The number of reported global data breaches has severely increased over the last few years. Millions of people have been affected as cybercriminals develop new ways to launch cyberattacks on individuals and corporations alike. This issue has grown so much that even The Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) have had no choice but to raise the bar for all US federal agencies, contractors, and vendors. They now require cryptographic or encryption modules to be placed on all sensitive information, including banking institutions. Penalties for those attempting to breach secure data have been increased to include hefty fines and even incarceration.
What is Encryption?
Encryption is the scrambling of data, allowing only authorized parties to read and understand the information. When data is encrypted, it is converted from plaintext to ciphertext. Ciphertext is unreadable without a cryptographic key, which is used by authorized personnel to view sensitive data. Data can be encrypted both when it is being stored and when it is being transmitted, depending on the needs of the business.
The two primary types of encryption are symmetric and asymmetric. The difference depends on whether the same key is used to encrypt and decrypt. In the case of asymmetric encryption, a public key is used to encrypt, while a private key is used to decrypt. This is how secure websites (i.e. online banking) are able to transmit your sensitive information safely and without risk of data breach.
How Does Encryption Affect Businesses?
If you work in an industry required by federal law to encrypt data, you likely know a good deal about encryption. Unfortunately, not all business owners are aware of the malicious attacks being used against so many organizations. Furthermore, many businesses fall outside the criteria for regulation.
In 2021, six (6) ransomware groups breached the cybersecurity defenses of 292 organizations, leaving these criminal organizations with 45 million dollars in ill-gotten gains. And this is only one example. In recent years, we have seen countless headlines about organizations falling victim to major data attacks. If major companies like Acer, Quanta, Kayesa, and even the NBA can have their data breached and ransomed, how do you avoid it within your own organization?
It’s simple so long as you take your company’s encryption and cybersecurity seriously. Between the shapeshifting nature of these attacks and their increasing complexity, having around-the-clock monitoring and protection is something you cannot afford to skimp on. Additionally, you need a cybersecurity system with frequent updates in order to be effective against these criminals.
What Qualifies As Reasonable Security Procedures?
By reducing your company’s online footprint, you can help ensure that your company has the best protection. With proper security protocols in place, any potential data breaches will be unintelligable to criminals. Additionally, with the right tactics in place, business owners are protected against ransomware attacks, and can even avoid paying non-compliance penalties.
It’s no surprise that encryption is considered the first step in preventing data breach attacks. If the data can be proven unusable without a decryption key, the entire purpose of a ransomware attack goes out the window. Nothing of value is obtainable when the business has the proper protections in place. When proper encryption is combined with continued training and maintenance of all cybersecurity tactics, you can provide the level of protection needed for continued success.
The experts at HazeyTech are here to guide you through the best practices for your company’s safety and security. Call us now for your free consultation.