When Should Data Encryption Be Used to Protect My Business?

Considering the importance of your computer systems when it comes to running your business, you should take steps to protect the digital backbone of your enterprise.

In addition to virus protection, link scanners, firewalls and two-step authentication, data encryption adds an extra layer of security when someone attempts to raid your cloud storage or hard drive for sensitive information. A variety of different types of data and data storage devices should be encrypted to prevent hackers from easy access to information that could be used to damage your business.

Protect Your Hardware

Self-encrypting hard drives automatically scramble data through a chip that’s attached to the storage device. Some external and USB drives also have features that encrypt data in case the device is lost or stolen, preventing easy retrieval. Portable computer devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets can also be encrypted through software that’s built into the system or installed from an external source.

Software and Traffic Encryption

Several programs provide business users with the ability to encrypt individual files before they’re uploaded to USB drives or cloud storage systems, which are created from the bottom up to provide encryption along with storage capacity. Many programs are free for consumers and easy to use.

The data traveling in and out of your business through internet and data networks should also be encrypted. Use secure, encrypted Wi-Fi whenever possible. If you’re using a public network, a virtual private network can hide the data you transmit through a third-party server. A secure email box with its contents fully encrypted protects sensitive company emails.

Passwords and Consequences

Encryption becomes a lot less secure when you don’t use a strong password. They should consist of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols to make it more difficult for a hacker to figure out the password. The longer the password the better, but you should consider creating a password at least eight or nine characters in length. Password manager apps make it easy to create complex passwords that you can store in your smartphone while two-step verification notifies you if someone is attempting to access data without your permission.

The recent onslaught of enormous hacks that routinely take place around the world show the effects of poor data encryption and password security. Hundreds of millions of people’s personal data have been taken and are now circulating around the criminal world. Companies such as Sony have taken large losses because of data security gone wrong. Consider encrypting every aspect of your business that involves digital data to reduce the threat of becoming the most recent business to be hacked.

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