It would not be an understatement to say that nowadays search engines power the Internet. In many ways, Google, Yahoo, Bing arethe Internet. They can be extremely powerful and at times, quite revealing. Some days back it was found out that a simple Google search could direct users to databases containing confidential Aadhaar data revealing name, picture, date of birth and many other details.
The above incident showcases how easily confidential enterprise data can be uncovered by a malicious criminal by something as simple as a Google search. If you are a network administrator of a company and are reading this, this should serve as a wake-up call to the importance of ensuring that your enterprise data is secured.
One of the biggest steps in this regard is to use some sort of some encryption techniquefor an organization’s confidential data. Encryption refers to the process of encoding data in such a way that only the parties authorized to access it can use it. There are a whole host of reasons why organizations should consider encrypting their sensitive data: for protection, for legal reasons, to comply with global compliance policies and safeguard customer interests. It also allows business owners to safeguard proprietary information with the encrypted data losses immune to accidental losses.
Some of the major reasonswhy a business should consider encryption solutions are:
Keeping data secure
In this information age, even the smallest of enterprises store massive amounts of data. Almost all the communication, whether it is internal or external, is done through the digital medium. Hence the number of endpoints are many as well. Encrypting data points gives an additional level of security as even if it is breached, the data will be useless without the encryption key. It also discourages criminals as they are aware that even if they manage to acquire the data, they will not be able to use it.
Considering the importance of data, it is extremely important to maintain its integrity. Cyber criminals, at times, try to gain access to confidential enterprise data to manipulate it to their own advantage. This could involve changing bank records to ensure the transfer of money in unauthorized accounts. If not detected immediately, these type of activities could lead to massive damage for an enterprise and lead to immense pushback. However with encrypted data, cyber criminals are unable to manipulate it, leaving it useless even after decryption. It is easier to identify and take corrective measures in this case.
As the world is increasingly waking up towards the risks of safeguarding data, more and more governments are passing legislation to ensure enterprises protect customer information. The European Union’s General Data Protection Bill (GDPR) is one such landmark example. Organizations are now becoming legally bound at the risk of severe penalties to keep customer data safe. This is where encryption helps companies to comply with these stringent regulations and save them from incurring massive penalties.
The three key types of encryption which an organization can choose are:
1. Data Encryption – which is program-specific encryption restricting document access via watermarks and locking techniques
2. Network Encryption – which deals with enterprise-grade strategies to encrypt datasets
3. Cloud Encryption –where encryption services are delivered by providers on the cloud
While encryption is definitely a key weapon for network administrators to secure enterprise data, it cannot be the only away. Business owners should also ensure that further steps like the ones below are also taken to keep the data safe:
Organizations should implement strict access controls when it comes to managing their data. Only a few users should have access to confidential, sensitive data with the access being continuously logged and any anomaly immediately investigated.
It is important that organizations carry out regular audits to identify and analyze their data, how it is stored and process and the protection it requires. This must also happen regularly in any company as the kind of importance assigned to each data set will change depending on circumstances.
With the number and variety of cyber threats increasing almost every day, it is essential that organizations equip themselves with a strong cybersecurity solution which offers a strong defence and integrates various technologies to offer a one-stop service against these malicious threats.