With the different laws on breach of information at the federal and state level, businesses feel the need to make sure their employees and customer’s information is secure. There are different options businesses can consider to keep their data safe. This ranges from using strong password combinations to restricting access to certain information.
Data encryption is the process of concealing information in a way that makes it difficult for unauthorized parties to access unless they have specialized knowledge or “key.” Today, many businesses apply data encryption to the dissemination, transmission, and storage of data.
This guide provides a detailed overview to help you have a better understanding of why it is vital for your business.
Types of Data Encryption
Asymmetric Cryptography – This type of data encryption uses a public and private key which are linked together. You may choose to share the public key, but the private key should remain anonymous. While both the public and private keys can be used to encrypt a message, it’s only the private key that can decode a message.
Symmetric Key Cipher – In this method of data encryption, a secret key algorithm is sent to a receiver, which is then used to decode a message. There will be a universal key that users can use when encoding a message.
Encryption Algorithms for Cloud Computing
The advantage of using encryption algorithms is that it secures your network connection as well as any sensitive data. The data encryption options used in the past are becoming obsolete thanks to the innovations of hackers and networks alike. That said, if you are thinking of securing your cloud computing needs, there are a few encryption methods you may want to consider.
If you want to make it difficult to decrypt your data, this is one of the most secure methods to consider. It is considered a powerful and most secure encryption technique because it supports key lengths of up to 4096 bits. It also features two different sets of encryption keys. The first set encrypts public information while the others decrypt private data. While this may be the most effective way to secure your data, your information may be compromised if the private key is exposed.
Advanced Encryption Standard
Advanced encryption standard blocks the cypher that encrypts information. This streamlines the data encryption compared to when it’s done bit by bit. Given that this type of data algorithm falls under the symmetric key encryption, you have to share the keys with other individuals if they’re to access the safe information.
Benefits of Data Encryption For Your Business
When running your business, it’s essential not to take unnecessary risks. One of the ways to make sure that you stay off the never-ending cycle of cyber-attacks is by encrypting your data. While an attacker may get past your basic security measures, the encryption protocol scrambles your data making it difficult to read.
When intruders get to this point, it all comes down to whether or not it’s worth it to take the time and effort to decrypt the information. In most cases, hackers would go for websites that generate a higher return on investment.
Bypass Compliance Laws
It may come as a surprise, but encryption technologies do not necessarily need different compliance laws such as health insurance accountability and portability act. Many of the compliance laws require implementing preventative solutions such as antivirus and firewalls. It’s, however, important to consider other methods than let your information get stolen.
Encryption Is Expected
If you are working with payment service providers that process sensitive and secure information, you expect to be safe. That is why it is important to secure your client’s information the same way payment processing companies encrypt and secure payments from hackers.
You’ll be painting a bad picture if your customers learn that their information got stolen as a result of poorly encrypted infrastructure. This may compromise your reputation and could result in the loss of valuable customers.
Cloud Data Encryption Best Practices
Businesses need to take the extra step of securing data via the cloud. This mostly applies to sensitive information, especially trade secrets and company finances. It may also be necessary for a business to opt for the cloud option, especially if the industry deals with personal identifying information.
The healthcare industry, for instance, routinely processes passwords, social security numbers, and credit card information. This prompts hackers to try and access the client-side accounts. To make sure you are on the safe side, here are a few best practices you should take into account.
Carefully Select Your Service Provider
The external data encryption service provider you hire should come highly recommended by top companies who are knowledgeable within your industry. They should also consider an approach suited for your business as opposed to a one size fit all model. If it’s a startup company, make sure that you properly vet their operation. This is because not every company can provide you with the desired results as you grow your business.
Know the Data You Store
You must document all the vital information stored in the cloud. Don’t forget to review who’ll be responsible for managing the data, and what happens in case it gets into the wrong hands. Take note that your business is liable for any vulnerabilities, whether it’s from your side or your data service provider.
Be Prepared For a Security Breach
You should ask your service provider the best action to take in case of a security breach. That aside, they should provide a well-documented method of support deployment, as well as the mitigation process. It’s also your responsibility as a business to install fail-safes that locks down data before it gets unencrypted or extracted.
Strict Security Policies
Your data encryption provider should have strict policies when it comes to storing data on the cloud. This means that they should have secure protocols which are above what your business currently has. If you’re in an industry that is heavily regulated, your service provider should comply with any additional guidelines.
Watch Out for Security Gaps
Before a data encryption company comes in, your business should already have security tools that can detect gaps in your in-house system. Take note that you and your provider share the responsibility of compliance and security. While your service provider silos your client databases, you need to make sure that access on your end is appropriately firewalled.
File Encryption Is a Top Priority
While your cloud provider may institute different measures to guarantee the safety of your data, make the extra effort of encrypting your files. Before you send any file to the cloud, it should be encrypted. This is important because it guarantees an extra layer of protection.
You may also want to implement the “sharding” technique, which breaks and segments data before storing fragments of data on different locations. This makes it difficult for hackers to piece the segments together in case of a successful security breach.
Data Encryption: Bottom Line
Businesses should understand that this isn’t a technology that can be randomly applied in an organization. There is a systematic way to secure data which guarantees that there won’t be any security flaws. It’s also vital for businesses to check what employees do, how they use data, and how it flows in and out of the organization. What’s more, employees should also be conversant with the data protection plan in place and what it means to them.