The Essentials of Encrypting Your Business Data

Business Data, Enstep, Houston Managed IT ServicesYour business data is vital to your daily operations, business development, and growth strategy. It’s your intellectual property, the secrets of your brand, and what makes your business tick. You protect your physical locations with door and window locks and a security system. Why not do the same for your data?

3 Types of Business Data You Need to Encrypt

Encryption involves scrambling data in a specific way so that it can only be understood with a specific encryption key. If someone without the key intercepts the data, it’s meaningless to them. There’s software that can be used to guess the key and unlock the data, but it takes months. Data encryption is effective because most hackers won’t take that kind of time. Data encryption is essential for the following 3 types of your business data:

1) Sending email.

Lots of sensitive business information is exchanged daily via email. If hackers were to break into your email, the loss could be tremendous. Your first line of defense against email hacks is a strong password policy you enforce consistently. However, to protect yourself from hackers who somehow gain access, encryption is also important. You will need to encrypt the messages, attachments, and the connection itself.

There are built in tools in many email services you can use, but there’s also third party email encryption software you can purchase. Most files you create can be encrypted by the program you used to create them. Finally, your connection can be encrypted in the same way mobile banking apps and online retail sites keep their customer transactions safe: via SSL or TLS encryption. You may consider working with a managed IT services provider to get what you need without the hassle.

2) Your devices.

Desktops and laptops, PC’s and Macs- password protection keeps your files safe from hackers accessing your hard drives. Well, as long as they remain in their respective devices. What if someone steals them, however, and moves the hard drive into a machine without password protection? The answer: encrypting your hard drives. Both Windows and Apple OS include a solution for decrypting the entire hard drive. These solutions can be executed to prevent your hard drives from being accessed even if placed in another machine.

3) Data in the cloud or in transit.

You likely use the internet to move vast amounts of business data within your network and the cloud to store it. This presents a potential serious security risk. A hacker who breaks into your network could potentially access anything in the cloud or in transit over the internet. However, encryption works for data in the cloud or being sent over the internet, too. You can set up a virtual private network (VPN) for your business to encrypt all your internet traffic. Data in the cloud is typically encrypted by the cloud provider, but you can also beef it up with third party encryption. You can’t be too safe with your sensitive business data.

Lock Your Doors, Set the Alarm

If you’re not encrypting your business data, you’re leaving your door wide open for a hacker to steal it. Hackers are using ever-more sophisticated techniques to breach your network security. It’s important to make sure you’re always using the latest encryption and security technology. Get started protecting your business data with this guide. To learn more about data security and managed IT services, Contact Us.

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