5 Essential Needs for Encryption and What It Means for Your Enterprise

You cannot risk your entire enterprise by leaving the doors to your building open after hours. Similarly, the need to encrypt and secure your data at every access point is just as important today.

Why is encryption an essential need for today’s businesses? Well, consider how attractive an unguarded door is to an opportunistic criminal. The same rules apply to cybercriminals when it comes to the risks of unsecured data.

To demonstrate the size of the problem, consider these cybercrime statistics from 2021:

  • Cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion every year by 2025, according to Cybercrime Magazine (up from $6 trillion in 2021)
  • Almost 80% of IT leaders lack confidence in their company’s cybercrime defenses
  • Cybersecurity budgets are increasing, but so are cybercrime attempts, with more than 100,000 malicious websites added and 10,000 malicious files sent every day in 2021

For enterprises, this pandemic needs to be fought in-house, and encryption is one of the best weapons in your arsenal. In this article, we’ll discuss five essential needs for encryption – and how these strategies can help protect your enterprise.

5 Essential Needs for Encryption in Today’s Enterprises

There has never been a greater need for adopting good cybersecurity practices in your business. The rise of cloud-enabled services and edge-compute tools means more of your data exists in disparate environments, where prying eyes could sniff out a new vulnerability at any moment.

Encryption is one way your enterprise can fight back regardless of your current technologies and deployment models. Here are five essential needs that encryption solves for today’s enterprises.

1. Encryption Secures Cloud and On-Premise Data

The need to adopt new technologies won’t go away, no matter how many headaches it causes security professionals. Organizations need to be flexible while remaining focused on security, but also capable of adopting new strategies to outperform competitors.

There remains a misconception that cloud services are less secure than on-premise data centers. What’s worse, your competitors may use the same cloud tools as you – a risk that’s often unacceptable for many executives.

Encryption overcomes these challenges by:

  • Securing all your data at all connected points and keeping it inaccessible while in flight, at rest, or in storage
  • Even when a service provider copies the virtual machines that make up your environment, the data remains protected unless they have an encryption key
  • With the right encryption solution, you remain in control of all your encryption keys and can deliver or revoke them as you choose

2. Enterprise Key Management is What Matters

Ideally, end-to-end encryption doesn’t depend on any third-party encryption doing key management for you. Whoever owns the data, should also manage the encryption keys. Enterprise Key Management (EKM) should form part of your wider encryption policy or strategy, ensuring you remain in control during every interaction with your data.

One of the reasons this is vital for enterprises is to avoid vendor lock-in. If you have hosted data with a service provider, you may consider the risk of leaving any sensitive information too great if you don’t own the encryption keys required to secure trailing files.

3. Encryption Helps Improve Your Compliance Efforts

Data security is no longer just an emerging concern for governments and public agencies. To stem the tide of data theft and avoid breaches of regulated information, more government agencies expect enterprises to establish elevated security controls for all company data.

Encryption supports these efforts by:

  • Securing data at every endpoint across the enterprise technology landscape
  • Using EKM to manage who can generate, refresh, revoke, distribute, and delete encryption keys
  • Establish encryption requirements that support the data access model for different user groups, file groups, databases, and workflows
  • Allowing enterprises to deploy a zero-trust access model, thereby increasing data security throughout the business

4. Encryption Prevents Reputational Damage from Breach Notifications

Breach notifications are now part and parcel of data security. Most governments require any company that loses information to disclose breaches to the public and affected individuals. However, if the breached data was encrypted and the intrusion didn’t compromise your encryption keys, safe harbor clauses may apply.

Safe harbor clauses don’t require you to notify the public or governing agencies when a breach occurs with encrypted data. The more secure your EKM policy, the less exposed your enterprise is to the reputational damage that comes from a successful breach.

5. Encrypted Backups Allow You to Recover from an Attack Quickly

Finally, encrypting portions of your data can help you recover from a cyberattack quickly. If an attacker compromises your live system, a disaster recovery policy that uses encrypted backups means you can spin up your new environment without needing to pay a ransom.

When it comes to enterprise communications, maintaining an accurate record of all communications will be vital to your business operations. Securing your backups with modern encryption and ensuring that you have a disaster recovery strategy in place will limit the damage from any successful cyberattack.

Final Thoughts on the Essential Need for Encryption in Your Enterprise

Digital communications and access to enterprise data will only become more important to enterprises in the future. With end-to-end encryption, enterprises can weather the current cybercrime storms and build resilience into their daily operations. As these practices will only become more vital in the years to come, developing an encryption strategy for all company data now can help protect your enterprise – now and into the future.