Encryption: How to Save Your Digital Assets

June 6, 2023

Are you and your business taking all the steps to secure your data and digital assets? We live in an era where technology is essential for our personal and professional lives. But this also exposes us to many risks: our most valuable data, from bank accounts to private conversations, are at risk from cyber-attacks. So, how can we safeguard our digital data from hackers and cyber threats? Encryption could be the best ally in this mission. In this article, we will uncover the importance of data encryption, and how and why it is the key to protecting our online existence and defending our data.

Why do Businesses Need Encryption?

Encryption is one of the core elements of cybersecurity, used to protect data from theft, tampering, or compromise. It works by encrypting data into a secret code that can only be unlocked with a unique digital key. Computers can protect encrypted data at rest, in transit, or during processing, regardless of their location (on-premise or remote cloud servers). This trend is becoming more crucial every day and will only accelerate as we move forward. So, let's see what are the main drivers behind this growing need for encryption.

  • Cyber Threats and Attacks: Cyber-attacks are constantly exposing organizations. But as they develop better ways to detect and prevent traditional cyber-attacks, malicious attackers also find new ways to strike. For instance, ransomware involves stealing and encrypting large amounts of sensitive corporate data and demanding a ransom to avoid public disclosure. Encryption can help mitigate these threats and protect information.
  • Insider Threats: These threats come from people inside an organization who have authorized access to systems and data. They can be deliberate or accidental, such as when sensitive data is mistakenly shared. In both cases, encryption helps protect the data, reducing the damage of insider incidents by making data unreadable and unusable to unauthorized people.
  • Increased Surveillance: As surveillance practices grow significantly among governments, companies, and other entities, they have a double-edged effect: they enhance security, but they also threaten privacy, personal freedoms, and the possibility of power abuse by those in charge. Gathering and storing large amounts of personal data also create weaknesses that hackers can take advantage of. Encryption helps individuals and organizations keep their data under their control, protecting their privacy and reducing the risks of increased surveillance exploits.
  • Generative AI: Generative AI algorithms can create content that looks like the original data by learning patterns and relationships within a dataset. But this also means that generative AI systems can capture personal or corporate data, which can be very risky. Encryption helps protect the data, making sure that even if data is captured, it stays unreadable and unusable for unauthorized purposes.

Encryption: Securing the Future of Data

As mentioned, cryptographic technology is continuously evolving to prevent or act on cyber-attacks and threats. Here are some of the key advancements that are being developed and used to increase data privacy and security:

  • Homomorphic encryption is a unique encryption method that allows computations and analysis to be carried out on encrypted data without the need for decryption. This allows secure processing and analysis of sensitive data without exposing it to unauthorized parties.
  • Quantum encryption involves using the principles of quantum mechanics to create a key distribution system that is virtually unbreakable.

While quantum computing is still not a concern for companies, it is possible that future threats and attacks could arise from the superior speed and performance of quantum computers compared to conventional ones. This advancement may allow quantum computers to bypass the security measures established by encryption methods and introduce new vulnerabilities. Thus, we also include in the list a new technique that should be able to respond to these attacks:

  • Post-quantum encryption (PQC) is an innovative encryption technique developed to withstand attacks by using mathematical problems deemed too complex to solve rapidly for quantum computers.

Final thoughts

The ongoing development of new methods is especially important to prevent or fight the theft and manipulation of sensitive information online. Moreover, encryption enables organizations to expand secure data sharing, collaboration, and analysis, fostering innovation in many areas.

It is important to note that encryption technologies can also be misused. For instance, governments and law enforcement agencies express concerns that encryption might conceal criminal activities. So, the purpose is to find a delicate balance, assuring privacy for all employees and individuals but also providing security. Transparency, collaboration, and open dialogue between stakeholders are vital to ensure encryption's responsible and effective use.

As we navigate the intricate web of technology and data privacy, encryption stands as our shield against emerging threats. By embracing the "encryption revolution" and leveraging advanced encryption methods, we can fortify our digital world, protect our valuable assets, and build a future where privacy and security coexist harmoniously.

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