Business-critical data can be found everywhere these days. The boundaries are long gone, and the perimeter has blurred to a point where it no longer exists. This means that yesterday’s solutions that operated on the premise of keeping the bad out and only letting the good in, are no longer effective. Concurrently, security leaders often lack visibility into their organisation’s data. Operational teams have very different data needs, which often results in them finding and using highly specialised tools to manage their data. Sometimes these tools are unsanctioned by the IT department, which results in shadow IT, at other times, deeply entrenched information silos are formed. Crucial business data ends up being spread across different departments and rarely shared or reported comprehensively. This compartmentalisation prevents business and data leaders from gaining a clear and encompassing view of the business’s data practices or even being able to accurately measure the size of their data footprint. In addition, the growing scrutiny from regulators means that compliance and governance are becoming increasingly stringent. Data security breaches have a direct on impact customers and end users as much as they affect the organisation itself. A successful attack can be extremely disruptive for users who rely on continued access to business services to stay up and running within their companies to do their jobs. Unfortunately, this rapidly changing and evolving regulatory landscape means that businesses become overwhelmed by complexity, and run the risk of falling foul of the law.Similarly, the overnight mass exodus to working from home driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic, shifted the organisational perimeter, as security teams were tasked with safeguarding a ‘bring your own everything’ reality, where employees were working on their own devices, from their home WiFi, and often using their own applications. And while businesses have evolved dramatically to better integrate data processes into daily activities, bad actors have evolved too, and will stop at nothing to exploit the greatly expanded attack surface today’s new hybrid or remote business reality presents. To make matters worse, workers are often guilty of using the same passwords over and over across personal and professional devices, connecting to insecure networks, and unknowingly leaving the door wide open for threat actors. At the same time, anyone today can become a cybercriminal for a couple of hundred rands. Malware kits, DDoS attacks, login credentials, and more, are freely for sale on the dark Web, easy to use, and even offer support services.Finally, too often companies take a reactive approach to cyber security instead of a proactive one. Instead of training and testing, they rely on outdated tools and solutions, leaving gaping security holes that go unnoticed and cause huge security or data quality issues. Organisations that fail to take a proactive approach will learn the hard way, and end up spending a lot more fixing problems that were entirely preventable from the start.This is why today’s security leaders are searching for a holistic approach to overcoming today’s data security hurdles, and need a data security platform that enables them to discover, protect and control access to sensitive data regardless of where it resides. They also need a comprehensive solution that employs a full set of data protection mechanisms as well as centralised policy and key management.Encryption is critical for every business today because it enables them to keep their private and sensitive data safe from prying eyes by converting it into cipher-text – a format that is unreadable without an encryption key. This is true whether the business stores its data in a physical data centre, a private or public cloud, or even in a third-party storage application. With encryption, even if cyber attackers get their hands on a company’s data, it is of no use to them, as they can’t read it unless it is deciphered. This is one reason why encryption is an essential weapon in every company’s cyber arsenal.After all, even the largest enterprises with massive security budgets fall victim to attacks, as we’ve seen over the past few years. Google, Equifax, Marriott, Yahoo, and Microsoft have all suffered a breach, despite having dedicated security resources that only companies of that size could afford.This is why all companies, from the smallest SME to its largest corporate counterpart need encryption solutions that deliver granular encryption, tokenisation, and role-based access control for structured and unstructured data that resides in databases, applications, files, and storage containers. In addition, centralised key management and a hardened root of trust, are key to giving enterprises the peace of mind that their master keys are safe and their data remains secure.Luckily for South Africa, Altron Systems Integration provides inexpensive cryptographic solutions, that enable companies in every industry to encrypt their data or transactions remotely or on-premise. This offers customers ultimate level of data security in today’s highly vulnerable environments, which are characterised by the evolving threat landscape that is riddled with determined adversaries who grow more complex and sophisticated each day.
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