To store data securely in the cloud, it is best to encrypt it before uploading. This makes mobile access to the data more difficult but provides significantly more security. We show the best tools for encrypting data in the cloud and protecting it from unauthorized access.
To ensure that no unauthorized users gain access to data in the cloud, the best way is to encrypt the data with additional tools. In this area, there are some paid tools, but also freeware and open source. In addition, some cloud providers also offer direct encryption. So if you want to encrypt data securely in the cloud, you have various options.
Using Boxcryptor and Cryptomator
One of the best-known tools for encrypting data in the cloud is certainly Boxcryptor. The tool can connect just about any cloud storage and encrypt the data. The basic version of the tool is completely free and supports one cloud provider on two devices. If you want to encrypt data on multiple cloud providers and use Boxcryptor on an unlimited number of devices, you will have to purchase the personal license for 36 euros per year, but you will also receive additional features and email support.
For professional and business use, Boxcryptor Business costs 72 euros per year for an individual. For teams and companies, there are tiered user licenses and even an enterprise version with a single sign-on and the option for self-managed keys. In Deep Dive: Boxcryptor, we took a closer look at the Company and Enterprise versions.
The open source tool Cryptomator has a similar performance spectrum to Boxcryptor. After installation and start, a new drive appears in the Explorer. If files are copied there, Cryptomator encrypts the data and uploads it to the cloud storage.
Encryption with freeware: CryptSync
CryptSync can also be used to encrypt data before it is uploaded to the cloud. This open-source solution also works together with OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox. If files are to be backed up and encrypted on more than one cloud storage, CryptSync can also be used to set up two synchronization pairs. It is also possible in such a design that the original folder is the same for both pairs.
The disadvantage of CryptSync is that the tool works together with the compression program 7-Zip for encryption. This tool, in turn, is criticized for being vulnerable to attack via serious security vulnerabilities. However, it is possible to encrypt CryptSync with GnuPG. In this case, the security vulnerability in 7-Zip does not pose a threat. However, in this case, the data is not compressed.
CryptSync generally works by synchronizing pairs of folders. The original folder is where the unencrypted files are stored. The second folder of such a pair is the encrypted folder, where the files from the original folder are copied and encrypted. In the article “Open Source Encryption for the Cloud with CryptSync” we go into more detail about encryption with CryptSync.
AxCrypt – Encrypt files locally
With the opensource application AxCrypt (http://www.axantum.com/AxCrypt/Downloads.html) files can be encrypted via the context menu. The tool does not work directly with cloud storage, but can primarily encrypt data locally. However, if the data is encrypted in the synchronization directory of the cloud service, then the cloud agent also synchronizes the encrypted data with the cloud. We have discussed in the post “Encrypting and shredding files with AxCrypt.
Using encrypted cloud storage – Tresorit and Co.
If you want to store data securely in the cloud, you can of course also rely on cloud storage in which encryption is already integrated. One such example is Tresorit. The storage can be tested free of charge for 14 days. After that, a subscription must be taken out. Prices range from 16 to 24 euros per month with annual payment. The following functions are included:
- End-to-end encryption integrated.
- 1,000 GB storage / user
- Secure access from 10 devices/user
- Restoration of older versions
- Rights control
- Sharing with password protected links
- 2-step verification
- Outlook integration
- Security policies
- Team-level control over files
Of course, Tresorit represents only one example of cloud storage with built-in encryption. Other well-known cloud storages with integrated encryption (without claiming to be complete) are:
- YourSecureCloud – The data is stored on German servers and is additionally encrypted. However, this provider also does not provide storage space for free. The prices for the service are 2.49 euros per month for 10GB, 4.99 euros per month for 50GB and 7.99 euros/month for 100GB. The data is always transferred encrypted and stored on German servers.
- DriveOnWeb – The cloud provider provides 5GB of storage for free. Here, too, all data is transferred in encrypted form and stored on German servers. Of course, the storage can be increased at any time for a fee.
- SecureSafe – The free account offers 100MB of storage space. The data is stored in encrypted form.