As businesses store nearly all of their data online, it’s crucial to implement security measures to ensure the data is only accessible to people within the organization. Data encryption is a great way to secure business data. It encodes information by converting it from its original form into an alternative, scrambled form.
Here’s how data encryption works and its benefits for businesses.
How to Encrypt Data?
There are several different ways to encrypt data. For one, you can encrypt your WiFi router to prevent unauthorized access to your network. WPA2 (WiFi Protected Access) is the latest security standard for WiFi encryption. Implement WPA2 in all routers your business uses. Most routers have WEP (an older protocol) or no encryption enabled.
Installing a VPN on all work devices is another way to encrypt data. The VPN will route your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel (a third server.) When the traffic gets to its intended target, it will be impossible to tell where it came from.
Critical business data, particularly customer data, should be stored in an encrypted location. Luckily, there are many cloud storage services available that encrypt stored data. Most of them do so without any action needed to be taken by the user.
As great as cloud storage is, there’s nothing more secure than encrypted physical disks. They may not be the most convenient storage solution, but they can be used to store critical information that’s not used daily.
Benefits of Encrypting Data
According to an IBM report, the average data breach in 2021 cost organizations $4.24 million. The probability of a data breach is even more concerning. 30% of all businesses are likely to experience a breach.
Data encryption plays a key role in protecting businesses from experiencing a breach and suffering tremendous financial and reputational consequences. Apart from that, here are some other benefits of encrypting business data.
Compliance with Regulations
Data encryption is a major priority in new regulations. As cyberattacks are becoming more dangerous to the general public, regulators are starting to implement stricter rules for businesses to follow. Companies that fail to comply with these regulations can face hefty fines and public slander.
Ensures Security Across All Work Devices
With remote work becoming prevalent, employees also are using more devices for work-related tasks than ever, ranging from cell phones to tablets to laptops. That’s why you should encourage employees to encrypt even their personal devices.
Data encryption plays a key role in ensuring that all data transfers and communication are done securely.
Protects Data in Transit
Data moving from one point to another is at the highest risk of a breach. Businesses perform thousands of data transfers each day, either with outside vendors, customers, or within the company.
A complete data encryption solution includes end-to-end encryption. This type of encryption ensures secure communication that prevents third parties from accessing or tampering with data in transit. Only the intended recipient can decrypt and access the files.
Retains Data Integrity
If data is unencrypted, hackers may be able to tamper with it, and neither the sender nor recipient would know. This can have grave consequences for a business and lead to horrible miscommunication. Encryption prevents hackers from tampering with business data and ensures that recipients always have accurate information.
The Cost of Data Encryption
Knowing all the benefits of data encryption, you may be wondering how much it costs. However, the answer varies depending on the type of encryption you want to use. For example, a VPN would cost around $120 a year per device. Whereas, cloud storage services cost around $0.02 a month per GB of storage.
You can enable WPA2 encryption for free in your router’s network settings. Full disk encryption is the most costly, at around $230 per year. Whatever encryption you choose, it will be worth it because a data breach would cost your business thousands.
Data encryption is crucial for the current business environment. It allows organizations to transfer data and communicate securely. It’s also a major part of remaining compliant with increasingly stricter regulations. There are many ways to encrypt data. You can encrypt your Wifi router, install a VPN, or use an encrypted hard drive.