5 Benefits of Using Container Encryption vs. File Encryption

8 Jan 2020 | Jetico Technical Support

File encryption is well-known technology commonly used to protect sensitive information. But it has its flaws… for example, what if you need to manage and access a large amount of encrypted files at once?

Container encryption can be adopted for many use cases, including encrypting files. In this post we’re going to explore 5 main reasons why using container encryption is preferred and how it boosts your company’s efficiency, as well as security. 

Let’s dig in!

#1 Management of Multiple Files
This is the most obvious advantage of using container encryption. Think of a ring box vs. a jewelry box. A ring box is like an encrypted file; it can hold just one item at a time. A jewelry box is like an encrypted container; it can store and protect a variety of things in one place. Since each file needs its own unique password, the more files you have to deal with – and the more attractive it becomes to work on the container level.

#2 Metadata Hiding
When you encrypt a container, you completely conceal its structure. When you encrypt a single file, you leave some information available. Usually the encrypted file has the same name with a different extension. You need to keep the name in order to keep track of what it is. Depending on the software, more information may remain exposed. An encrypted directory may have an easily readable index. It might show the number of files, their sizes, modification times, and other metadata.
Container encryption hides all this information. The container doesn't need to have a meaningful name. No one except the holder of the key can see how many files it has, when they were created, or anything else.

#3 No Footprints Left 
Container encryption doesn't leave traces the way file encryption often does. Some file encryption solutions create temporary files when creating the archive or restoring files. They're deleted on completion, of course, but their content is on the drive until it gets overwritten. If someone gets access to the drive, it's easy to recover those files. Container encryption puts all the temp files in a mounted container – in effect, in a virtual drive. The container is itself encrypted, so there's no data written in plain form to the drive.

#4 Cloud Protection 
Some people argue that container encryption can't work in the cloud because of huge file sizes and long transfer times. This isn't really a problem as it’s made out to be. With modern connection speeds, even large containers move quickly. A service that offers differential syncing makes updates even faster, with only the parts that have changed being uploaded. Dropbox and other services offer this feature. If you change just 10 KB in a 2 GB container, only the changed parts are transferred. 
When you're using a cloud service, it's even more important to hide file metadata such as names and sizes. The encrypted files are, after all, residing in someone else's data center. You can divide your archive into more than one container – for instance, one for sensitive files and another for non-sensitive. That way, you can include extra precautions for your sensitive data.

#5 A Protected, Virtual Drive
How do you use these containers? A mounted container is based on virtual drive technology. While it's mounted, it appears to your software like any other drive. You can use the container to store internal data and temp files. They never show up in unencrypted form on the physical storage. When it's dismounted, the files aren't visible to anybody. No other applications can read them, even if they have hardware-level access to the drive.

Jetico's BestCrypt

Jetico’s BestCrypt Container Encryption provides a solution to protect all your sensitive files and folders. There's no size limitation; the container can be the full size of your drive.

Our encryption has no backdoors. We've published the source code to prove it, and you can read it for yourself. Only you can access your encrypted archives. And for extra protection you can create as many hidden containers as you want.

BestCrypt is cross-platform -  running on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android - and allows you to encrypt files in the Cloud. If you're using a computer which doesn't have the software installed, you can download BestCrypt Traveller or run it from a removable device. You always have access — and nobody else does.

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