Data Encryption And Why You Should Use It
With the abundance of data being stored and shared today, the risk for data breaches is becoming increasingly prevalent. As a business, information could not be more crucial to the well-being of the company. Security breaches can be detrimental to a business, so taking steps to make your information harder to access would be a smart idea. One great and easy way to protect your data, and add that extra step in security, is encryption.
What encryption essentially does is that it scrambles text and information in order to make it unreadable to anyone other than individuals with the key to decrypt it. Today, encryption is becoming more and more necessary in any company’s security strategy due to its ability to make information harder to breach and to even discourage hackers. If encryption is not a step in your security process yet, implementing it as soon as possible will be greatly beneficial to your company. Below, we will highlight the details of encryption and how to use it.
How Does It Work?
Like other IT security processes that are designed to protect physical machines such as computers, servers, and databases, encryption protects the data that is actually stored on these entities. Therefore, even if the data is stolen, it is still unreadable. However, while encryption is not 100% impenetrable, it makes it harder for others to access your information.
So how does encryption actually work? Encryption is based off of cryptography in which your computer scrambles plain text into unreadable code that requires an encryption key to be decrypted. For example, if your emails are encrypted, only the receiver will be able to read the email. When you are shopping online, payments are encrypted so that potential hackers are not able to steal credit card information.
To keep it simple, all the data you would want to encrypt would either be stored or in transit. Data that is stored is all the data sitting in your computer and databases whereas data in transit is any information that is in movement from one machine to another.
Encrypt Your Information
When it comes to your business and it’s entities, you want to make sure everything is safeguarded appropriately. If your business has developed a web or mobile app for your employees or clients, it is extremely important that these are protected with encryption. A lot of major apps today use encryption to keep user information safe for both stored and in transit data. When developing an application for your business, it is crucial that you include encryption, as it is a simple step with great benefits. If implemented correctly, encryption could take hackers very long to crack data, if they were simply using brute force attacks. A brute force attack is when hackers use an algorithm to try different combinations of passwords or keys until one works. By using encryption, the number of possible combinations is so high that breaking it could take years. However, the level of encryption security depends on the type of encryption. Encryption is measured in bits, and essentially, the higher bit key you utilize, the safer it becomes. For example a 5-bit key would only have 32 possible combinations, however if you go up to a 30-bit key, the possibilities go into the billions. This is where it becomes clear how much harder this makes data available to hackers. Going forward, any time you add a new technological entity to your business, always remember to encrypt it, and depending on how confidential the data is, consider higher bit keys.
Lastly, it is important to remember that encryption is not the end all and be all when it comes to security. Along with using encryption to protect your data, make sure your business has other IT security steps in place to ensure that all private information is safe and away from any risk of breach. This, in the long run will save you time, money, and give peace of mind.