Today’s modern businesses have to store and manage a wide range of sensitive and proprietary information. In a cloud-first world, most of this data lives in the cloud, and is out of the control of the business, raising concerns about data security and whether this information could fall into the wrong hands.
According to Acronis, this year, the cost of a data breach is set to surpass $5 million, up from approximately $3.86 million in 2020. In addition, the report revealed that threats from phishing and malicious emails have increased by 60%, and that social engineering attacks soared in the last four months of 2022, accounting for 3% of attacks across the board. Similarly, leaked or stolen credentials, which enable bad actors to easily carry out cyber attacks and ransomware campaigns, were responsible for nearly half of all reported breaches in the first half of last year.
There’s no doubt that the last few months have shone the spotlight on how the threat landscape is growing increasingly complex, with new sophisticated threats constantly rearing their ugly heads, and attackers that keep honing their tools to evade the security nets. As bad actors constantly tweak their tools and methods, so must the security community follow suit.
After all, once attackers discover that a business is keeping its data unencrypted, that business becomes a compelling and easy target for them to gain a foothold on the network, and exfiltrate that data right under the company’s nose. Unfortunately, the consequences of having confidential data hacked can be catastrophic, including financial losses, regulatory fines, legal consequences, and an immeasurable loss of customer trust and confidence.
It is for this very reason that organisations are incorporating encryption into their cloud data security plans to keep their, and their customers’ data safe and secure, regardless of where it is located. With encryption, companies can ensure that even if their data falls into the wrong hands, through malice or carelessness, it will not be able to be used.
How it works
In essence, encryption when it comes to cyber security is the conversion of data from a readable format into an encoded, unreadable one. In this way, encrypted data can only be read or processed once it has been decrypted. It can be viewed as an essential element of cyber security, because encrypting is one of the most simple, yet effective way of ensuring that a PC’s data cannot be stolen and used for malicious reasons by cyber criminals and other fraudsters.
This unreadable text is known as ciphertext. Encryption also involves using a cryptographic key, or set of mathematical values that the sender and recipient both agree on and can be used by the recipient to decrypt the data, turning it back into a readable format. The longer and more complex the cryptographic key is, the more secure the encryption becomes, because bad actors are less likely to be able to decrypt it by employing brute force attacks, during which they keep trying as many combinations of random numbers until they manage to guess the right combination.
In today’s digital world, encryption is commonly used by people, small entities, and the largest enterprises to protect user data sent between the browser and the server. This data might include anything from financial logins; personal information such as identity numbers, addresses, and phone numbers; or even payment data such as credit card details. Data encryption solutions, sometimes referred to as ciphers or encryption algorithms, are used to develop an encryption program that, in theory, can only be cracked through the use of massive amounts of computing power.
This is why encryption is such a crucial link in the cyber security chain. In fact, savvy business leaders realise that it’s best practice to not only encrypt their sensitive data but their entire IT estate. Irrespective of whether the business is storing data in a physical data centre, a private or public cloud, or even in a third-party storage application, the right encryption and key management are key to making sure that confidential data is protected.
Altron Systems Integration, through its vendors, offers data-at-rest encryption solutions that deliver granular encryption, tokenisation as well as role-based access control for structured and unstructured data that lives in databases, applications, files, and storage containers. Moreover, it brings centralised key management and a hardened root of trust, giving enterprises the peace of mind that their master keys are protected and data remains secure.
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