Google Adds Cloud Storage Encryption
In an effort to try and calm the companies that use Google Cloud Storage, Google has announced that all files will now be automatically encrypted. Using 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES}, files will be encrypted by Google before they are “written to disk.”
On the surface, this seems like a good way to protect Cloud Storage files. But, is it really? Google will be keeping encryption keys for all of those files, and that means that Google still has access to anything sent to Google Cloud Storage. Hmm. That's an issue.
Encryption Keys: Yours Alone
The companies that use Google Cloud Storage (Best Buy, Rovio, and Ubisoft, to name a few) will not have access to encryption keys. This means that Google may give up encrypted information if necessary – and by “necessary,” I mean if the government comes knocking.
To be fair, though, Google has stated profusely that the company will not divulge information easily or readily. So, companies that use Google Cloud Storage may not have anything to worry about. On the other hand, you can never put enough privacy protection layers in place. If you own a business (Cloud Storage is not available to consumers), and you are thinking about moving to Google's cloud storage system, you should encrypt your own files before you send them to the cloud.
Encryption and Other Options
Since encryption methods and options are mentioned elsewhere on this site, I won't list those options here. However, there are some other things to consider.
- Google competitors. Google has lots of cloud competitors. Check out what these options are and see what the difference is.
- Find a cloud storage system that provides you with your own encryption keys. This is kind of a big one.
- Make sure the files you are sending can be sent legally – don't move stuff around that other parties are involved in. This is just a bad idea!
Google Adds Cloud Storage Encryption: Is Google Nervous?
Google is certainly feeling the pressure. Now that the world has been alerted to the business of the NSA, Google is at the forefront of scrutiny. In other words, Google has to prove to big name clients that the company is keeping cloud data safe, and this means setting encryption policies in place.
For some, though, Google's efforts are merely all talk and no substance. As many argue, Google should have implemented security measures such as encryption a long time ago. Further, the fact that Google still holds the “keys” isn't too reassuring.
If you own a company, will you trust Google to encrypt your data for you? Or, do you prefer to go with a company other than Google? Also, how do you feel about Google's promise not to provide information to the government? Is this a lot of nonsense?
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