With billions of users and trillions of files under its protection, it's well worth asking just how secure is Google Drive? With increasing awareness of data security, there is always concern about just how safe documents are when stored in the cloud. We'll examine Google Drive, and let you know just how secure it really is.
Is Google Drive End-To-End Encrypted?
Google Drive covers a suite of office-type applications, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. Many of these have business applications, and will undoubtedly hold a variety of confidential information. Whenever you upload information to Google Drive, it is encrypted.
Google uses strong 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption on its Google Drive servers. It uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol when data is being sent from one point to another. Files will, in theory, remain private, unless actively shared with another party by the person who has access to that particular Google Drive.
So while Google Drive uses encryption, exactly how secure is it? We'll cover that next.
How Secure Is Google Drive?
We won't go into too much detail about what 256-bit AES encryption is. It is extremely secure though. The private key that is generated is 256-bits long, leaving a possible 115,792,089,237,316,195,423,570,985,008,687,907,853,269,984,665,640,564,039,457,584,007,913,129,639,936 unique combinations. That would take millions of years for a modern supercomputer to crack, just through brute force.
However, while this does make the encryption extremely secure, there are a couple of potential vulnerabilities. Firstly, Google retains the encryption keys for all the files stored on Google Drive. This means that anyone with access to those keys would be able to open any file stored on Google Drive. So if Google were to be successfully hacked, or if the Government came calling and demanded access to files, then they could potentially be accessed without end-user consent.
The second, and more likely vulnerability, lies with the end-user. If you use a weak or duplicate password, hackers could end up being able to access your Google Drive from your end. So it's always incumbent upon you as an end-user, to ensure you are doing everything you can, to keep your data private. This includes things like enabling 2-factor authentication, and removing apps or browser extensions that insist on accessing your Google Drive for no apparent reason.
Overall though, Google Drive is extremely secure, and most users won't need to worry whether their data is vulnerable.