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Storage Authors: Pat Romanski, Sven Olav Lund, Lana Tannir, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing: Article

Why Digital Lockers Are Better Suited Than Cloud Storage For Your Documents

While most businesses already use cloud storage to store their data, it may really not be sufficient.

Digital lockers offer a secure and encrypted storage safe in the cloud. They can be accessed from anywhere, as long as the user has internet access. While some digital lockers only provide a login ID and a password, others also come with private encryption features that let the user define their own encryption key.

The main aim of a digital locker is to replace physical documents, or any other platform used to share critical documents, and act as a centralized access location. Apart from storing files, digital lockers may also store information like who has access to which files, and who made the last edit.

First launched by Microsoft nearly a decade back, digital lockers are today commonly offered by financial and health institutions, including companies like AllState Insurance, where customers need a secure digital alternative to physical documents.  The Government of India recently launched a digital locker app that lets its citizens carry a copy of their driving license on their mobile phones.

Are digital lockers different than cloud storage

While most businesses already use cloud storage to store their data, it may really not be sufficient. Traditional cloud storage services do make use of encryption and 2FA to keep data secure. However, the product is built around the features it offers. For instance, Dropbox is positioned as a seamless way to synchronize your documents across multiple platforms.

Digital lockers on the other hand, are storage platforms with security as their prime area of focus. They may either be products unto themselves or serve as lockers for specific types of documents (like contracts, patient records, client documents to name a few). Security features that such lockers typically include encryption, offsite backup, access control, user activity tracking, data privacy, multi-factor authentication, audit logs, watermarks, restrictions on printing and most importantly permission-based user roles.  They may also come with additional features like e-signatures that let users share and collaborate within the secure confines of the digital locker service and in order to ensure that there is little scope for data theft.

In essence, the purpose of a digital locker is to provide a secure space for customers to save their crucial data while the purpose of a cloud storage service is to just make it easier for users to access and share their documents from anywhere.

Issues with digital lockers

Even though digital lockers claim to be secure, they are still storing data on the cloud, which is highly susceptible to hacking. Ashley Madison, MySpace, Minecraft, British Airways, Telegram and many more businesses were victims of hacking just in the past year.

It is understandable why businesses may be a lot more skeptical about the cloud today. But with newer technologies and newer forms of encryption being deployed in recent times, the cloud is now more secure than ever. Choose digital lockers that allow you to specify your own encryption keys and you are good to go.

Helping businesses

As work continues to move from paper to the cloud, securing documents has been a major issue for companies. Many of the major banks still store their data on their own dedicated physical servers instead of the cloud, and all that extra investment because they don’t want to risk their data.

But digital lockers can be the right answer to the privacy issue. While businesses can continue to use normal cloud storage apps for everyday file transfer, digital lockers can be used to secure important company files, software registration codes, and tax files.

More Stories By Harry Trott

Harry Trott is an IT consultant from Perth, WA. He is currently working on a long term project in Bangalore, India. Harry has over 7 years of work experience on cloud and networking based projects. He is also working on a SaaS based startup which is currently in stealth mode.