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The state of cloud encryption: From fiction to actionable reality

Debabrata Dash, Ph.D., chief scientist and architect, CipherCloud | April 10, 2013
The risks of data privacy, residency, security and regulatory compliance remain significant barriers to cloud adoption for many enterprises. While encryption seems like an obvious solution, historically the technology produced usability issues for cloud applications. To complicate matters, putting encryption into the hands of cloud service providers still left the enterprise open to risks such as insider fraud, hacking and disclosure demands from law enforcement.

* Efficient key management. Hand-in-hand with the requirement to control your own keys is the need for efficient key management. Advances in today's cloud-based key management tools automate and simplify the details of key management operations that are essential to cloud information protection, such as efficient key assignment, periodic key rotation, and re-encryption of data with new keys.

* Open platform. For fast deployment and effective use, the cloud encryption service must be capable of integrating seamlessly with an organization's existing security components, such as malware detection, data loss prevention (DLP) and activity monitoring technologies. By deploying encryption on a vendor-agnostic platform, IT administrators can select the best-of-breed protection that their users need without fear of vendor lock-in.

Gartner forecasts the public cloud services market will grow 18.5% in 2013 to total $131 billion worldwide. Yet for many organizations, the risks of data privacy, residency, security and regulatory compliance remain a barrier to cloud adoption. This is especially true of financial, insurance, healthcare and technology, as well as government organizations, that must comply with industry compliance mandates, including GLBA, PCI, HIPAA, HITECH, PIPEDA, ITAR and the EU Data Protection Act.

By combining cloud encryption with the above capabilities, organizations can securely adopt popular cloud services and reap productivity gains for users and IT cost reductions to satisfy budgetary requirements.


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