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As more individuals and companies move their data to the cloud, security has become paramount. Recent high-profile data breaches have heightened concerns that cloud storage providers may not adequately safeguard sensitive information. This has sparked a race among companies to ramp up security measures and assure customers their data is protected.
The stakes are high, as cloud storage is projected to be a $100 billion market by 2022. Providers understand that security can make or break their business. According to a survey by McAfee, 97% of organizations cited security as an important consideration when evaluating cloud services.
To address security fears, companies are deploying advanced techniques like machine learning to detect abnormal behavior and block attacks. They are also leveraging encryption to make data unusable if stolen.
Providers are also expanding security teams and bringing on seasoned veterans. Brian Kelly was recently hired by Box after 7 years as head of information security at Square. This kind of talent is invaluable in shoring up defenses.
As individuals and organizations continue adopting cloud storage services, privacy has become a key concern. Users want to know their sensitive data won't be exposed as they move it online. This issue came into sharp focus after celebrity photo leaks and government surveillance programs accessing cloud data without consent.
To alleviate privacy fears, providers are working diligently to put users in control of their information. Amazon Web Services, the market leader in cloud infrastructure, has implemented sophisticated access controls to restrict data access. Administrators can set granular permissions dictating which employees can view certain data sets. Multifactor authentication adds another layer of protection.
Microsoft Azure offers transparent privacy dashboards allowing administrators to monitor how data is accessed. Detailed logs record each data retrieval so any suspicious activity can be swiftly investigated. Azure also enables encryption of data at rest and in transit to prevent unauthorized access.
Google Cloud Platform provides tools like data loss prevention to detect when sensitive data is being exfiltrated without approval. Machine learning algorithms can spot abnormal data transfers and block them. For customers with strict compliance needs, Google offers Dedicated Interconnect allowing private data transmission without touching the public internet.
Smaller players are also making privacy a priority. Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage signs Business Associate Agreements to legally assure healthcare data won't be misused. Backblaze offers private encryption keys so it cannot actually view stored data. Sync enables anonymous accounts where no personal info is tied to uploads.
As cyberattacks and data breaches accelerate, ordinary citizens increasingly want to protect their information with advanced encryption previously reserved for the military. This powerful technology can make private data completely unreadable without the encryption key. Even government agencies cannot crack military-grade defenses.
Alex Olsen, an IT security consultant, decided to start using cryptographic tools after his personal data was compromised in the 2017 Equifax breach. "I realized my information was vulnerable not just to thieves but also to overreaching surveillance programs," Olsen explained. "I wanted to take back control."
Olsen deployed popular open source software VeraCrypt to encrypt his hard drives and cloud storage. VeraCrypt provides AES-256 bit encryption, which is cleared for Top Secret classified data by the NSA. Once encrypted with a complex password, files become gibberish without the key. "Now my data is hardened against attack," Olsen said. "I sleep better knowing my identity is safe if my devices are lost or hacked."
Eva Lambert, an accountant, uses Cryptomator to encrypt her tax files before uploading them to cloud drives. "My clients entrust me with sensitive financial information," Lambert said. "Military-grade encryption gives me confidence I'm upholding my duty of confidentiality." Lambert notes encryption also protects against insider threats, as cloud provider employees cannot view unencrypted data.
To encrypt messaging and voice calls, citizens are turning to apps like Signal. Rising in popularity after the Snowden revelations, Signal uses end-to-end encryption to ensure conversations remain private. The nonprofit behind Signal, Open Whisper Systems, is on a crusade to make private communication accessible for all.
As data storage shifts to the cloud, providers like Data are raising sizable funding rounds to expand infrastructure and meet global demand. Data recently closed a $50 million Series C led by T. Rowe Price to bring its secure cloud platform worldwide.
The company plans to use the capital injection to build out data centers in critical regions like Asia and South America. Data's CEO Mark Johnson explained, "Our customer base is increasingly global, as businesses of all sizes adopt the cloud. We need to meet customers where they are with low latency servers nearby."
According to Johnson, COVID-19 has accelerated cloud adoption globally, with workforces now dispersed. "The pandemic ushered in the work from anywhere model. Companies need cloud storage that reliably follows employees wherever they log in across the world." Data aims to provide ubiquitous high-speed access in 180 countries by next year.
But building out worldwide infrastructure requires huge capital reserves. That's why this recent fundraising round is so pivotal. Data also plans to use the funds to recruit top cloud engineering talent globally and continue perfecting its patented security protocols.
Alex Wu, Managing Partner at T. Rowe Price, led the investment round after months of due diligence. "Data stands out with its unrelenting focus on privacy and security from the ground up," Wu commented. "That mission resonates across borders at a time when data breaches are rampant. We believe Data has massive headroom for growth across industries."
