In simple words, encryption can be defined as encoding data to make it incomprehensible for those who do not have the authorization to access the data. However, several people who are new to the world of data security often ask what the purpose of encryption is and if it is necessary.
It is important to note that encryption for website security will help you prevent the chances of data breaches and cyberattacks. Once data has been encrypted, only the ones with a key will be able to use or read it. Therefore, businesses that implement an effective encryption method will be well equipped to protect critical business data from unauthorized access.
The Need for Encryption
A report shared by The Software Alliancerevealed that hackers and cybercriminals stole approximately 423 million identities in 2015. Three years later, nearly 5 billion records were exposed due to data breaches. There has been a considerable increase in the number of cyberattacks and data breaches in recent years two.
The Covid19 pandemic has also resulted in an increased number of such attacks. Some of the top cybersecurity issues in 2021 are cross-site scripting, phishing, password attack, spear-phishing attacks, malware attacks, ransomware, etc.
Businesses of all sizes need to get well-versed in different encryption methods if they want to protect customer data and other important business data. Unfortunately, several businesses still have no clear idea of how encryption works.
How Is Encryption Used in IT Security?
Several businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, have a misconception that data encryption is used just by large organizations. The reality is that most businesses make use of data encryption to ensure great protection of their data.
In other words, data encryption has become an essential technique or process that all types of businesses must use if they want to stay away from data breaches and other types of cyberattacks.
When files or data are encrypted, a key will be used for scrambling the data. This will, in turn, make the data unreadable and inaccessible to the ones who do not have a key. This means that you will be able to control who has access to the data, which will ensure greater security.
The difference between asymmetric encryption and symmetric encryption
Encryption can be defined as a series of numbers that are used for encrypting and decrypting data. Encryption keys are usually created with the help of algorithms, and each key is unique and random.
There are two different types of encryption systems, and they are called asymmetric encryption and symmetric encryption. Symmetric encryption uses just a single password for data encryption and decryption, while asymmetric encryption uses two separate keys to encrypt and decrypt data.
The two keys used in asymmetric encryption are called a private key and a public key. The public key is used for encrypting the data, and it will be shared with users, but the private key will not be shared, and it serves the crucial purpose of decrypting the data.
How Does Encryption Work?
During data encryption, the encryptor will substitute symbols, numbers, and letters with other characters for creating a cipher. Thus, a cipher can be described as a set of characters standing in for the original characters or data.
The person who is creating the cipher will have the key for decoding it. A key is a number, which describes the mathematical process that was used to enable the cipher. You will indeed be able to do this independently, but it can be quite difficult, complicated, and time-consuming.
Therefore, several businesses have decided to use software solutions for the process of data encryption. Software solutions and other advanced tools will help businesses scramble data by using an algorithm, and they will also give you an encryption key.
Once the encryption process has been completed, both computers and humans will not be able to read the actual data if they don’t have the key. That said, staff and team members who have the encryption key will decrypt the data without any hassles.
How To Incorporate Encryption
Businesses need to note that incorporating encryption in their business doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. You will be surprised to learn that you may already be using some tools, enabling you to incorporate encryption easily. Here are a few common ways through which you can incorporate encryption in your business.
All businesses need to buy and install an SSL certificate on their website. If you have not installed an SSL certificate on your website, then the data sent through the contact forms might be compromised. Fortunately, you can avoid such risk by investing and installing an SSL certificate. Often businesses find themselves strapped for cash and are wary of incurring any extra expenditures. However, you need not compromise on this essential cybersecurity measure as there is an abundant prevalence of cheap SSL certificates in the cybersecurity market. You can find many reliable SSL vendors offering premium cybersecurity products at pocket-friendly prices.
SSL or Secure Socket Layer can be described as a cryptographic protocol used to encrypt data, which is sent over an internet or computer network. You will be able to easily identify websites using SSL certificates because the URL of such websites will contain ‘HTTPS’ at the beginning, along with a small lock icon. You need not worry about expanding your budget to accommodate this cybersecurity measure, as you can easily acquire best SSL certificates from reliable SSL providers in the cybersecurity market.
It is crucial for business owners and admins to understand that website encryption has become an essential requirement these days. Even the search engine giant Google has recognized the significance of encryption and started using it as an important ranking factor.
Encourage Employee To Use A VPN When Working Remotely
As most of you are probably aware, the Covid19 pandemic has forced several employees to work from home to protect themselves. That said, employees indeed used to access business apps and check emails even during the pre-pandemic days.
The major issue with this is that it can be quite risky at times, especially when using an unsecure Wi-Fi internet connection. This is why businesses should encourage their remote workers and others to use a VPN when accessing business apps or checking emails.
Using a VPN will allow businesses to ensure that the communication is secure. In addition to that, VPNs will also serve the crucial purpose of redirecting online traffic by using the VPN servers, which will automatically encrypt data to ensure that hackers on the same network will not access it.
Email encryption options will be available to Microsoft 365 users through OME (Office Message Encryption), S/MIME ( secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions), and IRM ( Information Rights Management).
Once you have set up email encryption, you will easily and quickly encrypt sensitive emails and email attachments. In addition, businesses will be able to set up additional security measures with a little customization. This will enable them to encrypt emails based on default settings or certain keywords automatically.
When you are encrypting sensitive emails, you will not have to be concerned about the contents of the emails getting compromised or intercepted by hackers and cyber criminals. This is why several businesses have started using email encryption for protecting sensitive content.
Encryption has become a critical component when it comes to data security and data privacy. Most businesses transfer sensitive data and other private information that includes social security numbers and financial information often.
Businesses need to keep this information safe and secure, which is where data encryption comes into play. The process of data encryption will guarantee greater protection to the sensitive and confidential business data by preventing the chance of data breaches and other cyber attacks.
This is why it is integral for government organizations and businesses, which possess customer data and other sensitive information to use encryption.