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Dropbox: Security Considerations

Dropbox is a cloud storage solution that is very popular for home and enterprise users alike. It is favoured for its convenience and reliability. When it comes to storing your data, you obviously want to make sure that untoward eyes aren’t able to pry. As such, security is the upmost priority, especially when it comes to storing sensitive data about yourself or customers. You have to consider how secure your data truly is when storing it in the cloud, whether that be on Dropbox or not.
According to Dropbox, they take your data very seriously and make use of the best tools and practices to maintain security. They use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and AES-256 encryption on their data. They also claim that their website and software are constantly being advanced to enhance security and ensure protection should there be any attacks. Account login is protected by multiple security layers and a two-step verification process. You can choose to get security codes by text message or through Time-Based One-Time Password apps. Dropbox also state that their employees are not allowed to view any of the content that you store in your account, unless legal reasons arise that they need to do so. When you are sharing your files with other people (once you’ve set them as public), then only people who know the link will be able to access it. It’s all fairly standard stuff that you would expect at a minimum, really.
Dropbox uses Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) to store all their data on. All of Amazon’s data centres are securely encrypted in various sites across the United States. Data stored on Amazon S3 is accessible via SSL encrypted endpoints, both on the internet and within Amazon S3, meaning that data transfer is secure. Data can also be encrypted while it is stored on Amazon S3 and if it is done so with keys then it is not stored on the same server. When you remove something from your Dropbox account and, in turn, from Amazon’s S3 servers then the removal of the mapping from the public name to the object starts immediately and processed within seconds. Once removed, it is not possible to externally access the deleted object. The storage area is then marked only for write operations and the data is overwritten by brand new data.
When it comes to storing your data online you have to be careful whatever service you use. Nothing is one hundred percent secure when it comes to computing and you have to consider what type of data you want to be storing on Dropbox. If there is a small chance that the data could fall in to the wrong hands then you have to consider the implications that could arise from this. If you are a business then it could mean a lot of scrambling around in the PR department. Dropbox is certainly more secure than some competitors thanks to Amazon’s advanced security, but be sure to consider the implications of online storage whatever service you choose.


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