The recent spate of malware, phishing, and of course, ransomware attacks have put the entirety of the IT industry on high alert. Businesses are paying more attention to security than ever before, and it’s no longer about getting a random encryption solution and being done with it. Far from it, encryption is only the beginning of a long but rewarding process of shielding your systems against the rising tide of virtual threats. Encryption by itself achieves nothing; you need to adopt several other steps and activities to keep your data far out of reach of hackers and other malicious entities.
Never Underestimate the Importance of Backups
The first thing you should realize is, encryption is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there are hundreds of ways for your data to become compromised, so you can’t afford to be lax. On the other hand, if implemented incorrectly, the encryption process might just lock you out and prevent access to your own data. That’s why you should always remember to back up all your vital data. As an added precaution, take suitable measures to protect the backup data.
Different Kinds of Data Have Different Encryption Requirements
While on the subject of data protection, you must learn to distinguish between data in motion and data at rest. The former is the type of data that is accessed regularly or being sent. Data at rest, on the other hand, isn’t accessed, such as the files that are burned onto a CD and left on the shelf. Your primary target should be the encryption of data in motion from any user who is not authorized to access that information. However, you should not neglect the data at rest entirely because you never know when it might become data in motion. Use encryption to minimize risks.
Find Out What Data Encryption Works Best For You
Usability, scalability, and adaptability – these are the three things every good encryption solution should aspire to provide to users. After all, the needs and wants of every business are different, which means the encryption solution must have the ability to fit those parameters. When the needs change, the encryption must cope with the changes as well. Thankfully, we now have lots of encryption solutions that are flexible enough to fulfill your requirements. Also, the encryption solution chosen must not take up a lot of time during implementation and should be easily understandable. Otherwise, the usability of the strategy takes a hit in the long run and makes everyday usage difficult.
Have a Fixed Budget in Mind
Unless you’re one of the high rollers of the IT industry, like Apple and Amazon, chances have you don’t have an unlimited encryption budget. So, what you need are ways to trim costs without having to sacrifice data protection quality. For instance, your business would do better to pick an encryption solution that is scalable, meaning you would have the opportunity to add new features, if necessary.
True, a scalable encryption solution costs more upfront, but think about it: Would you rather spend some extra money now on an adaptable solution, or keep on upgrading and renewing your program on a regular basis?
Plus, keep in mind that encryption solutions are available as perpetual licenses with annual support and maintenance costs, or as subscription licenses that offer more financial flexibility and provide the opportunity to manage costs. So, pick the model that suits your business needs the best.
Select the Right Encryption Level for Your Business
The complexity of deployment and security increases when encryption is implemented higher in the technology stack. At higher levels, it is possible to break out of data encryption types according to where they are employed in the technology stack. Four levels exist in the technology stack whereby data encryption is normally employed, viz. database, file system, application, and media or full-disk. The way it works is, encryptions employed lower in the track trend to have simpler and less intrusive implementations. But the types and numbers of digital issues that can be addressed by these data encryption strategies are also decreased. But employing the encryption solution higher in the stack enables organizations to achieve greater security and contend with bigger threats.
Do Not Pick Something Overly Complicated
When you first approach an encryption solutions provider, you will hear a lot of fancy words being thrown around, like “complex password rules”, “crypto algorithms”, and “granular configuration options”. Unfortunately, most of these features have no meaning unless you know how to wield them properly. And that means providing costly consulting services and training for your employees. Moreover, several advanced solutions possess high requirements when it comes to system environment needed for operating the software. Others rely on existing, rolled-out PKI (public key infrastructures).
You need to clarify all these points before you invest a lot of money on the solution. Pay attention to multiple factors, including support for workgroups, central administration options, impact on existing user workflows, power divide between a security officer and system administrator, straightforward configurations, and emergency recovery in case of accidental key loss.
The thing is, you should never allow yourself to be waylaid by flashy technical gimmicks; always keep your eyes on the prize, which in this instance, is the perfect encryption solution for your business. Always go for the product that you think will be suitable for daily use in the long run.
The abovementioned points might not explicitly state the perfect encryption solution, but reading them can help you take a step in the right direction. They should provide you with more insight and help you formulate a more personalized strategy. Ideally, companies want encryption solutions that fit the needs of their business and ward off data attacks from all quarters without putting a huge dent in their budget. That might sound like a tall order, but considering the current state of digital affairs and the growing intensity of online threats, it is worth spending time and money to find a solution that meets all the criteria.