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Keep On Syncing…Safely..

Edward Snowden’s revelations about the activities of the various Western security organisations have been both neither a surprise and yet also an a wake-up call to how the landscape of our own personal data security has changed. Multiple devices and increased mobility have meant that we have looked for ways to ensure that we have access to our data where-ever and when-ever;  gone are the days when even the average household has a single computing device and it is also increasingly uncommon to find an homogeneous household in the terms of manufacturer or operating-system. It is now fairly common to find Windows, OSX, Android, iOS and even Linux devices all within a single house; throw in digital cameras and smart-TVs, it is no wonder that we have a situation that makes data-sharing in a secure fashion more and more complex for the average person. So file-syncing and sharing products such as Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive and GoogleDrive are pretty much inevitable consequences and if you are anything like me;  you have a selection of these, some free and some charged but pretty much all of them are insecure; some terribly so. Of course it would be nice if the operating system manufacturers could agree on a standard which included encryption of data in-flight and at rest with a simple and easy to use key-sharing mechanism. Yet even with this, we would probably not trust it anymore but it might at least provide us an initial level of defence. I have started to look at ways of adding encryption to the various cloud services I use; in the past, I made fairly heavy use of TrueCrypt but it is not especially seamless and can be clunky. However this is becoming more feasible as apps such as Cryptonite and DiskDecipher are appearing for mobile devices. Recently I started to play with BoxCryptor and EncFS; BoxCryptor seems nice and easy to use; certainly on the desktop. It supports multiple Cloud providers; although the free version only supports a single Cloud provider; if you want to encrypt your multiple cloud stores, you will have to pay. There are alternatives such as Cloudfogger but development for BoxCryptor seems to be ongoing. And there perhaps there is the option of building your own ‘Sync and Share’ service; Transporter recently successfully kickstarted and looks good; Plug is in the process of kickstarting. Synology Devices have Cloud Station; QNAP have myQNAPcloud. You can go totally build your own and use ownCloud. In the Enterprise, you have a multitude of options as well but there is one thing; you do not need to store your stuff in the Cloud in an insecure manner. You have lots of options now, from keeping it local to using an Cloud service provider; encryption is still not as user-friendly as it could be but it has got easier. You can protect your data; you probably should…    

One Comment

  1. Gary Hobson says:

    Check out SpiderOak , , i have been amazed at how easy it is to use cross multiple platforms.

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