Data Encryption: Critical for All Businesses?

|September 22, 2016 0
Image courtesy of aopsan at freedigitalphotos
Data loss is happening frequently and at an increasing rate. And we’re not just talking about hacking of files and folders, but also the loss of physical devices such as laptops and USB keys.

INDIA: Technology has certainly made our day-to-day lives much simpler. From the most mundane tasks like ordering groceries to performing complex surgeries, technology-enabled systems play a role in almost every sphere of our life. In fact, smart devices have become such an integral part of our daily routines that now it would be difficult to imagine a life without them. Today we can use smartphones, USBs, portable working stations and other such advanced gadgets to store data and can carry it to any place in the world!

With data becoming almost omnipresent, the associated risks and vulnerabilities have also increased. According to the PWC Global Security Survey, in 2015, 38 per cent more security incidents were detected as compared to the previous year. In the last two to three years, numerous incidents of huge data breaches have been encountered by leading companies such as retail giant Home Depot and health insurance companies Anthem and Premera, exposing the risks posed by unsecured data.

The PWC survey highlights that theft of ‘hard’ intellectual property (e.g. strategic business plans, sensitive financial documents) has increased by 56 per cent in the last one year.

Although most businesses are already using firewalls and other security solutions for intrusion detection and network security, there is definitely a need for higher level of protection for critical business documents and sensitive information. Data encryption offers a simple and effective way to provide that extra security for all data. It limits data access to those with the right keys i.e. locking out anyone who doesn’t have them. It also helps meet compliance requirements, removes any worry about retirement of disks and voids the threat of physical compromise of the cloud environment. According to the Ponemon Institute, 64 per cent companies are using encryption to comply with data protection norms and regulations.

However, with increasing digitization, greater connectivity and widespread use of online applications, hackers are also coming up with newer and more innovative ways to break into your systems. Their evil minds are not just targeting data that moves through your network, but they are also capable of sneaking into your static documents or ‘data at rest.’ Some of the recent breaches have shown how hackers have infected millions of USBs and other storage devices to access inactive data stored physically in any digital form (e.g. databases, data warehouses, spreadsheets, archives, tapes, off-site backups, mobile devices etc.).

Today’s hackers have the ability to hijack or subvert billions of USB devices, from keyboards to printers to thumb drives and data from warehouses. Therefore in order to maximize protection, a comprehensive data encryption solution must be implemented. It should be able to protect multiple platforms and devices, whether data is accessed from the office network or through any remote device while you are ‘on the go.’ The solution should enable centralized security management so that IT administrators can easily monitor the network and oversee encryption across a complete range of computing devices.

Using a right approach to encryption and data protection offers proven advantages for securing data, whether it is in motion, at rest or even in the cloud. Adding that layer of encryption can protect data from the outset and establish a secure foundation for building an adaptable security infrastructure.

(Rahul Kumar is Country Manager & Director, WinMagic Inc. Views expressed here are of the author and CyberMedia does not necessarily endorse them.)


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