Banking On a Cloud?

banking-cloud-1280Increasing security for your personal and sensitive information is a popular topic for many people. This is especially important as cloud storage has become so easy to come by; a lot of services will shovel free space at you for signing up, but how can you be sure they are encrypted against anyone looking at them?

Encryption requires a lot of effort of to break, and is the perfect way to ensure only you have access to your files, including financial data identity information, etc. The first service that offers encryption built into its service is SpiderOak. This service starts you off with 2GB of free data, with a $10 per month charge for every additional 100GB required after that. SpiderOak uses a system that uses your computer’s local encryption and then uploads it to their servers. Any changes made are synced with the local decrypted versions, before being encrypted and then uploaded. SpiderOak uses a combination of a 256 bit AES and a 2048 bit RSA to encrypt your files.

Next we take a look at Wuala, another service that uses local encryptions and then uploads them into the cloud to keep them safe. Also, you will require a password, one you have set, to access the files again. What’s more, Wuala uploads different segments of your files to different servers. Also, if you lose your password, you are out of luck. This service offers file versioning, mobile apps and cross-computer syncing. It also uses RSA 2048 for key exchange when sharing folders and for signatures, AES 256 for encryption and SHA 256 for integrity checks.

Thirdly, we have Tresorit, who is new comer to encrypted storage; they offer 5GB free, and offer additional storage starting at $13/month. You will need a password to access your files, which means even Tresorit employees cannot access your files. This service supports not only Windows and OS X, but also mobile apps for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. Which means you can grant permission to users you specify when sharing encrypted files, which remain encrypted until they download and open them.

You can also consider SOS Online Backup, a complete online backup service with many useful features. A great feature is the fact that they allow unlimited backup space for an unlimited amount of smartphones and tablet devices. This makes SOS perfect for a family to use as a backup service. It supports both Mac and Windows systems, as well as Android for mobile devices. Backups are done automatically daily. Similarly, SkyDrive from Microsoft is just as popular, offering one central place for everything in your life. Now called OneDrive, this popular solution is available for your phone, tablet and computer.

But, which Cloud service is valued most by financial institutions… which does the Bank trust to hold their encrypted account files? The current conclusion regarding cloud-based services risk management, stated by the FFIEC Outsourced Cloud Computing Bulletin that cloud computing requires more robust controls, including Vendor management, audits, information security, business continuity planning and legal regulatory compliance which are key elements for sound risk mitigation controls and risk management for cloud computing. The FFIEC states that outsourced cloud computing may not be appropriate for all financial institutions and should perform thorough due diligence and risk assessment of the elements that pertain to that service.

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