Cyber attackers are becoming more sophisticated and they target more on the sensitive user information, and other information gathered by health, financial, education, government and e-commerce providers. A recent report shows that 52% of the online cloud data customers were affected by cyber-attacks.

The IT World is facing massive security breaches like Target, Adobe, Linkedin, Snapchat due to the lack of good encryption practices. In the traditional encrypted file storage, the compromise of any file or its portion could cause problems of data loss, information leakage, or other security issues. There are some notable encryption vulnerabilities:

  • Advanced Cryptanalysis: An encrypted file (e.g., by RC4 Encryption, RSA (public-key cryptosystems), Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), etc.) is subjected to advanced cryptanalysis (e.g., Chosen cyphertext attack) and current approach can crash the strongest encryption.
  • Weakness on Encryption Key Generation: Advance cryptanalysis can explore the encryption weakness such as key generation – prime numbers which are commonly used. Backdoor is another problem and NSA spends billions of dollars to build backdoor.
  • Spying the Encryption Keys: The encryption keys are not protected from spying, insider, or tampers. Protecting the encryption keys is a problem.
  • Super Computer and Quantum Computer: Advanced computation systems are able to crash an encrypted file. The Penetrating Hard Targets project spends 79.7 million of research to crack RSA on the web. MIT’s latest Quantum Computers can crack most of the encryption.

Moreover, an encrypted file could be tampered. A hacker (e.g., Malware) may steal/modify/delete (e.g., stealth attacks) encrypted files such that you are unable to recover them. The compromise of a storage device having the encrypted files will result in data loss and other risks. All of these listed encryption vulnerabilities are highly associated with the storage of file-oriented approaches and NXdrive has addressed them effectively.

Please join NXdrive for enjoying significantly improved security features.


NXdrive team

5 Risks of File-based Data Storage

File-based data storage inheritably has some vulnerability in favor of security hackers. Data content in a file is a stream of meaningful information bytes. Further, data files are well-organized on the data storage devices and a file is a basic unit for copy, remove, and other operations. A block of file or storage space represents the data information in that part that is meaningful. All the above properties impose 5 critical risks on the file-based data storage.

Risks of Data Confidentiality

Each file in a data storage is a stream of readable information bytes.

File-based data storage provides very poor data confidentiality because each file in the data storage is a stream of readable information. Therefore, the breach of any file portion results in information leakages. The data hackers can easily retrieve your data file by file from your data storage devices. The physical loss of any storage device could result in data leakage of a large number of files.

Risks of Personal Privacy

Metadata in a file indicates personal privacy information in addition to the data content.

File-based data storage provides very poor protection of personal privacy. It is because many technologies are able to scan metadata of your file that may contain your personal privacy information. Therefore, file-based storage may lead to personal information leakages.

Risks of Data Breach

A file-based storage system is vulnerable to data breach.

A file-based data storage system saves data as files and a file can be easily copied by a hacker. It is because you save the data file-by-file in a well-organized way. In fragment-based approach, a hacker cannot get the data using copy and other operations.

Risks of Brute-force Attacks

Each encrypted file in a data storage system is vulnerable to brute-force attacks.

File-based data storage is not resilience to brute-force attacks. It is because the encryption is enforced on a unit of file. The key can be decoded to unlock a file by brute force attacks. Current data encryption can be broken by a super computer in hours or less and the future quantum super computer can decrypt it in a few seconds.

Risks of Insider Threats

Each file in a data storage system is vulnerable to insider threats.

File-based data storage has poor protection against insiders. It is because the files at-rest can be easily copied by an insider (e.g., device managers, data managers) having access to a data storage machine. Access control and authorization become immediately invalid for these insiders.