Most Secure Cloud Storage
When searching for the most secure cloud storage, I’ve taken a closer look at all of the available cloud storage service providers and studied them intently. At the end of my research, I came to the conclusion of declaring the top 4 most secure cloud storage service providers that can be found on this particular list. When deciding which is the best cloud storage, I’ve paid attention to multiple factors that make a particular cloud storage secure or not. Let me explain them to you.
First and foremost, you need to look at the physical security being implemented in the data centers and servers of the various cloud storage systems in the data storage industry. Second, you need to look at the type and strength of encryption that a particular secure cloud storage system is using to protect the information found on its servers and data centers. Third, you need to understand and scrutinize the compliance of a particular secure cloud storage service to various data privacy laws that are usually being taken into consideration.
Fourth, you need to look at the redundancy measures and protocols that have been installed to protect your files, folders, and information from data loss as a result of hard disk drive malfunction, ransomware, malware, and even other cyber attacks conducted by vicious groups. Fifth, you need to look at other privacy measures that have been integrated in the information security policies of various secure cloud storage service providers. All of the aforementioned features of the most secure cloud storage service providers should be examined, researched and looked into with great depth in order to be able to find the most appropriate cloud storage systems to be included in the list of the most secure cloud storage providers.
Most Secure Cloud Storage Feature #1: Data Center Physical Security
Most secure cloud storage service providers must ensure the physical protection of their servers and data centers. As a matter of fact, the data centers must usually protected with security teams that are constantly monitoring physical movements of people within and outside the perimeter fence of the data storage facility. The security team is then aided effectively by the installation of high-definition CCTV cameras in strategic places within the vicinity of the data center. The CCTV cameras can actually record images and videos in real-time 24/7.
If you have been reading news and research studies lately, you will see and understand that data is considered to be the new oil. Data is even more valuable than gold, silver, precious metals, and even tradable commodities such as oil. Through data mining and data analysis, many insights can be derived to give certain groups of people advantage over others. This is the reason why in recent years, more and more physical intrusions are being reported in data centers as well as in other types of data storage facilities. While hacking and other cyber threats can be done remotely, illegally accessing and stealing information within the data center has been way more convenient for certain groups of people especially those involved in surveillance, espionage and data selling.
Aside from the security team that constantly monitors all online and offline activities within the vicinity, most secure cloud storage companies implements a multi-level restricted access policy. This means that not all employees can gain access to the mot protected sections and areas of the data center. Only a handful of people have full access to the data storage facility. This method can actually be done by installing biometric locks with fingerprint recognition on top of an alpha-numeric keypad wherein employees will type their own unique passcode as an identifier.
On certain areas of the data center facility, a biometric eye scanner with an iris recognition system or retina recognition system can also be installed. It is a preferred method of biometric security since it is harder to fake than fingerprints which can be easily lifted from a person without them knowing. Metal detectors are also installed within the data storage facility to ensure that no guns and no sharp knives can pass through undetected. Having weapons inside the data center can cause panic and chaos within the data storage facility.
There are also multiple security measures within the data centers that prevent the servers from failing. One of them, for example, is a cooling system which sets the temperature to a low temperature. The cooling system actually enables longer lifespan of the servers. It also prevents unnecessary fires and short circuits from happening due to overheating. Fires can destroy and burn down the servers and the data center. Damage to lives and properties can also happen without an efficient and effective cooling system around.
Most Secure Cloud Storage Feature #2: Data Encryption
There is practically no limit to how well most secure cloud storage systems can protect your files. In fact, secure cloud storage platform make sure that your files are encrypted while in transit and while at rest on their servers. The encryption keys that are generated while protecting your data are also encrypted. However, you should be aware that different cloud storage service providers use different data encryption systems. The level of information security depends on the type of data encryption a certain secure cloud storage company is actually implementing.
There are basically 5 types of data encryption systems that can be implemented by a secure cloud storage service. Earlier methods of securing data include the DES (Data Encryption Standard) encryption and the Triple DES encryption. In recent years, we have seen the rise in the usage of modern data encryption systems such as the Twofish, Blowfish, and the popular AES data encryption.
