Data Encryption: Definitions, Applications, and Best Practices

Cyber styled image showing different data visualizations and code

Did you know there are an estimated 91 data breaches every second? That equals out to be an average of 7.85 million data breaches every year.

Data encryption is essential to keeping all of the data that your business collects safe from breaches. However, what exactly is data encryption and what’s the best way to go about encrypt in your data?

If understanding how to implement an effective data encryption system in your organization seems to be a complex task for you to begin undertaking, we created a complete guide to help you better understand. Today, we’re going to dive into the definition of data encryption, as well as how you can apply it to your organization, and the best practices for you to use to encrypt the massive volumes of data that you receive.

Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Data Encryption?

In a simple explanation, that encryption is a process that alters data from the original form that it was received, into a new format. For you to be able to read the data and it’s an encrypted form, you need to have a unique code or a key to access the data.

The simplest form of data encryption includes taking every letter in a word and having it changed to the following letter but it’s next to in the Alphabet. The way that you could switch back to the original information is to switch the letters in the encrypted code that you received that one letter in the alphabet.

While this form of encryption isn’t very complex, it’s a great example to help you better understand how the entire process of encrypting in data works, as well as strengthening your understanding of the use of a decryption key.

To keep information safe, the process of encrypting in personal data, such as credit card information, is much more complex. In using more complex data encryption processes, there may be numbers inserted to various places to convert the data that’s being received into something unrecognizable, if you don’t have the decryption key.

What Type of Data Can You Encrypt? 

As a business owner, you probably have an understanding that all the data you received isn’t the same. However, the good news is that all data can be encrypted.

If you’re storing data and a static location, such as on a hard drive, you can encrypt data so that only people who have a decryption key or able to read the data. Also, if there’s data moving around over your network, you can cricket so that only you and the person who’s meant to read the data or able to decrypt it.

What Is the Purpose of Using Data Encryption?

Using the data encryption provides your business with the ability to protect digital data and maintain a level of confidentiality between you and your clients. Any data that’s being stored on your computer, a hard drive, or is being transferred across networks should be encrypted.

By creating a need for encryption authentication creates the ability to be able to verify the origin of the data that you’re receiving, as well as being able to improve the integrity that the contents of the data haven’t been changed since they were originally sent.

Why Data Encryption Is Important for Your Business

The main purpose of using got encryption in your small business is to keep confidential additional data both secure and protected. If you’re going to be transmitting information throughout the Internet, ensuring a specific level of data privacy to your consumers is not only legally required, but helps to keep the information that your customers are providing you with safe.

Using data and questioning a small business keeps sensitive information for being compromised or stolen. Also, that encryption helps to ensure that they thought that you’re being sent is authentic and comes from The sender but it supposed to come from. This is done by verifying that the original message hasn’t been altered as the data has been sent throughout the Internet.

How Does Data Encryption Work?

During the very first steps of encrypting data, the sender of the data has to cipher the best disguise to use for the message, as well as what variable to use to make the encryption of the data unique. There are two main ciphers that centers can use to encrypt the data, which are referred to as symmetric and asymmetric ciphers.

Asymmetric Ciphers

Asymmetric ciphers are also commonly referred to as public-key encryption, but use two different keys that are logically linked. This type of cipher uses prime numbers to develop keys, which makes it much more difficult to reverse for people who are trying to hack the data.

The most common encryption other than that’s being used in today’s technology is the Rivest Shamir Adleman encryption. When using the RSA encryption algorithm, you can use a private key or a public key to encrypt data. However, whatever key you’re not using to encrypt the data, you can use it to decrypt the information.

Symmetric Ciphers

Symmetric Cyphers are often referred to as secret key encryption, which depends on a single key to encrypt the data. A single key can also be referred to as a shared key. This is because the sender of the information and the computing system that’s encrypting the data have to share the secret key to authorize the description of the data being sent.

Symmetric key encryption is a lot faster to use asymmetric encryption. Symmetrical ciphers were created to protect information that was classified by the government.

