Definition “the process of converting information or data into code to prevent unauthorised access”
Encryption is the most effective way to improve data security, by converting electronic data into another form; called cipher text, which cannot be easily read or understood by anyone except the authorised parties who hold the specific key to decrypt the data back to plaintext. Therefore encryption protects the confidentiality and offers authentication and integrity of your data.
Why do we need it?
In simple truth – Encryption should be the foundation of data security, in order to protect our data and information from being accessed and read by unauthorised parties. Businesses use it to prevent classified information getting into the wrong hands, from being shared with competitors, to protect personal identifiable information of employees and customers, for compliance and governance; as well as protecting against identity theft.
What are the benefits?
Encrypted data is protected even if it gets into the wrong hands, therefore reducing the potential compliance and governance issues surrounding data privacy including GDPR. If all data is encrypted; whether it is at rest or in transit, and that data is lost or stolen the recipient cannot read the information. In essence, you are securing your crown jewels.
How should it be used?
Encryption is the foundation to an organisations data security, whether your data resides in the cloud, on mobile devices or in a physical location. Breaking down data security silos by encrypting both structured databases and unstructured files, centralising key management across your organisation, along with providing privileged user access control, is a great starting point for data security. Digital transformation is having a huge impact on how we store and access information, we need to make sure that this is done securely.