Cyber Security Basics: Data Encryption, Masking, and Purging

by | May 9, 2016 | Security

Cyber security must be a priority issue for any company no matter how big or small. The news media has talked a lot about large corporations being hacked into, but the little guy is in danger as well. It isn’t just the customer information that hackers are looking to find. A small or medium-sized company values the intellectual property it has. Hackers want that so they can sell it to the competition. Any CEO who is concerned about the welfare of his or her establishment is going to take cyber security basics quite seriously. None of this is rocket science but rather a levelheaded approach to protecting what you have worked so hard to create. There are three areas of security that are important to understanding cyber security basics: data encryption, masking, and purging.

Data Encryption Cloaks the Figures

Think for a moment of those old spy movies where messages were encrypted to avoid detection. Data encryption hides the numbers and the computer files from prying eyes. A cypher is used, and only you and a few select people have access to this information; others reading the material without the cypher will not understand a thing. There are various levels of encryption, and particular information can be encrypted or even the entire hard drive.

Masking Fools the Thieves

A software company is going to be doing a lot of testing product. Data masking alters data so that the firm can do testing without compromising the real information. It is also used to protect sensitive data such as the Social Security numbers of customers, and the health data of patients. The human resources department would be interested data masking because it can keep sensitive employee information from prying eyes and sticky fingers.

Purging Clears the Storage

The term means exactly that. Purging is the way by which you remove data from storage space. If properly used, the data is removed permanently, and even a scan of the storage space will not recover it. It permits a company to get rid of any old information about customers, particularly those who have ended their relationship with the enterprise. A cyber thief will not be able to steal this old data, and there are various data systems to be employed for this process.

Which of the Cyber Security Basics is Best?

The owner of a small company may overreact and insist on using all three. It may seem like a smart security decision, but it is not. The rule of thumb is that you should have what you need, and everything else is an unnecessary expense. For example, if a company does not have files on customer information, masking may not be necessary although data encryption might. No one expects decision-makers in a small or medium-size company to know everything about data security. Seeking the advice of professionals will guarantee the right cyber security is used, and expenses are kept in line.

Enstep Has the Security Know-how

Enstep Technology Solutions has worked with small and medium-sized companies in Houston to help them be more efficient, as well as keep their data and intellectual property secure. Estep’s IT consulting services can assist a decision-maker in deciding the type of cyber security that will best fit the needs of the company. Working with the client, Enstep can help set up the right security system for the company. It may be one of the security basics or combination of the options mentioned above. The intent is to see to it that data defense is not only well-organized but cost-effective also.

A small company may not have the IT expertise to set up a good cyber security system. Enstep Technology Solutions is here to help defend the data. Please feel free to contact us directly and we will tell you how we create solid protection for your computer files.

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