Should Your Business Use Data Encryption?

If you’re worried about the challenges that your company is facing for protecting data and making sure that no data is lost through removable media, web applications, and the external devices that your employees use, using data encryption as a part of your daily business procedure can keep sensitive information safe.

Using data encryption not only protects your company from data theft, or data loss, but it also reduces the chance of now we’re being introduced from external devices and removable devices from both cloud and web applications. By using auto encryption for all of the data that your company handles, you’ll be able to greatly reduce the chances of malware and spyware being introduced to your companies applications.

Best Practices for Data Encryption

Free to successfully implement data encryption that’s effective for your organization’s needs, you must follow healthy practices. By establishing the biggest challenges that you’re likely to face and understanding the best practices for you to follow up for that encryption, you’ll be able to successfully implement data encryption practices into your organization.

Evaluate the Data That You’re Going to Encrypt

Adding to encrypt information, you need to decide what information would cause the most harm to your customers and your organization if it was compromised or lost. You should always take steps to encrypt all types of sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, names, payment information, addresses, and trade information.

Any information that you receive that’s considered to be personally identifiable has to meet compliance regulations with specialized encryption. Keep in mind that any data in transit can offer a challenge to protect, which means it’s at a greater risk of being compromised than any data that you’re storing on a device or in a facility.

This means that any data that’s in transit needs to be protected, even if you’re only transferring the information over in-network or accessing from a remote location.

Develop a Strategy for Security

For you to ensure that you’re within the legal regulations for storing data, you need to understand the relevant regulations. Also, you should consider developing a policy that addresses what type of data needs to be encrypted within your organization, as well as how to keep the encryption method that you’re using to be an effective tool.

As you’re creating a strategy for security, you should Identify the rolls, as well as the privileges, of the individuals who can access the data when it isn’t encrypted. Make sure that you’re aware of the current data security regulations, as well as government policies, to ensure that you’re not only up to date on following those regulations, but that they also don’t impact the security strategy that you’re developing.

Creating a security strategy for your data encryption should also include the algorithm that you’re going to be using to encrypt data. Decide upon what encryption tools will best fit the volume of data that your organization receives, as well as the unique needs of your business. You should also make sure that the algorithm that you’ve chosen can keep up with the speed at which you need to encrypt the data you receive

Other important information you should be aware of is how the encryption algorithm you are using is generating keys, storing information, and replacing keys. Do you know how you, as the owner of the business, can destroy encryption keys if there’s ever an event of a breach in security for your organization?

You should also develop a way to audit the data that you’re encrypting. By identifying a way that you’ll be able to log events that’ll allow you to identify accessories that have an on authorized or any other such irregularities will help to ensure that your encryption strategy is effective for both protection of your organization and your customers.

Secure Key Management

Once you’ve established your encryption algorithm, you must find a way to properly back up and secure all of the decryption keys is that you have. If these keys into the wrong hands, it poses a security threat that needs to be identified before you go about encrypted data even further.

The best way to go about ensuring that the keys that you’re securing are an appropriate location is if the location you’re storing your key in is located somewhere away from the backup key. Finding a second location to store any other keys that you have will drastically increase the complexity of the process that a hacker or cybercriminal will have to go through to access the data you’ve encrypted.

Understanding the Importance of Data Encryption

Using data encryption to protect your company from providing authorized access to your customer’s private information is the best and easiest way to maintain the integrity of your companies security. It’s an indispensable tool for companies that receive large volumes of sensitive information to keep the customers protected from cybercriminals.

While understanding encryption may seem like a complicated process, taking every step that you can to prevent data loss is essential to the success of your business. Completely understanding that encryption doesn’t have to be something that you handle by yourself. Using data encryption software to help keep all of your private information protected is the best way you can go about taking the first steps do keeping all of your information safe.

Are you interested in finding a company that can help your business to better manage its data? Click here to contact us today for more information!

Follow us on LinkedIn, FaceBook,
YouTube or Instagram
Or just say Hi!