Most secure cloud storage systems primarily use and implement the AES data encryption due to the high level of information security it can give. The AES encryption became very popular because it does not slow down the download speed and the upload speed of the most secure cloud storage systems that exists in the industry. Generally speaking, both the 128-bit AES encryption and the 256-bit AES data encryption are declared as the golden standards for modern-day data encryption.
The 128-bit AES encryption uses 128-bit keys that encrypt the data from plaintext to ciphertext 10 times. On the other hand, the 256-bit AES is considered to be a military-grade data encryption system because it uses 256-bit keys and undergoes data transformation from plaintext to ciphertext in 14 rounds. Because of this data transformation processes, it is impossible to crack the code of encryption even if hackers are aided by powerful supercomputers.
There’s also one security measure called “client-side encryption” which means that secure cloud storage providers don’t actually have the encryption keys and that you’re the only one that can access them and your files. Not even employees and even owners of cloud storage platforms can decrypt your files in the cloud if there is a client-side encryption previously activated. This is one of the security measures that you should definitely look for in most secure cloud storage platforms.
However, you just have to be vigilant and be extra careful in storing your private keys with a client-side encryption protocol. Once you lose them, you also lose every file, folder, and information you stored on the cloud.
Most Secure Cloud Storage Feature #3: Compliances and Certificates
There are multiple compliances and certifications that most secure cloud storage providers can obtain. In order to get these certificates, they must undergo intense scrutiny and rigorous verification from a third party that ensures everything is done according to the specified regulations of certain data privacy laws.
A cloud storage provider can’t just say that he is certified or owns a compliance certificate. Everything needs to be verified especially we are dealing with information security in here. If cloud storage companies falsely claim that they have been certified even if they are not, they could actually face a million-dollar lawsuit and penalty. Aside from that, they will lose the trust and confidence of their previous customers and clients.
One of the honorable mentions under compliance certificates is the HIPAA compliance. It regulates how the cloud storage treats sensitive patient data. Every company that deals with patient data must be part of a cloud system that is HIPAA compliant in order to prevent data privacy issues. This law has been signed in 1996 in the Unites States of America in order to give rules and regulations involving data privacy to companies and organizations in the healthcare industry. Discrimination of certain persons possessing certain kinds of illnesses can be prevalent if there is no specific data privacy law for the healthcare industry established. This is one of the reasons why HIPAA is important.
The GDPR was originally designed to address the data privacy issues in countries under the European Union as well as in the European Economic Area. It also gives guidelines on how to properly handle data transfer from a country inside the European Union to a certain country outside of its jurisdiction. This data privacy law has been signed in 2016 but only implemented properly starting 2018.
In recent years, the GDPR data privacy law has become a model in crafting various data privacy laws all over the world. As a matter of fact, most of the provisions of the GDPR have been integrated in other data privacy laws of other countries such as Japan, South Korea, Kenya, Brazil and even Argentina. To a certain extent, the GDPR of the European Union has also been adopted in the United States of America through the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that has been signed as a data privacy law in 2018.
Most Secure Cloud Storage Feature #4: Redundancy Systems
Most secure cloud storage services usually use redundancy systems as well as implement redundant data collection and storage policies. This is done in order to prevent the possibility of having corrupted set of data and lessen the likelihood of having data loss in the future.
There are many reasons why redundancy systems must be implemented. As we all know it, you can’t stop a hard drive from going haywire sooner or later. A hard drive is a mechanical device that breaks down at some point, and the same goes for servers that store your data in the cloud. The question is, “What happens when they do?”
Most secure cloud storage platforms have redundancy systems in place which prevent data loss in case of mechanical failure. Your data is saved multiple times on different servers that are usually located in various locations. The data can be backed up from two to five times. There is also a redundancy policy wherein it integrates data parity and data redundancy at the same time. The RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) system, for example, is a perfect implementation of a data redundancy system. This is the reason why data redundancy measure is another important factor which you must look at before picking your most secure cloud storage.
Most Secure Cloud Storage Feature #5: Privacy
You need to look at other privacy measures being implemented by most secure cloud storage platforms. At the end of the day, customers and clients of cloud storage companies are concerned with data privacy and information security. Nobody wants to have their private information and private business details exposed to the entire world carelessly. In fact, nobody wants to become a victim of breach of data privacy. Generally speaking, nobody really wants to have a breach in confidential information.
