Is Encryption Sufficiently Secure?
Codes lock data away in a virtual warehouse; however, is encryption insufficient or a little more than required? Several information technology managers find code vulnerabilities to be widening through shared hardware and loopholes revealing lapses in the kind of security which this technology offers.
The term “encryption” refers to the process of turning data into a coded form, particularly to keep anyone from accessing that data unauthorized. Encrypting makes data not readable, except if the program that manages the encryption algorithm has been presented the right keys and credentials to decrypt that data. Only those who have the right encryption key will be able to decrypt or access it. This means in the event the right keys have been corrupted or are not available, the encrypted information could remain inaccessible.
Encryption is markedly different from another process called ‘encoding’. Several individuals often think that both these are the same processes, but that is not true. Encoding refers to the process of turning data from a format to a different one. For decoding, only the algorithm used to encode data is required. Unlike in encryption, nothing else (such as the key) is required to decode it.
Does this all sound a little too technical for your liking? The following example will help you better understand this.
Protecting data on the internet is similar to locking it away in a safe, a virtual one if you will. To unlock it, its key has to match without any issue; similarly, to make that information online accessible, that encryption key should work perfectly. In the absence of the encryption key, the information will remain to be just a cipher text, which will not be readable. The key is needed to turn it into plaintext.
By design, encryption supplements other security procedures. When every component is working correctly, protecting your data should be possible through encryption. However, the main issue with encryption is the role we play. Phishing attacks, the all too human error of creating passwords that are not strong enough, and security hygiene that is not consistent creates an opportunity for those seeking the keys used to encrypt data.
The Best Ways to Achieve Tight Encryption
CIOs can put encryption into practice to protect the private and competitive data of their organization, customers, workers, and partners. Every chief information officer has to consider evaluating the following encryption areas.
Key management: Keeping backups of keys and passwords tend not to be standard protocol. If the encryption key goes missing, or those who hold it goes missing, then the data will remain in an inaccessible state. Has your company established measures to make sure that the correct personnel are provided with these keys, and that these are secure, can be accessed and transferred if someone dies?
Password-Lock Your Encryption Key
It is a wise idea to store the key with a password, but be sure to use a password that is not easily guessable. Remember that your encryption key is only as secure as what you use to lock it.
Is the code to encrypt data random enough?
Those who generate random numbers are not all that random, and they create the kind of codes which hackers can guess and take advantage of.
Where are your keys stored?
Choosing a centralized location to store the keys will leave these vulnerable towards one security violation. So give careful consideration to forming a storage system that is distributed and that will serve as an additional layer of security.
Do Not Use the Same Encryption Key for Many Applications
Just one key, however impossible it may be to hack for others, will be insufficient. When it is found by the person with malicious intent, every piece of business data will be at risk of being tampered with. So use many keys to tightly integrate encryption all through the data chain.
Encryption is one of the indispensable tools in information security. The best way to unlock the true power of encryption is to recognize the fact that the codes are just a part of the role this process plays in keeping data safe. Smart chief information officers think about not just the code, but also consider creating a system of reliable workers that help store and manage the key with security measures and policies to make encryption work in a seamless way throughout their data chain.