With data breaches on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to implement strong cybersecurity protocols. Cybercriminals attack unsuspecting businesses regularly, stealing sensitive information like social security numbers, customer details, transaction records, etc. As a result, companies can become less reputable, losing important clientele and millions in the process.
To protect themselves from such big losses caused by data breaches, businesses now look towards data encryption technology. But what exactly is encryption, and why is it so important?
Encryption is a technology in which the data is made unreadable using complex algorithms. In order to read it, you will need to decrypt the data using a cipher key. This key is only shared between the sender and recipient, so only they can access confidential information. This is a vital aspect of cybersecurity and prevents hackers or anyone who comes across the data from reading it.
How Does Encryption Work?
By using encryption, businesses can scramble important data and make it unreadable- this is called cipher text, and the process is called encoding. Cipher text protects all confidential information on computer systems, and you can only access the data when needed using a cipher key.
Mainly, there are two kinds of encryption- asymmetric and symmetric. In asymmetric encryption, the cipher keys come in pairs- one to encrypt and one to decrypt. The keys can be made interchangeable. Meanwhile, in symmetric encryption, one key is used for both these purposes.
There are many ways companies benefit from encryption. Firstly, encryption makes it safe to transfer data across the fastest medium- the internet. As a result, your communication isn’t slowed down. Additionally, encryption can be applied to restrict data access on computers, smartphones, tablets, hard drives, and other hardware, meaning you face minimal risk if any of your devices are stolen.
Importance of Encryption in Cybersecurity
As you might’ve guessed already, encryption is a really important factor in cybersecurity because it lets businesses protect their confidential data by encoding. Encrypted data is nearly impossible for unauthorized parties and cybercriminals to access and misuse. This gives businesses many perks indirectly.
For example, encryption has made remote work more convenient. With remote jobs and outsourcing on the rise, companies are exposed to a greater risk of data breaches. Encryption is the best way to counter these without slowing down communication across the team. Many project management platforms offer end-to-end encryption tools for paid members.
Encryption can also be used to verify data backup integrity and prevent tampering. Using digital signatures is a good way of maintaining data integrity in transit. And encryption isn’t limited to communication- file encryption is excellent at safekeeping data stored on servers. The data can be in the form of a document, spreadsheet, presentation, etc., and might contain sensitive information like social security, phone number, addresses, etc.
But perhaps the best of all, encryption builds trust. Customers and clients will always be more satisfied to work with a business that they know values protecting their data and prioritizes cybersecurity. Third-party apps that most businesses tend to rely on cannot access any encrypted files.