On reading data breach headlines, most organisations immediately take stock of their data security and data leakage prevention strategies.
IT parameter defences are updated to prevent a data breach in their companies. Although it is an excellent strategy of ensuring that organisational IT defence systems such as antivirus software, anti-malware, firewalls etc., are kept updated, it is no longer adequate to rely on these systems anymore. Given the current times, where cybercriminals are infiltrating organisational data security with increasing precision and more frequently than ever before, there is a call to focus on more than just primary defence mechanisms.
According to a recent survey, more than 3 billion data files in the world were breached in the first half of 2018 alone. This figure marked an increase of over 70% of recorded data breaches in the first half of 2017. Interestingly, the research revealed that more than 95% of these data breaches took place on data that did not have data encryption in place.
As cyber-attacks are continuing to rise, companies can no longer operate under the illusion that with a robust perimeter defence system, their data is secured. Regardless of whether an organisation has necessary primary defences or large multinationals that have state-of-the-art defence systems, the underlying denominator in all the data breaches across organisations was their dependence on basic perimeter security while disregarding data encryption.
Safeguard data, not just processes
Although primary security systems are robust to defend against hacking, they can be rendered altogether ineffective once cybercriminals have gained access to the company's documents and PDF files. Irrespective of whether the data is at rest or in motion or transfer, the best way of securing the information in the documents against hackers is to encrypt it. Data encryption makes it completely impossible to decipher the content in the documents without the corresponding decryption key. Through data encryption, cybercriminals are unable to breach the documents that have data encryption applied to them.
Here are three essential steps that companies must look into for optimum document protection.
- Identify classified information: it is critical to identify where your organisation's most classified information resides. These could be in your storage and file servers, databases, customised applications, remote workstations and others. The data in these systems must be audited along with the information that is flowing across the company.
- Encrypt the information: an effective data encryption solution ensures that it safeguards your classified information at every stage. This ensures that your data is seamlessly encrypted at rest and while in tranit with encryption and tokens or reference keys that prevent identification.
- Secure and oversee your encryption keys: the encryption keys of your encrypted data must be safeguarded stringently and away from the encrypted information.
Critical reasons for data encryption
There has been a tectonic shift in the last few years, in the field of cybersecurity. As data breaches are continuing to rise with each passing day, data needs to be encrypted in addition to protecting your organisational data with primary defence securities. Given the great importance of data security, governments across the world are laying emphasis on binding guidelines to ensure that every company makes the right security provisions to safeguard the confidential data of their users and customers. Here are compelling reasons why data encryption is a must-have for every organisation.
- Data encryption safeguards data at every step: data encryption renders cyber-attacks as useless, regardless of whether the data is in motion or at rest. Data protection safeguards documents and PDF files against cyber-attack.
- Data encryption safeguards the data integrity: in most cases, cybercriminals steal information and hold organisations to ransom. With data encryption, you can be assured of data integrity at all times and be alerted if anyone performs any modifications to your data.
- Data encryption safeguards privacy: all encrypted data is upheld and protected. This can protect the anonymity and confidentiality of personal and private data and further reduce cybercrime. One of the strongest proponents of data encryption is Apple Computers that believes encrypted data not only safeguards an organisation against cyber attacks but can also prevent terrorism.
- Data encryption secures data across the organisation: as more and more employees are bringing their own devices into the workplace, data transfer is commonplace. However, this opens avenues for hackers to steal documents and PDF files when data is in transit. Data encryption secures documents and PDF files across devices and networks and eliminates the possibilities of cyber attacks.
It is crucial for organisations to adopt a brand-new data security mindset. By understanding how data encryption can help the organisation, you will be able to secure your classified information from cybercriminals and breaches.