Cloud Storage “Made in Germany”

Business and Enterprise Cloud Storage “Made in Germany”

A Data Privacy and Security Comparison of 7 German Cloud Storage Providers

In this article, we take a close look at cloud storage services for business and enterprise use. Private individuals searching for a German cloud storage provider will find what they are looking for in our article "Cloud storage — Made in Germany". In our Cloud storage comparison 2021 you will find an overview of the storage capacities, prices and security of the most popular international cloud services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.

7 German cloud storage providers in the data protection and security check

Since the Court of Justice of the European Union declared the EU-US Privacy Shield invalid in 2020, large US cloud storage providers such as Microsoft, Dropbox, or Google must once again be viewed critically in terms of data protection.

Therefore, we present you some smaller cloud storage providers from Germany. After all, according to regional laws and regulations, German or European cloud providers cannot be forced to hand over your information or make it available to third parties.

All seven cloud storage providers we present to you in this article have their company headquarters and the location of their servers in Germany, which automatically makes them subject to strict German and European data protection regulations.

We focus on the following points in this comparison of German clouds:

  • Data protection (especially encryption and authentication)
  • Data security (especially data recovery)
  • Ransomware protection

1&1 IONOS HiDrive

The Company:

IONOS by 1&1 was formed in 2018 from the merger of 1&1 Internet and the Berlin-based IaaS provider ProfitBricks. With more than eight million customer contracts, IONOS is the leading European provider of hosting services, cloud services, and cloud infrastructure.

The data of customers is hosted in Germany, England, or the US. In Germany, the data centers of Strato AG are used for this purpose. In addition to an offer for private individuals, 1&1 IONOS HiDrive is also available as a business and pro version for self-employed persons and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Data Protection and Security:

  • Encryption: In principle it is GDPR-compliant to store company data in 1&1 IONOS HiDrive. The transfer of data to and from the servers is SSL256-bit encrypted. “Data at rest”, on the servers, is stored with AES-128 encryption. Companies can protect sensitive data with additional end-to-end encryption. However, this requires the “Pro” plan. The encryption is created by a Windows HiDrive software. There is currently no software for macOS or iOS. By scanning a QR code, the encryption can also be transferred to Android apps.
  • Authentication: The use of two-factor authentication (2FA), consisting of user credentials and an additional 6-digit code that users receive on their smartphone via a (free) app, is possible.

  • Data recovery: There is an automatic cloud backup. In the Pro plan, it is possible to initiate a restore via the backup copy, if data gets lost.

  • Certificate/Security Audit: 1&1 IONOS HiDrive Germany is hosted in data centers of Strato which are, like every data center IONOS uses worldwide, ISO 27001 certified.

Costs and Performance:
The IONOS HiDrive offer is aimed rather at self-employed people or smaller companies with up to ten employees. In the Pro version, you get a total of 2,000 GB for 10 users and pay €10 per month for the first 12 months, and €20 per month from the 13th month onwards.

DRACOON (Secure Data Space)

The Company:

DRACOON is developed in Regensburg and operated in a data center in Nuremberg. The solution is designed for business and enterprise use and currently supports over 400,000 business users from a wide range of industries. Companies can use the enterprise cloud and file sharing solution as a cloud, hybrid and on-premise solution.

Data Protection and Security:

  • Encryption: With DRACOON, company-critical data is protected by end-to-end encryption, including client-side Triple-Crypt™ encryption. Cloud storage can be mounted as a drive in Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac). An app for iOS and Android is also available.

  • Authentication: Access permissions are governed by a multi-level, role-based authorization system. In addition, access to company data can be protected by a second login factor (two-factor authentication).

  • Data recovery:
    The DRACOON cloud platform creates an automatic data backup. Furthermore, ransomware protection is integrated into DRACOON’s cloud storage. In real time, files are moved to the recycle bin before being encrypted by Trojans and can be safely restored from there.

  • Security certificate/audits: The provider can boast a Criteria Catalog C5 certificate from the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certificate.

Costs and Performance:

The plan “DRACOON Enterprise Cloud” contains no limits on storage space or the number of users. The contract can only be terminated annually. Billing is per user and month.

LEITZCloud by vBoxx GmbH

The Company:

LEITZCloud by vBoxx operates its own data center and thus stores customers’ data on its own servers in Germany. The cloud offering is aimed exclusively at business customers. You can also find more information about the provider in our blog post "From Folders to the Company Cloud — Store Data Reliably and Securely in the LEITZCloud".

Data Protection and Security:

  • Encryption: SSL encryption is used for communication with LEITZCloud servers. AES-256 encryption is used for storage and all data transfers. In addition, LEITZCloud is a zero-knowledge provider, meaning they will never be able to access your data. The offer is available as a web app as well as for iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows.

  • Authentication: For second-factor authentication, you can use email, SMS, or an authenticator app. Additionally, devices that have been stolen or lost can be disconnected via remote wipe.

  • Data recovery: Automatic backups take place. Furthermore, there is protection against ransomware that allows you to recover damaged or deleted files.

  • Security certificate/audits: LEITZCloud data centers are ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified and equipped with state-of-the-art technologies.