This always was, and I believe still is the most significant debate in the cloud computing world. How do you know that the data you just put on their servers isn’t looked at by some administrator on their side? How can you trust them with important business documents or personal files containing your credit card details and so forth?
The truth is that you just have to research the cloud storage well enough and figure out what is it that they actually do with your data when you upload it. In this case, I’ll do that for you, but don’t let that stop you from doing some digging yourself.
The words that are commonly used nowadays are “Client-side encryption” and “Zero-knowledge privacy“. They are somewhat connected to each other. I already explained Zero-knowledge encryption in this article so I’ll keep it short here. It is all about how they handle your passwords and encryption keys. With the use of various software programs, it is possible to create a system where they have no access to your passwords and encryption keys. That way you’re protected by a maximum standard. Even if there’s a breach in their system, you’re safe because they weren’t able to open your files in the first place. This is important and a feature that you should definitely search for in secure cloud storage systems.
Sync.com$8/month 2000 GB
Pricing & Plans9.5/10
Ease of Use9.0/10
- Zero-Knowledge platform
- Not subject to US Patriot Act
- Client-side encryption
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Easy to use, modern platform
- Great syncing, sharing and file retrieving options
- Unlimited bandwidth
- No live chat/phone support
- No linux client
Sync.com is a Canadian cloud storage that is based on the whole “Zero-knowledge” principle. Their servers are well protected in access-controlled environments.
Your data is protected with end-to-end, client-side encryption on all your files, in transit and at rest. Your data is protected with 2048 bit RSA, 256 bit AES, SSL and TLS encryption. And as it is built on a “zero-knowledge” principle you’re the only one that has access to your encryption keys.
They also have HIPAA compliance, alongside other Canada-based compliances (PIPEDA, PIPA, FIPPA, ATIPPA, PHIPA). All of their servers are situated in Canada which means they’re not subject to the US Patriot Act.
You can also enable additional security measures such as Two-factor verification, automatic logout and password hints.
Most Secure Cloud Storage #2: pCloud
pCloud$4.99/month 500 GB
Pricing & Plans10.0/10
Ease of Use9.0/10
- Up to 10 GB of free storage
- Amazing sycing solutions
- Unlimited transfer speeds
- Easy to use
- Unlimited file sizes
- Client-side encryption
- Innovative lifetime plans
- US & EU Servers
- No client-side encryption in the free plan
- No dedicated live chat/phone support
With pCloud, your files are stored on at least three servers simultaneously. pCloud uses TLS/SSL encryption, applied when information is transferred from your device to the pCloud servers. They also offer client-side encryption which is called pCloud Crypto. It comes at a monthly fee, but it certainly does the job – It basically creates that “Zero-knowledge encryption” that I’ve been talking about. This gives you the option to additionally encrypt certain files or all of them.
pCloud also offers a number of different features that you might not see at Sync.com. If you’re willing to pay that additional cost for the pCloud Crypto, it’s definitely worth checking out!
Most Secure Cloud Storage #3: Icedrive
Icedrive€4.99/month 1000 GB
Pricing & Plans9.8/10
Ease of Use9.1/10
- Great pricing options
- Interesting lifetime plans
- Modern and minimalistic user interface
- Twofish client-side encryption
- Responsive support
- Great Android & iOS mobile applications
- No selective sync
- No block-level sync
- No two-factor authentication
Icedrive uses the so-called Twofish client-side encryption to secure your files. Your files are encrypted both while in transit and while on their servers. All the encryption keys are generated client-side and never passed on to their servers which means that only you have access to your files.
Most Secure Cloud Storage #4: MEGA
MEGA€4.99/month 400 GB
Pricing & Plans8.5/10
Ease of Use9.0/10
- Free 15 GB of storage
- Excellent security & client-side encryption
- Well made sync client
- Useful mobile application
- Allows FTP connection
- Slightly expensive
- Slow speeds at peak hours
- Limited support options
Mega is known for its good security protocol. It uses AES encryption to secure files. In addition to that, they use the “Zero-knowledge privacy” which means that they don’t keep any of your passwords or master keys, only you have access to them. The only way to recover your lost password is the master key which you receive upon registration. This makes Mega one of the more secure cloud services on the market.
Do you agree with my “Most Secure Cloud Storage” list? Let me know what is your favorite cloud storage in the comments section down below!