Informational Data Audit: Why You Need It
Every day we are faced with threats of cybercrime. Our privacy and confidentiality of our data is constantly barraged with attacks putting us in jeopardy. And where is your data kept? It’s kept in the cloud. And how is that data protected? That is through encryption. So, what is encryption? But more to the point, what is end-to-end encryption, and what data that you have stored on the cloud requires end-to-end encryption.
What Is the Cloud
Ontrack describes the cloud or cloud computing like this: “Firstly we need to understand what cloud computing actually is. In a nutshell, cloud computing is all about storing and retrieving your personal (or corporate) data from your own little area on the Internet. Nothing is stored on your local hard drive and it is accessible from any location, any device, and at any time.
If that all sounds a little far-fetched, think about an email service you are already using e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. None of those emails you send and receive is actually taking up space on your local hard drive, they are stored on the email providers’ servers: this is a form of cloud computing.
To take this example further, remember that you can log in and access your emails from any pc, any laptop, and any smartphone. This is only made possible by the cloud.”
How Is Your Data Kept Safe
Cloud storage providers offer cloud encryption services to encrypt data before it is transferred to the cloud for storage. To clarify, let’s do a discussion of what it means to encrypt or encryption. First, encrypt simply means changing information or data into a coded message so unauthorized access cannot occur.
Encryption is a method of scrambling data (messages or files) so only people who have permission to access that data can do so. This occurs through the use of complex algorithms to scramble the data being sent. Once received, the data can be decrypted using a key provided by the person who created the message.
Typical cloud encryption applications extend from encrypted connections to limited encryption only of data that is known to be sensitive (such as account credentials) to end-to-end encryption of any data that is uploaded to the cloud.
What Data Should Receive End-to-End Encryption
When you send information through a messaging service or through the cloud, the information passes onto these third-party servers before being sent to the recipient. To clarify, end-to-end encryption means that your data is encrypted all the way until it reaches the intended recipient’s device.
Now, in light of the COMB data breach alert we wrote about, you might think that you would want to protect all your data with end-to-end encryption. But do you really need to? Or is there specific data you should be concerned with?
First, you are in control of what you would want to safeguard with end-to-end encryption. Anything – chat messages, files, photos, sensory data on IoT devices, permanent or temporary data. You decide what data you want to end-to-end encrypt. Typically, users ensure the following use this type of encryption.
- Two-way Text Chats
- Financial Transactions
- Business Communications
- Medical Information
- Legal Information and Proceedings
- Intimate Personal Conversations
- Password Managers – In this case, not only are you considered the sender, but you are also considered the recipient.
- File Storage – Ensure that the company you conduct file storage management with uses end-to-end encryption. In this way, the provider will not be able to see the contents of your files.
Data Audits Can Locate Major Concerns
Your data is important to you. By doing regular informational data audits, you can uncover major threats and inconsistencies that may occur in the cloud. This can mean anything having to do with security to customer data accuracy.
I would say that as important as end-to-end encryption is, that does not mean that it is infallible. Hackers are always looking for ways to sideline your personal and business data – and they are getter smarter at doing so.
Periodically doing reality checks to make sure that your data is protected…even with data end-to-end encryption. The audit could uncover critical data collections that are not available to the people that need them. In addition, an audit could reveal issues, or areas where a greater concentration or scope of collection would be beneficial.
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This post was written by Megabite