Do you think your business is too small to attract the attention of cybercriminals?
That is sadly not true. For hackers, stealing data from small businesses is like taking candy from a baby. Any business, regardless of size, can become a victim of a cybercrime.
Small businesses are hackers’ favorite targets. That’s because SMBs don’t invest in modern cybersecurity technologies.
By not protecting themselves, SMBs are leaving the door wide open for cyberattacks.
But that changes today!
There are steps SMBs can take to help secure their data. And today, we’re going to explain how data encryption can help protect you.
While it may not be the most glamorous topic, data encryption is a necessary tool for SMBs. And it’s not as difficult to implement as you might imagine.
So, let’s get started with the basics.
What is encryption?
Encryption is the process of scrambling data so that only authorized parties can read it. In other words, encryption takes readable data and transforms it into something incomprehensible.
The thing encryption spits out is ciphertext.
Here’s a basic example:
“Hello” (plaintext) + encryption = “JYn840_oyeh” (ciphertext)
For the authorized party to understand the ciphertext, they use a cryptographic key.
How do cryptographic keys work?
A cryptographic key is like a physical key in a sense. It locks or encrypts data, so only someone with the right key can access the data.
In cryptography, the key encrypts and decrypts data by using a cryptographic algorithm.
There are two systems of encryption: symmetric encryption and asymmetric encryption.
Symmetric encryption secures data with a single private key.
In contrast, asymmetric encryption uses a combination of multiple keys. These keys are both private and public.
Where can Encryption be Used
There are a lot of different types of usage for encryption out there. For today’s purposes, we’re going to cover the most common types:
Email Encryption – protects the email message from being read by entities other than the intended recipients.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) – allow for secure web transactions by using encryption between your web browser and a web server. To tell if a webpage uses SSL, just look at the URL bar. If the page begins with https:// then that’s secure page.
Digital Certificates – uses an electronic “password” to allow a user to exchange data securely over the Internet using the public key infrastructure (PKI). If you encrypt a message with that public key, only the receiving organization should be able to decrypt that message.
Authentication – Encryption is widely used in authentication protocols to verify identity.
Filesystems – For example, a hard drive in a laptop may be encrypted. To access the data off that hard drive, a password is needed.
Devices – Some devices, like mobile phone, may use encryption when storing data.
Files & Disk – a single file or disk can be encrypted. For example, you can encrypt a excel spreadsheet, and only someone with the master password can decipher it.
Why is encryption important?
Encryption can feel like a big undertaking for small businesses. But luckily, it doesn’t have to be complex and expensive to implement.
But before we dive into how to install encryption, let’s talk about why it’s important.
Encryption is a great security tool. You can encrypt all sorts of data, including files, folders, disk, USBs. If you can name it, I bet it can get encrypted.
To paint a picture, encryption is like locking a door. Every evening, you lock the door to your office to deter an intrusion. Encryption does exactly that but with your data.
And if you don’t protect your data, you are an easy target for hackers. And getting hacked is no laughing matter. A data leak will not only result in financial ruin, but it will also tarnish your reputation.
And if your organization collects personal identifiable information (PII), like name and Social Security numbers, it is crucial that you secure that information. Plus, you may be legally responsible for the safety of that data.
Encryption and Small Business
You are probably already using some form of encryption without even knowing it. For instance, your software should automatically encrypt your password when storing it.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
For a robust security program, you should not only encrypt all PII data but also encrypt emails. After all, email is a cornerstone to many businesses – it vital for everyday operation.
Where to Start
SMBs must ensure that their data safely move in and out of their enterprises. And encryption is a way to help ensure that security.
To start encrypting data, you should partner with a managed security service provider (MSSP). They will help pinpoint what data needs to be encrypted, and then, get the job done.
And our security team, NetGarde, can help you accomplish just that.
We take pride in finding the best security solutions for our clients.
And we understand that the best security solution needs to adhere to your unique environment. That is because no single business has the same employees, budget, goals, and timelines.
To learn how we can help with your encryption needs, please follow this link: https://www.mrwsystems.com/netgarde/