Imagine your employees sending the details of your secret projects to a colleague via email. It contains private, profitable and sensitive information – easily comprehensible in its actual form. But as it travels across connected networks and reaches the recipient it travels as a digital signal. Information is merely an organized form of digital signals.
Now somewhere on that email’s journey a hacker or malicious third party might intercepts the digital signal. They can see the information as all the digital data is organised and easy for them to convert it into readable text, the original information.
What data encryption does is take organized data and ‘messes it up’ in such a way that the only way to see the information properly is to have the right ‘key’ to unlock the messed up data. Therefore, if a hacker intercepts your email they can’t read it because all the data is encrypted – scrambled – indecipherable without the decryption key.
Encryption is quite possibly the single most important aspect of cyber defense and the protection of sensitive data. When it comes to your emails that might contain personal information, you don’t want cyber attackers to access. But now picture the importance of data encryption for a major, multinational organisation like a bank. Think about the need to protect data within a hospital, school, general practitioner, police force or government department of defense.
Where does the threat exist?
Everywhere in our world, individuals, businesses and governments create and store highly sensitive, private and confidential digital data. And in our increasingly connected world, every single time data travels from a server or digital storage to a device or around a network it’s vulnerable and at risk.
These risks come in many shapes and forms. For instance, there’s risk from outside third parties such as foreign or domestic cyber hackers. Risk from inside an organisation like a disgruntled employee, or a person intentionally placed in an organisation to commit espionage. Risk from simply careless people, inadvertently passing on sensitive information or leaking data without even realizing it.
The number and breadth of threats to sensitive information is incredible and a massive risk to businesses. It’s because of these risks that businesses are throwing resources into protecting their data through encryption. Organizations now have a duty to their customers to keep their data safe. Furthermore, with increasingly stringent regulatory requirements it is in the interests of an organization’s reputation to make sure they protect their data at all times, under all circumstances. These factors are all reasons why there’s an increasing demand for high-level, high-security data encryption.
Data encryption in the cloud
Where data encryption is perhaps most important in today’s connected world is with regards to encrypting data in the cloud.
According to Thales eSecurity’s 2016 Global Encryption and Key Management Trends Study, 56 percent of survey respondents are already transferring sensitive or confidential information to the cloud. They go on to show 28 percent of survey respondents are likely to transfer confidential or sensitive data to the cloud in the next 12 to 24 months.
That’s 84% of organizations with confidential and sensitive data stored in the cloud – a melting pot of opportunity for ambitious cyber attackers. It’s also why encrypting data in the cloud should be the number one priority for any business migrating to or with information and data in the cloud.
Benefits of encrypting data in the cloud
By encrypting your data in the cloud you can meet any regulatory obligations, keep your business safe from breach notification laws and give you a strong competitive edge from those who are yet to appreciate the significant of encryption.
But perhaps most importantly data encryption in the cloud gives you control. It gives you control of key services which helps to prevent third parties from inadvertently leaking sensitive data. Without data encryption you’re a sitting duck for cyber attackers and you put your entire business at risk. With data encryption you get the security, safety and control that you need to operate and run a successful business in the modern connected world.
HOSTING offers data encryption services that safeguard business-critical data at rest, in transit and in mobile devices. Contact HOSTING to learn more. And check out our on-demand webinar,How to Spend Your Cloud Security Dollar, for experts insights on how to invest smartly in cloud security.