The Inquirer-Home

Google bolsters cloud security with automatic encryption rollout

Hopes server side encryption applied to all cloud data will ease privacy concerns
Mon Aug 19 2013, 14:40
Google Logo

INTERNET GIANT Google has announced that all data uploaded to its cloud storage service will be automatically encrypted, in an attempt to allay privacy concerns following recent PRISM revelations.

The server side encryption is now active for all new data being written to the firm's cloud, with no additional setup or configuration required from the user perspective.

The firm's cloud product manager Dave Barth said there is also no noticeable impact on the service's performance as a result of the update.

"If you require encryption for your data, this functionality frees you from the hassle and risk of managing your own encryption and decryption keys," Barth said in a blog post. "We manage the cryptographic keys on your behalf using the same hardened key management systems that Google uses for our own encrypted data, including strict key access controls and auditing.

Barth explained that each cloud storage object's data and metadata are encrypted under the 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard AES-128, and each encryption key is itself encrypted with a regularly rotated set of master keys. However, AES-128 is a lower standard of encryption than the 256-bit AES-256 that is often used to protect password managers.

"Of course, if you prefer to manage your own keys then you can still encrypt data yourself prior to writing it to Cloud Storage," he added,

The rollout of the automatic encryption comes after privacy concerns were raised regarding data requests made to internet giants such as Google, highlighted by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

However Google has said that it doesn't provide encryption keys to any government and that data is "only provided in accordance with the law". µ


Share this:

blog comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to INQ newsletters

Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ

INQ Poll

Happy new year!

What tech are you most looking forward to in 2015