In today’s fast-moving and fast-changing world, coupled with the influx of smart devices and IoT, securing data and protecting it from falling into malicious hands has become extremely challenging, complex, and necessary. The workplace no longer adheres to a typical 9-to-5 routine. Technology has created the ability to work remotely from anywhere and at any time through laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. The gates to breaches have thus significantly increased in number, resulting in greater need to use encryption, scaling to not just a computer but to the numerous smart devices that are constantly used to access data.
Ponemon Institute conducted a survey and came up with the most prominent drivers that propel industries to consider encryption as a defense against data breaches.
We saw in one of our previous blogs how the number of breach incidents has risen to staggering heights this year. IT experts collectively agree that encryption is the key solution to this humongous problem, but it has to be the right type of encryption that is applied to the industry. A thorough knowledge of current tools and technologies that are prevailing in the market is very important before implementing any type of encryption. A customized encryption solution, apt for the said enterprise, will not only protect the loss of data but also save time and money. Now, what is the criteria for determining the type of encryption solution suitable for the enterprise? The following points will answer this question.
- Basic Requirements – A Must
The encryption solution should meet the following basic requirements:
- Encryption should be automated, simple for end users to comply with, and provide non-disruptive protection.
- There should be a robust access authentication of users, resulting in appropriate access to the data by authorized users only. The encryption should also have a provision for regular checks on user access control for validity.
- It should be able to protect wide array of smart devices across multiple platforms such as Windows, Mac, and Android. Most smart devices already offer some kind of base protection, but this might not be sufficient for big enterprises dealing with highly sensitive data.
- Type of encryption will also further depend on the type of data that has to be protected. This could be data in motion, data at rest, or data in use. The company might require full-disk encryption or just file encryption.
- The need for managing the encryption keys must be assessed – can it be done by the IT department itself or should the services of a vendor be considered.
- Another characteristic is that the encryption implemented should grow as the enterprise expands. The growing demands of the company should not hamper the prevailing encryption or render it ineffective.
- The encryption should be such that if the data were to fall into the hands of hackers, it would be deemed incomprehensible and useless.
- Encryption Key – Vendor-managed or Customer-managed
An encryption vendor-managed key or a customer managed key scheme uses a pseudo-random encryption key generated by an algorithm. An unauthorized interceptor cannot access the data without this key. Customer managed key (CMK) empowers the customer completely as it makes physical location of the files less relevant, since no party can decrypt the data if the customer has chosen to withdraw access to the encryption keys.
- Key Management
Managing the keys is another important aspect in encryption. Depending on how big the organization is, there could be a large number of keys that need to be managed uniformly and tracked constantly. Towards this, Zecurion Zserver secures and protects confidential information at the processing and storage level on corporate servers. The Zserver Enterprise Key Management Server (EKMS) minimizes administrative overhead for encryption by generating, storing, managing, and automatically loading encryption keys across the enterprise.
According to a report by CSC, “While individuals are responsible for most data creation (70 percent), 80 percent of all data is stored by enterprises.” Encryption may not be the silver bullet to thwart data breaches completely, but is a necessary step towards mitigating the accidental or deliberate loss of critical and sensitive data. Enterprises, both small and large, should make it a mandatory requirement and implement encryption company-wide.