Cost and performance:
LEITZCloud offers customers a very flexible billing model based on the number of users or extra storage space required. There are also packages for teams between 12 - 50 people from €99/month or an enterprise version for more than 50 people from €429,50/month with annual billing and 2 TB storage included.

mailbox.org cloud storage "Drive"

The Company:

The small Berlin-based family company Heinlein Support GmbH is one of the best-known and most sought-after network, Linux and email specialists in Germany. The servers run in two different data centers in Berlin. In addition to the secure email box, mailbox.org customers receive storage space in the cloud.

Data Protection and Security:

  • Encryption: All files in the cloud storage can be encrypted using mailbox.org Guard. This must be activated prior. When activated, a PGP key pair is automatically generated. The public PGP key is used for encryption, the private PGP key for decryption.

  • Authentication: Two-factor authentication is possible by combining a fixed PIN and the creation of a one-time password via a hardware component (such as a security key) or software installed on a second device.

  • Data recovery: For its own protection, mailbox.org creates backups of mail data for internal purposes. If you need to restore your mailbox, you can fall back on this data. However, this is a voluntary service provided by the company free of charge. Customers who wish to use this service have no claim to its existence, availability, or freedom from errors.

  • Security certificate/audits: -

Costs and Performance:
Starting at €9 per month and user, mailbox.org provides you with office functions and the option to hold video conferences, in addition to a German email box and cloud storage. You can extend your storage from €0.20 / 5 GB.

luckycloud

The Company:
The in-house data center of luckycloud is located in Berlin. The company provides cloud storage for both private users, business and enterprise customers.

Data Protection and Security:

  • Encryption:
    Data processing takes place in accordance with EU GDPR. End-to-end encryption (AES-256) is used to protect your data. In general, the company aims to minimize data collection as well as a zero-knowledge cloud. However, the encryption is still somewhat inflexible: individual files or folders within the library can be shared through a upload or download link. However, this is only possible with libraries that did not activate end-to-end encryption.

  • Authentication: Enabling two-factor authentication (optional) provides further protection for company data. If end devices are lost or stolen, data can be deleted from the respective devices using remote wipe.

  • Data recovery: luckycloud uses so-called block versioning. With every change within a library, a so-called “snapshot” is created. A deleted row is easily restored by reverting the row to the previous version. With the plan “luckycloud Pro Enterprise” an antivirus integration can be added additionally.

  • Security Certificate/Audits: The company has its own ISO 27001 certified data center.

Cost and performance:
Depending on the size of your company and the services you want, you can choose between luckycloud Team, Business or Enterprise. In addition, there are costs for storage space. It starts at a price of €2.50 per user per month for a team of 2 and a storage space of 3 GB.

ownCloud

The Company:

ownCloud.online is hosted exclusively in Germany. The cloud storage service is used by both private users and companies. The business solution includes extensive security and administration features.

Data Protection and Security:

  • Encryption: Data can be protected with client-side end-to-end encryption. TLS AES-256 is used for encrypted data transmission.

  • Authentication: You have the option to use two-factor or multifactor authentication in your browser. In addition, to use the Android app, iOS app, or desktop client, you must first install OAuth2 on the ownCloud server.

  • Data recovery: ownCloud supports a simple version control system for files. Versioning creates backups of all files. There is also logging/auditing of file activities.

  • Security certificate/audits: The data centers are ISO 27001 certified.

Costs and Performance:
With annual billing of 5 or more users, you get 1,000 GB of secure cloud storage for €13 per user per month. If additional users are added, you will receive an extra 200 GB per new user plan.

Strato HiDrive Business

The Company:
Strato AG operates two TÜV-certified data centers with over 70,000 servers in Berlin and Karlsruhe. STRATO AG is a company of the United Internet Group and supports 2 million customers with its offerings.

Data Protection and Security:

  • Encryption: Data is transmitted via AES-256. AES-128 encryption is used for storage. Data protection using end-to-end encryption is optional. This can be implemented using a desktop client. The encrypted data can also be decrypted and displayed in the apps for iOS and Android via a QR code. MacOS and Linux are not currently supported.

  • Authentication: Since 2020, authentication via an additional second factor has been optionally available to protect data in the cloud. In addition to the personal password, a one-time password (OTP) is requested as a second factor.

  • Data recovery: The data in HiDrive is secured by automatic backups. Administrators can define the time intervals themselves.

  • Security certificate/audits: The data centers have been certified by TÜV ISO 27001.

Costs and Performance:
Strato offers four different billing models for companies: Starter, Basic, Plus and Pro. Depending on the package, you can choose between 1 TB of storage and 5 users for €15 per month up to 10 TB of storage and 20 users for €100 per month. For new customers, there is a high discount in the first months.

German Data Protection Standards thanks to Boxcryptor

Our overview shows that German cloud storage providers already meet a high standard when it comes to protecting sensitive data. So, those looking for an alternative to the large storage providers outside Germany and the EU will certainly find what they are looking for here.

However, if you don’t want to miss out on the offerings of the international providers, which can convince numerous companies and organizations with their performance and price, you can easily secure yourself with an encryption solution “Made in Germany”.

The encryption software Boxcryptor is specialized in the encryption of data. Boxcryptor is compatible with all major, international cloud storage providers, but also with the German cloud storage providers presented here and many more.

Boxcryptor is also particularly suitable for a multi-cloud strategy, for example for companies that rely on a German cloud storage provider with one of the large, international providers such as Microsoft, Google, or Dropbox. Even if data is to be encrypted locally, on file servers or NAS, Boxcryptor offers itself as an encryption solution.

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