Data Encryption: Threats And Best Practices


November 28, 2015

Data encryption has long been known to be one of the most effective and important techniques to safeguard information in a corporate setting. It allows the users to translate sensitive digital data that is stored on a computer system or transmitted across the company’s network. The encrypted data, known as ciphertext, can only be accessed by authorized users who have the password required for decryption. Here are some of the reasons every organization needs data encryption:

  • Risk of unauthorized users viewing sensitive data: Sharing important files and data are critical for teamwork. However, all employees might not be clear about who is authorized to view what kind of information. Whether accidently or purposely, giving unauthorized users access to confidential data can endanger your organization’s’ IT security.
  • Risk of employees viewing undeleted data: Ideally, the information that is not required should be deleted from the computer. However, this might not be possible for the data stored on the cloud as there may be additional copies present as backup which can be accessed by other people.
  • Risk of sharing unencrypted sensitive data: Businesses that require storing sensitive personal and financial information of clients or customers may invite serious legal implications without proper data encryption.

Tips to implement a successful data encryption strategy

  • Evaluate your security goals: Before devising an encryption strategy, you need to figure out what all you want to protect. This may include all the hard drives, removable storage devices, employees’ personal laptops or any other kind of system. You must also get yourself familiar with all the data governance policies and compliance mandates applicable for your business.
  • Enforce removable media encryption: With USB flash drives and portable hard disks holding a massive amount of data, securing only the computer systems does not seem to be enough. You must ensure that all information transferred from one source to another on the company’s network is properly encrypted.
  • Maintain comprehensive audits: You must maintain a comprehensive log of every time any sensitive information is accessed. The name of the employee, data accessed, purpose and time of use should be recorded.
  • Access control: Ascertain that only the authorized users are able to view the encrypted data. Also, limit the number of times that data can be accessed each day. For a successful encryption strategy, you must implement an appropriate balance of file permissions, passwords and two-factor authentication.

We, at Centex Technologies, can help to implement an effective data encryption policy in your Central Texas based organization. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

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