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An Overview of Cloud Cryptography

Last Updated : 08 Mar, 2024
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Cloud cryptography is a set of techniques used to secure data stored and processed in cloud computing environments. It provides data privacy, data integrity, and data confidentiality by using encryption and secure key management systems. Common methods used in cloud cryptography include:

  1. Symmetric encryption: encrypts and decrypts data using the same key.
  2. Asymmetric encryption: uses two different keys, a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption.
  3. Hash functions: create a unique digest of a message to ensure its integrity.
  4. Key management: securely stores and manages encryption keys to ensure the security of encrypted data.

The use of cryptography in the cloud is essential for protecting sensitive information and ensuring compliance with regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA.

Cloud Cryptography is encryption that safeguards data stored within the cloud. Several measures are being placed within cloud cryptography which adds a strong layer of protection to secure data to avoid being breached, hacked or affected by malware. Any data hosted by cloud providers are secured with encryption, permitting users to access shared cloud services securely and conveniently. Cloud Cryptography secures sensitive data without delaying the delivery of information.

How does cryptography in the cloud work?

Cloud cryptography is based on encryption, in which computers and algorithms are utilized to scramble text into ciphertext. This ciphertext can then be converted into plaintext through an encryption key, by decoding it with a series of bits. The encryption of data can take place in one of the following ways:

  1. Pre-encrypted data which is synced with the cloud: There is software accessible to pre-encrypt it before information gets to the cloud, making it impossible to read for anyone who tries to hack it.
     
  2. End-to-end encryption: Senders and receivers send messages, whereby they are the only ones who can read them.
     
  3. File encryption: File encryption occurs when at rest, data is encrypted so that if an unauthorized person tries to intercept a file, they will not be able to access the data it holds. 
     
  4. Full disk encryption: When any files are saved on an external drive, they will be automatically encrypted. This is the key method to secure hard drives on computers.

How the data on the cloud be secured by Cryptography?

Cloud cryptography brings the same level of security to cloud services by securing data stored with encryption. It can protect sensitive cloud data without delaying data transmission. Many organizations define various cryptographic protocols for their cloud computing to keep a balance between security and efficiency. The cryptography algorithms used for Cloud Security are:

  1. Symmetric Key Cryptographic Algorithm: This algorithm gives authentication and authorization to the data because data encrypted with a single unique key cannot be decrypted with any other key. Data Encryption Standard (DES), Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES), Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) are the most popular Symmetric-key Algorithms which are used in cloud computing for cryptography.
     
  2. Asymmetric Key Cryptographic Algorithm: This algorithm is using two separate different keys for the encryption and decryption process in order to protect the data on the cloud. The algorithms used for cloud computing are Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA), RSA and Diffie-Helman Algorithm
     
  3. Hashing: Unlike other methods, hashing is one way process. A key is hashed using algorithms like sha256 or sha512. A hash of a key mark it’s uniqueness. Hashing is extensively used to store password, digital signatures and any sensitive information which must not be shared with others

Advantages of Cloud Cryptography

  • The data remains private for the users. This reduces cybercrime from hackers.
  • Organization receive notifications immediately if an unauthorized person tries to make modifications. The users who have cryptographic keys are granted access.
  • The encryption prevents the data from being vulnerable when the data is being brought over from one computer to another,
  • Cloud encryption permits organizations to be proactive in their defence against data breaches and cyberattacks and have become a necessity in today‚Äôs data-driven world.
  • Receivers of the data have the ability to identify if the data received is corrupted, permitting an immediate response and solution to the attack.
  • Encryption is one of the safest methods to store and transfer the data as it complies with the restrictions imposed by organizations such as FIPS, FISMA, HIPAA or PCI/DSS.

Disadvantages of Cloud Cryptography

  • Cloud cryptography only grants limited security to the data which is already in transit.
  • It needs highly advanced systems to maintain encrypted data.
  • The systems must be scalable enough to upgrade which adds to the involved expenses.
  • Overprotective measures can create difficulties for organizations when recovering data.

Key Points Related to Cloud Cryptography

  1. Provides data privacy, integrity, and confidentiality.
  2. Uses encryption and secure key management.
  3. Symmetric and asymmetric encryption methods used.
  4. Hash functions for message integrity.
  5. Key management to ensure security of encrypted data.
  6. Essential for protecting sensitive information and ensuring regulatory compliance.
  7. Balances security and ease of access.
  8. Dynamic and flexible to accommodate changing business needs.
  9. Protects against external and internal threats.
  10. Supports compliance with data protection regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA.

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