One of the earliest concerns about cloud-based document management was security—and for good reason. As technology improves, so do the tools in the hands of hackers and spammers, and no company is immune to the security threats of a modern age. There are high-profile security breaches in the news nearly every month, keeping security at the front of business professionals’ minds. Can you trust your data is safe in the cloud?
The good news is that as fast as hackers have evolved, cloud services have evolved to match and beat them. The newest development in cloud security follows the trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and personalizes cloud security. It’s Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) encryption. Here are the basics.
UNDERSTANDING ENCRYPTION KEYS
Without getting too technical, the problem with encryption keys is that they are, traditionally, a master key to your data. When a cloud services provider encrypts your data with a master encryption key, it seems safe. But a sophisticated attacker could use that the same keys by accessing a cloud computing database.
A BYOK approach personalizes cloud encryption by taking it out of the vendor’s hands and putting it on the company instead. With a cloud customer taking control of data security, it could make a data breach less likely.
POTENTIAL WEAKNESSES OF BYOK
It’s important to remember that no method is fool-proof, and although there are clear benefits to using BYOK encryption, there are also clear drawbacks. For instance, you could lose your own key, and since you’re no longer trusting your cloud vendor to save that information, the responsibility shifts heavily to your company.
In the case of encryption loss, your cloud provider would be unable to access your data—that’s the point of BYOK. Handling your own encryption keys requires a level of responsibility that may negate the convenience of the cloud in the first place.
If you’re interested in learning more about cloud-based document management, contact us today.