Google Is Giving Customers Control Of Cloud Encryption Keys


Rex Santus, Forbes Staff

July 28, 2015

Google launched “bring your own encryption” keys for use on its Cloud Platform on Tuesday. The move is an effort to provide users of its cloud services with more control of their data security.

Google already encrypts all of the data stored on its cloud platform, but it also controls the encryption keys to access that data. Google holds both the lock and key. Using your own encryption keys is the only way to have complete control over who’s looking at your data.

Giving its cloud customers their own keys would give them more control of their security and close a feature gap with Amazon and Box and, potentially, attract more customers. Google is a relatively minor player in the public cloud business, trailing Amazon and Microsoft, and needs to make more effort to increase its dominance.

“You create and hold the keys, you determine when data is active or at rest, and absolutely no one inside or outside Google can access your at rest data without possession of your keys,” wrote Leonard Law, a product manager at Google, in a blog post announcing the service.

Though users will have greater control, they should keep in mind what that means: If a customer loses the encryption keys, it’s game over — Google says it can’t help you access the lost keys or encrypted data.

The new service is free to Google cloud users and still in beta. Google invites feedback on its forums.

This article was written by Rex Santus from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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