Is Encryption a Niche Luxury or a Modern Necessity?
What was once a luxury or something reserved for the military or companies dealing with extremely sensitive or confidential material is now commonplace across the business world.
Not only is encryption making its way into all business operations, but we're also starting to see it pop up more and more in consumer applications like cloud storage, email, and messenger applications.
So why is encryption taking over? And is it really as important as security experts and doomsday preppers say it is?
What's So Special About Encryption?
Basically, encryption is a way of scrambling data before sharing or storing it. The only way to unscramble the data (and render it readable) is with the use of a unique decryption key. These keys are often generated simultaneously as the information is decrypted. No key, no access.
What that means is even if someone gets a hold of your data or communications, they will be unable to access it.
Obviously, this is super helpful in a worst-case-scenario all-out breach of your data, but it's also great from a privacy perspective. The only one who will read your data, email, or message is the person you sent it to.
How Encryption Protects You and Why You Need That Extra Protection
Here's a scenario: Your business is communicating with clients, and the content of your chats is for your eyes and ears only. You work in an incredibly competitive industry, and any of your competitors would love to figure out what it is you're doing.
It would be crazy not to secure your communication and the business materials you pass back and forth. While you may not be spied on, accidental leaks happen, and it's silly to worry about a risk you can completely eradicate with an encrypted cloud storage and sharing service.
Another scenario: You are texting your friend some juicy gossip about someone you both know, and you're also talking about getting new appliances. The target of your chatting may not find out what you're saying, but suddenly you get blasted by tons of ads for different home appliances through your web browser and social media.
Encrypted messaging and communication doesn’t just keep out hackers, they also keep out nosy data collectors looking to build ad profiles off of your communications. Sure, you may not care that your ads are tailored to your conversations, but who knows where that information they gather ends up and for what purposes it could be used.
Business Applications of Encryption
Encryption is becoming increasingly important in the business world, as organizations strive to protect sensitive data and communication. Whether it's a small business or a large corporation, encryption is a powerful tool for ensuring the confidentiality of data.
Businesses may leverage encryption to protect their intellectual property and ensure that businesses' proprietary information, such as trade secrets and other confidential data, cannot be accessed by unauthorized parties.
Encryption can also help companies to protect their financial information, such as credit card numbers and bank account information. This is essential to protect the business from all sorts of fraud and digital theft.
Businesses can use encryption to ensure that their data is secure when it is transmitted over the internet. This is especially important for enterprises that rely on e-commerce, as it assists in protecting their customers' data and financial information.
Most notably, businesses can harness encryption to protect their communications so authorized personnel can access emails, instant messages, and other types of communication.
All these applications weave a sturdy safety net that protects businesses from data breaches and cyberattacks simply because it is much more difficult for hackers (or anyone, for that matter) to access information without proper authorization.
How To Get Encrypted
Getting encrypted is easier than you might think. With the right tools, systems, and techniques, you can lock out snoops and protect your data from prying eyes.
To get going with encryption, you first need to choose a secure encryption algorithm. This will determine how your data is encrypted. Popular algorithms include AES, RSA, and SHA. It's wise to select an algorithm that is both secure and easy to use.
Once you've chosen an algorithm, the next step is to generate an encryption key. This key is used to encrypt and decrypt data. Keys come in various lengths, and the longer the key, the harder it is to crack.
The final step is actually to encrypt your data. This is done by implementing the encryption key and algorithm you've chosen. After encryption, your data is rendered unreadable until it is decrypted using the same key and algorithm.
Even if an attacker gets access to your encrypted data, they won't be able to see it, mess with it, or sabotage it without the correct key.
Putting this plan into action can seem daunting or undoable if you don't have a development team or a capable IT department. Fortunately, Internxt and plenty of other privacy-focused companies are providing encrypted cloud services and cybersecurity solutions that any company can easily onboard.
Encryption Is the New Standard
Encryption (and cryptography in general) is a complex topic that you can't just read about and become an expert in overnight.
There are a variety of different encryption algorithms, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. You need to pick the right algorithm for your data and the right key length for your application. Not only that, you must make sure your app and data are adequately secured using the encryption you choose.
As you move along in this process, remember that it is crucial that you keep your data and communication confidential. If you don't, busybodies and hackers alike will have access to sensitive business data and communications.
While encryption is essential and necessary, keep in mind that it is not a single solution all by itself. You also need to have reliable data and process management policies in place to ensure your data is always being protected.
When combined with encryption and other safeguards, you can protect your data and your business. And remember, the time to start is before a breach, not after.