5 Advantages of Using Encryption Technology for Data Protection
With so much of our sensitive data stored online, it’s no surprise that cybercrime is on the rise. Data breaches have long been a problem for businesses and individuals, but criminals are ramping up attacks, and the numbers are alarming. In 2015, ID Theft Center reports that government agencies, businesses, education, healthcare, and banking organizations were the victims of 781 breaches in the United States. In 2014, 783 breaches occurred, and 2013, 614. It’s important to realize that these numbers only represent breaches confirmed by government agencies and the media—there are new attacks happening every day. As of September 2016, 638 breaches had already been confirmed for the year and mega attacks continue to be on the rise. Info Security shares projections that cybercrime costs worldwide will double from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion in 2021.
Rising data breaches are bad news, but there are ways businesses and agencies can help protect their information from cyber crime. Encryption technology is one of the key methods for protecting data online, and what started as simple code use over telegraph in World War I is now a sophisticated coded algorithm that allows data to safely be stored and transferred. Encrypted data is known as “cipher text” and can only be decrypted with a key or password. While encryption cannot protect against all cyber attacks, the technology makes data theft a much more difficult task for hackers. Here are just 5 of the benefits of using encryption technology:
1. Encryption Provides Security for Data at All Times
Generally, data is most vulnerable when it is being moved from one location to another. Encryption works during data transport or at rest, making it an ideal solution no matter where data is stored or how it is used. Encryption should be standard for all data stored at all times, regardless of whether or not it is deemed “important”.
2. Encrypted Data Maintains Integrity
Hackers don’t just steal information, they also can benefit from altering data to commit fraud. While it is possible for skilled individuals to alter encrypted data, recipients of the data will be able to detect the corruption, which allows for a quick response to the cyber attack.
3. Encryption Protects Privacy
Encryption is used to protect sensitive data, including personal information for individuals. This helps to ensure anonymity and privacy, reducing opportunities for surveillance by both criminals and government agencies. Encryption technology is so powerful that some governments are attempting to put limits on the effectiveness of encryption—which does not ensure privacy for companies or individuals.
4. Encryption is Part of Compliance
Many industries have strict compliance requirements to help protect those whose personal information is stored by organizations. HIPAA, FIPS, and other regulations rely on security methods such as encryption to protect data, and businesses can use encryption to achieve comprehensive security.
5. Encryption Protects Data across Devices
Multiple (and mobile) devices are a big part of our lives, and transferring data from device to device is a risky proposition. Encryption technology can help protect store data across all devices, even during transfer. Additional security measures like advanced authentication help deter unauthorized users.
The Future of Encryption
As hackers continue to become more savvy and sophisticated, encryption technology must evolve as well. Security professionals are working on a few different exciting technological advances in the encryption field, including Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), homomorphic encryption, and quantum computation.
ECC is a method of cryptography that isn’t so much an improvement of the encryption method itself, but a method that allows encryption and decryption to take place much faster, without any loss of data security.
Homomorphic encryption would be a system allowing calculations on encrypted data without decrypting it. This method would allow encryption across cloud systems, and ensure greater privacy for users. As an example, a financial institution could make assessments for individuals without revealing personal information.
Quantum computation and key distribution generate random sequences that result in codes that are virtually unbreakable. Attempted interceptions of the data would be detectable by both the sender and recipient, allowing for a quick response to any hacking attempts. Quantum computation can store data in multiple states, allowing for incredibly fast calculations.
Ryan Ayers has been a consultant for over five years within multiple industries including information technology, medical devices and logistics. Many clients call him the BizTech Guru. He is a freelance writer on the side and lover of all things related to business, technology, innovation and the LA Clippers.