As a critical component of your cybersecurity plan, data encryption safeguards the sensitive information stored in your company’s computer systems or transferred over public networks. As cyber-attacks become more sophisticated and computer systems improve techniques for encryption of data must be adapted to the changing times. Understanding when and how to apply this security technique is essential to ensure that your data is secure.
Encryption is the process of coding data so that it is not readable or mangled by anyone who does not possess the encryption key. This ciphertext is then transmitted or stored to block any unauthorized access to original information.
If used properly, encryption of data makes it impossible for hackers gain access to data, even if the information is stolen digitally or physically. It’s often the core of a solid cybersecurity system and is usually required by compliance standards to safeguard certain kinds of information, like healthcare data that is subject to HIPAA regulations, payment card data with PCI DSS regulations and personal information to ensure GDPR compliance.
With mobile devices and remote work becoming more common it’s vital for companies to implement strong encryption strategies for data to ensure that their sensitive data is secure. This includes encryption at the rest of the process, which safeguards data that is stored on hard drives cloud storage, USB devices, and smartphones against physical theft or attack which can occur if a device is plugged in to a network that is public. Data encryption in transit is also used to protect data that is continuously transmitted from one system or device to another. This includes instant messaging, email, and website traffic. This helps to safeguard against adversity like man-inthe-middle attacks.