File sharing security

Sharing your files securely


Popular file sharing platforms like Dropbox, WeTransfer or MediaFire are used by hundreds of millions of users each day to share several gigabytes of data.

Let's take a closer look if the shared content is stored securely in terms of availability and confidentiality on the Top 5 File sharing platforms:

  1. Imgur - Link
  2. Dropbox - Link
  3. - Link
  4. MediaFire - Link
  5. SafeFrom - Link
Platform HTTPS Client-side content encryption Client-side content splitting
Imgur Ok No No
Dropbox Ok No No Ok No No
Mediafire Ok No No
SafeFrom Ok No No

File sharing security

All Top 5 File sharing platforms enforce TLS-encrypted HTTP connections via HTTPS. This provides a sufficient security for
data in transit

Data at rest security

Data at rest means data that is stored physically in any digital form.

But after the files are transferred securely from the user's web-browser to the servers of the file-sharing platforms, the file is available in clear text.

Of course all of the file-sharing providers put a lot of effort in securing their servers to protect their user's data from theft or data breaches. But the biggest security issue comes from the fact that the store the files on their own servers - which they control by themselfes.

This means that they control the servers which are storing their users data - which means as a consequence that they have full access to the user's data.

But what if there the data is already encrypted at the user side? Wouldn't that be a way more secure approach to protect the transferred files from unauthorized access and theft?
Then even the storage providers would not be able to access the files.

How SecureBeam is working

This was exactly the motivation to build up SecureBeam: The data is encrypted right in the user's web-browser after dropping the file on the website.

But SecureBeam goes even further: After encrypting the user's files, each single file is split into three different data chunks. And each data-chunk is then uploaded to a different cloud storage provider.

With this simple yet clever trick the data is never stored in plain text on any server. Nobody - not even the storage server administrators themselves - are able to access the file's content.

Platform HTTPS Client-side content encryption Client-side content splitting
SecureBeam Ok Ok Ok

But SecureBeam goes even one step further: By splitting the user's file into three different data-chunks and loading each single data-chunk to a different cloud storage provider (currently supported: Amazon AWS,Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud Storage) the data is also highly available.

SecureBeam splits the data-chunks based on the RAID5-principle: Only two out of three data-chunks are required from the cloud storage services to reconstruct the original file.

Let's assume you transferred a file via SecureBeam to a friend and IBM Cloud storage is not available. No worries: Your friend is able to receive the file still as SecureBeam only needs the data-chunks from Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS to reconstruct the original file for your friend.