In the field of cybersecurity, the greatest challenge faced when trying to secure a company’s digital infrastructure is the number of avenues that are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Malicious actors can exploit practically all IoT devices, networks and servers either virtually or in person. The most difficult technological components to protect are IoT/end-user devices, such as computers and mobile devices. This is due both to the number of endpoints and the reliability of the user. Most firms will have difficulty in overcoming these two significant obstacles, regardless of the size of the organisation. In an attempt to reduce the vulnerabilities of endpoint security, many companies have begun to employ data encryption to ensure the quality and consistency of their human firewall.
Data Encryption at a Glance: Data encryption is the protection of data from unauthorised access, using certain tools and security measures. The most obvious example of data encryption would be the lock on a smartphone screen. Unless you have the correct PIN code, you cannot access the information. Fingerprint identification, facial recognition and passwords are all examples of mobile data encryption. However, data encryption isn’t just used in smartphones and password protection – it also includes any measure used to secure the digital storage of an IoT device.
Tech companies are increasingly seeking to protect their users via data encryption hardware and software that is pre-installed. Apple, for example, has created new encryption features to safeguard user data, even when other parts of their security infrastructure have been compromised. iOS and iPadOS devices now use a file encryption methodology called Data Protection, whereas the data on an Intel-based Mac are protected with a volume encryption technology called FileVault. FileVault protects data by preventing long-lived encryption keys from being accessed by the kernel Operating System or Central Processing Unit, a feature that makes it a very effective endpoint security tool. To put it in layman’s terms, FileVault limits the avenues through which data can be accessed in the event of a breach. Therefore, untrusted code may be able to run but sensitive information cannot be accessed. In cybersecurity, nothing can be guaranteed, but FileVault is a valuable safety net for any company to add to their endpoint security defences.
Data Encryption and Endpoint Security:
According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations report, more than 20% of data breaches resulted from successful phishing attempts. Phishing has been a leading avenue for hackers to steal data since the creation of the world wide web. Even though it has been a problem for so long, many unsuspecting users still fall into the same trap. You receive a fake email or text message that seems legitimate, but which is designed to extract your information. Often, they may be in the form of a HR email requesting an employee’s personal information or work credentials. Phishing remains the most successful data breach tactic because users are often ill-prepared.
Data encryption fills the gaps in an organisation’s human firewall, making it an integral part of endpoint security. The term ‘human firewall’ refers to the ability of a company’s workforce to identify and prevent a data breach or cyberattack. If organisations wish to safeguard their endpoints, a suitable human firewall must be developed and maintained. The primary element that causes problems is the factor of human error. Effective training methods may reduce the risk of a successful attack by ensuring that employees know how to identify phishing scams, but a sophisticated phishing campaign could nevertheless compromise the human firewall and thereby weaken the organisation’s cybersecurity. Data encryption provides a safety net to ensure that even in these circumstances, there are additional measures in place to protect both the organisation and the end user.
Data encryption is a powerful weapon in the fight against cybercrime due to the fact that it can successfully prevent a security incident resulting in a data breach. The term ‘security incident’ describes an event in which an asset has been compromised. When that security incident results in a disclosure of sensitive information, however, then the incident is a data breach. It is in the event of a security incident that data encryption is most effective, as it enables the user’s IoT devices to safeguard their data until the incident has been dealt with. Advanced encryption is very difficult to crack, and often machine-learning algorithms are required for an attempt to be successful. The amount of time it takes to crack an encrypted device means that users are able to limit the damage of a security incident and deal with the threat before it results in a data breach. However, implementing these protections is easier said than done.
Integrating Data Encryption Into Your Organisation:
The ways to introduce data encryption into your company’s cybersecurity program are myriad. The efficacy of the solution, however, is dependent on the extent and quality of the implementation. The vulnerabilities of endpoints are faced by numerous potential threats – phishing, malicious software, and theft. Your organisation can limit the damage inflicted by security incidents such as these by implementing effective and strategic encryption techniques. Here are a few key areas where encryption capabilities and endpoint protection can be upgraded.
Online data exchange is occurring constantly. Any company that has its own website will understand the importance of ensuring that these connections are secure so that user information is protected. If information collected during an interaction with the site is not encrypted, user data is not secure. Users are vulnerable when interacting with non-secure sites. For corporations, there are vulnerabilities on both fronts – you want to secure your website to safeguard user data, while also educating your staff so that they avoid unsecured sites.
HTTPS has become increasingly popular due to its encryption capabilities. Whereas HTTP does not have the ability to encrypt the majority of its web connections, HTTPS does. Switching your website to HTTPS can ensure that end users are more secure.
Advanced encryption software is a crucial weapon in the fight to ensure that an organisation’s data remains secure in the event of a security incident. The more sophisticated encryption software will even scramble data to make it unreadable in the event that it is breached. It is this level of encryption that is used by ransomware attackers to lock out company functions. When attacks such as these happen, digital forensics teams often have to decrypt the encrypted files using advanced algorithms. The question is: how does a business correctly use data encryption?
Although data encryption methods are an effective way to shore up your defences, they are but a small part of what is necessary for comprehensive, 360-degree cybersecurity. If you want to maximise your organisation’s endpoint security, contact Advanced German Technology. Our team of experts in the field will help you to develop, implement and maintain a cybersecurity program tailored to your needs. To learn how to improve your data encryption capabilities, contact us today.