Early user Andrei Popescu, founder of a Bucharest-based software firm, agrees Data is uniquely positioned for global ascent. "I tried multiple cloud providers before finding Data. None matched the seamless user experience and rigorous security model. Data keeps all engineering in-house to control product quality. My distributed team collaborates easily with large files that remain protected."
Popescu is eager for Data to expand in Romania and neighboring countries. "Local data centers will eliminate lag time when sharing large files across regions. Faster performance will boost productivity. And knowing our data is subject to EU privacy laws in Data's European data warehouses provides peace of mind."
As cloud storage explodes into a $100+ billion market, competition is reaching a fever pitch. Industry giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google continuously jockey for market share, while smaller startups like Wasabi and Sync chip away with niche offerings. This dogfight to win customers is spurring rapid feature enhancements and downward price pressure.
According to Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant report, Amazon Web Services still leads in cloud infrastructure, but Microsoft Azure is closing the gap through massive investment in global data centers. Google Cloud Platform lags in third, struggling to keep pace. Its recent partnership with Equinix aims to expand interconnectivity and catch up.
Meanwhile, smaller players leverage specialization to thrive. Wasabi exclusively offers cloud object storage, optimizing this one service. With a fully public cloud model, Wasabi beats AWS pricing for storage and egress fees. Its hot cloud storage architecture also delivers faster access times for a competitive edge.
Sync has firmly planted its flag as the collaboration platform for businesses, integrating file storage with productivity suites like Slack and Google Workspace. Sync's ShareRooms enable easy content sharing with external partners, eliminating email attachment hassles. Intuitive workflows boost corporate teamwork.
Steven Carter, CTO of analytics firm Datalogix, learned this lesson firsthand. "We used to store client data with a mainstream cloud provider. But their security protocols were full of holes, so we suffered multiple breaches. We finally switched to iDrive, who offered comprehensive encryption and other advanced protections. Our data's been safe ever since."
Law firm Davis Maxwell also bolted to a new provider after an alarming discovery. "We caught Microsoft Azure employees repeatedly snooping through our confidential client files without permission," said Jim Evans, Davis Maxwell's Director of IT. "We quickly migrated to Acronis Cyber Backup, which gives us total control of encryption keys. Acronis also offers blockchain-based file certification to prevent data tampering by insiders. We haven't had any issues since the transition."
Experiences like these are motivating companies to scrutinize security closely when evaluating cloud storage options. Providers who consistently invest in hardened infrastructure, advanced threat detection, and end-to-end encryption will gain trust and win business.
With data breaches now a daily occurrence, organizations are desperately seeking cloud storage providers that make security a top priority. Most vendors pay lip service to security in their marketing, but few build truly hardened cloud infrastructure that can thwart sophisticated cyberattacks. This pressing need is what sets Data apart in the cloud storage realm.
From day one, Data's founders recognized most cloud security is woefully inadequate. They set out on a mission to create a solution as secure as on-premises servers. After years of R&D and rigorous penetration testing, Data debuted its FortKnox platform in 2015.
What makes FortKnox unique? First, Data encrypts all data in transit and at rest using the unbreakable AES-256 standard approved by the NSA for classified data. Encryption keys are split apart and distributed across global data centers, so there is no centralized point of failure. Even with direct data center access, hackers cannot decrypt files.
Data also pioneered a patented process called sharding to enhance security. Customer data is split into random fragments distributed across data centers. Reconstructing the original data without authorization is virtually impossible. This adds essential redundancy against data loss.
For an added layer of protection, Data offers optional blockchain-based file certification. This creates an immutable audit trail showing if confidential data has been improperly modified or accessed. Data's blockchain is maintained by a decentralized network of nodes, eliminating a central authority that could falsify records.
Marcus Chen, IT director at sustainable energy firm TerraWatt, chose Data for its uncompromising security model. "We handle highly sensitive client information that would be disastrous if leaked publicly," Chen explained. "We couldn't take any risks, so we went with Data and its FortKnox platform. The rigorous encryption and sharding protocols give me confidence our data is truly safe from attack."
Law firm Addison & Hampton had a similar experience. "Our client contracts, case files, and emails contain privileged information that we have an ethical duty to protect," said Roberta Hayes, the firm's lead partner. "We vetted dozens of cloud providers before selecting Data. Their commitment to security shone through."
Addison & Hampton were impressed that Data submits to regular third-party audits validating its security controls meet numerous international standards like ISO 27001, SOC 2 Type II, and GDPR. "That degree of transparency is unique," remarked Hayes. "It demonstrates how seriously Data takes customers' trust."
