulatory standards. [Pricing Plans]
There will always be a risk when data is transmitted anywhere, in any manner. However, by utilizing the best encryption and security measures available, today’s cloud storage providers are doing everything possible to mitigate the risks.