When it comes to online storage, how secure is “secure”?

Every vendor selling online storage, every service advertised for “the cloud”, every hosted solution boasts that it’s secure; meaning, in simple terms, that your data is safe.  Safe from being stolen, lost or infected by malware or viruses.  Isn’t that one of the main criteria upon which you evaluate cloud backup options?  If it’s not, it should be.

When we think of data in the cloud, there are two aspects to security.  First, that the data is secure while being transferred (in almost every case, the data travels over SSL, so the channel is likely protected regardless of what provider you use); second, that the data is secure while it resides in the cloud. That’s where it can become problematical.

Recently, an article published in The Storage Newsletter, revealed some shocking news.  According to a study conducted by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology, many of the major players (the study names them; we won’t) do not encrypt your data prior to transfer.  To reiterate, the transfer channel is secure, but the data itself arrives unencrypted.

As the Director of the Frunhofer Institute, Michael Waidner, states, “Dropbox” (Oops!  He named one.) “and some others only encrypt the data once it is in the cloud.  The providers therefore receive the data as clear text, and the users must simply trust the provider to ensure that their confidential data remains secure.”  THIS SOUNDS LIKE A TIME BOMB WAITING TO EXPLODE!

Now, maybe you’re not concerned if you only use online storage for personal items, like photo galleries and such (What do you care if intelligence agents from a foreign country can look at cute pictures of your puppy?)  And maybe the providers in the Fraunhofer study don’t expect you to trust them with anything more critical.  But, imagine if you’re using the cloud to store confidential records and files that are critical to your business’ very survival.  Or, on a personal level, if you’re trusting your cloud provider with intellectual property, like a screenplay or music you’ve written or recorded.

Box of thumb drives, anyone?

Considering that the study analyzed six of the leading online storage providers, one would have to assume that there simply is no truly safe alternative for online backup and storage, right?  WRONG!

Fortunately, there’s ElephantDrive.   When you utilize ElephantDrive, your files are encrypted before they are transmitted to your personal ElephantDrive trunk.  In other words, they leave encrypted, travel encrypted and arrive encrypted.  Your data, as well as any intra-cloud data transmission or sharing, is safe and secure.

As the slogan goes, “When you subscribe to ElephantDrive, you get a service that is very big, never forgets, and works for peanuts.”  And, when someone tries to mess with your files, they get stepped on.  By an Elephant.

That’s the way it should be.  That’s the level of security and peace of mind on which you simply cannot afford to compromise.  That’s the level you deserve and should demand, and that’s the level that ElephantDrive is proud to provide.

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