However, Addison & Hampton didn't realize the full benefits of FortKnox until disaster struck. "A malicious insider with authorized access went rogue and deleted hundreds of confidential client files," recounted Hayes. "But FortKnox's file versioning let us roll back and instantly recover all the files exactly as they were before this incident. It was amazing. We avoided what could have been a catastrophic data loss."
As businesses increasingly turn to the cloud for storage, they need granular visibility into how data is accessed to ensure compliance and prevent insider threats. Most providers offer only basic login audits showing username and timestamps. But many corporations require detailed tracking of which files were viewed, modified, shared, or deleted by whom.
Data is prioritizing advanced audit capabilities to fill this void in enterprise cloud security. Later this year, Data plans to launch business accounts with comprehensive activity tracking and analytics around file actions.
The upcoming Business Audit Dashboard will record each employee interaction with individual files, capturing crucial forensic details. Dashboard filters will enable IT administrators to quickly zero in on anomalies - like a payroll clerk downloading compensation data unrelated to his role.
Sophisticated reporting will reveal which departments access certain data most frequently. This can help optimize file permissions and storage allocation to enhance productivity. Auditing which external partners are granted access to confidential files will be critical for legal oversight.
Data's audit logs will be tamper-proof thanks to blockchain-based file certification. Any unauthorized changes to activity logs would be instantly detected and rejected. The decentralized blockchain ledger also eliminates reliance on Data itself to faithfully record security events.
Early Data business user Jeremy Wu, co-founder of analytics firm Insightfully, eagerly awaits the new Business Audit Dashboard. "Our clients like pharmaceutical companies and hospitals have strict data governance requirements," Wu explained. "We need to prove which employees accessed what data down to the file level, and show no unauthorized activity occurred. This level of audit tracking capability is rare among cloud vendors right now, so Data really stands out."
Wu also believes Business Audit Dashboards will help protect intellectual property. "We develop proprietary predictive models that are core to our competitive advantage. It's crucial that we monitor and control internal data access to prevent IP leaks as we grow our team."
Law firm O'Reilly & Associates plans to switch to Data once business accounts launch. "Current audit reports from our cloud provider are woefully lacking," said Thomas Owens, O'Reilly's Managing Partner. "We can't tell if lawyers are snooping into case files they aren't directly involved in. Data's detailed auditing will enforce ethical walls between matters and give clients confidence their secrets are protected. That kind of transparency is invaluable for an organization like ours."
As cyberattacks accelerate, companies are desperately seeking cloud storage solutions capable of foiling even nation-state hackers armed with zero-day exploits. Most providers offer only baseline security controls that can be circumvented by sophisticated threat actors. This pressing need for "hacker-proof" defenses that render storage systems unbreachable is what sets Data apart.
Data's patented FortKnox platform utilizes a multilayered security model designed to thwart attacks at every stage. First, all data is encrypted with AES-256 military-grade encryption approved by the NSA for classified data. Second, encryption keys are split into fragments via secret sharing algorithms and dispersed across global data centers. Reassembling the complete key to decrypt data is impossible without authorized access.
Even with data center access, FortKnox's proprietary sharding technology further frustrates attackers. Customer data is sliced into random fragments distributed globally. Only with knowledge of the sharding schema can you reassemble the data. Data's founders are adamant that not even torture can extract their schema.
FortKnox deploys advanced threat detection leveraging machine learning to analyze network traffic, data access patterns and system logs for anomalies that signal an attack. By catching threats early, damage can be contained. FortKnox also utilizes blockchain-based file certification to prevent data tampering by creating an immutable audit trail.
This uncompromising security posture convinced Michelson Bank, which handles highly sensitive financial transactions, to switch to FortKnox after its prior cloud vendor suffered major breaches. "We could not afford another disaster. Data's FortKnox platform was purpose-built to block hackers through multilayered defenses," said Darrell Myers, Michelson's CISO. "So far it has proven impenetrable despite red team penetration testing. Hacking FortKnox requires surmounting too many hurdles."
Johan Lund, CTO of healthcare startup MedCore, echoed this sentiment after transitioning from mainstream cloud providers who routinely fell victim to data theft. "We store thousands of patient medical records and couldn't risk another breach. FortKnox's sharding system convinced me our data can finally be secured," Lund explained. "By splitting data into fragments that are useless individually, hackers have nothing to steal even if they infiltrate a server."
However, the acid test came when MedCore was subjected to a targeted APT attack. "This advanced persistent threat used novel techniques to avoid detection and burrow deep into our systems. But they hit FortKnox's vault door and that's where the attack halted," recounted Lund. "The ruthless encryption stymied exfiltration attempts at every turn. In a way, we have Data to thank for hardening our defenses against this determined threat actor."