Even with the ever-changing technology landscape, one thing remains constant: Data protection should be a top priority. Businesses must work hard to keep their data under lock and key while remaining competitive and compliant. Encryption is essential for businesses with this agenda. Even as an IT professional or a business working with a security service provider, there are vital practices you must put into play.
Although higher than last year, only 67% of respondents of this year’s Ponemon 2018 Global Cloud Data Security Study say that their organizations are committed to protecting confidential or sensitive data in the cloud. With new threats emerging almost daily, encryption must be a commitment. The following cloud encryption tips are valuable for the entire process.
Encrypt High-Risk, High-Value Information First
According to Thales’ Global Encryption Trends Study, the reasoning behind encryption has shifted towards protecting specific sensitive information, not just for the sake of compliance. Thales states, “Compliance remains a significant driver for performing encryption, however, it has been surpassed for the first time by protecting enterprise’s intellectual property and customer’s personal information.”
The study showed that 43% of respondents have an encryption strategy applied consistently across the enterprise. It seems that the data breaches of 2017, including the likes of Equifax, were a wake up call.
Within your organization, perform a risk analysis to decide which threats are the biggest risk for your data and how likely they are to occur. Data breaches are a leading risk across the board for all industries. Encrypting the highest value and risk data first will ensure pertinent customer information and intellectual property is kept safe from potential threats and disasters that could occur.
Bring-Your-Own-Encryption to the Cloud
According to the Ponemon Institute Report, 40% of IT professionals surveyed said they use encryption, tokenization and other cryptographic tools, yet 35% said that they have no idea what solutions they have in place. Those behind the study state that organizations fail to secure their data due to a lack of central governance. As cloud-based service usage increases, organizations must re-evaluate their data protection methods, including encryption, and take a multi-layered approach for best results.
Organizations like THALES are offering BYOE or bring-your-own-encryption services to help secure data across multiple public clouds and different cloud storage options. These tools can be adopted to effectively manage encryption keys and access controls across multiple cloud providers. BYOE services offer high-performance AES encryption, privilege user access control, secure structured databases and unstructured files and enables migration between cloud environments and on-premise servers. To properly protect your business while using multiple clouds, BYOE services are an essential tool.
Secure It All: From Voice to Hard Drive
Although it is important to encrypt data while in transit, it’s just as important to protect data while it is stored and at-rest. This data includes vulnerable information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, intellectual property and more, all susceptible to hackers and criminals. It is up to you and your managed service provider, if applicable, to secure your data that is living in the cloud.
To start, it is critical to secure everything that contains data including voice calls, internet connections, email, private and public keys, hard drives and critical files with sensitive data. Encrypt your data at all points of use within your organization. When protecting all points of use, you must consider who is viewing your data and using it on a daily basis. Ensure your employees understand what to do in the event of a user error or disaster. Train your employees about the importance of encryption and how they should encrypt data effectively. Most internal breaches are accidental, the result of an employee error.
Understand Your Responsibility
If you use the services of a managed security provider, you will need to realize that the ultimate responsibility for data encryption falls on your organization. According to the Ponemon 2018 Global Cloud Data Security Study, 46% of respondents stated that their organizations have clearly defined roles and accountability for safeguarding confidential or sensitive information in the cloud. And similar to the 2016 study findings, only 21% of respondents say that members of the security team are involved in all selections involving cloud applications and platforms.
At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to adequately protect and encrypt your critical data. Your IT team should be involved with selecting proper applications and platforms to fit your needs. You should have an internal team that is familiar with all systems, capable of working with an MSP to encrypt data and maintain your data security.
Encryption is still critical this year and will continue in the future. When it comes to your cloud-based security strategy, it is past time to create a strategy based on being responsible for your data, securing and encrypting all points of access, taking advantage of solutions, like BYOE, and encrypting the highest value and highest risk data first and foremost. Use these cloud encryption tips to get started.
Not sure where to start when it comes to cloud security? LightEdge offers complimentary security assessments and recommends solutions that you can implement yourself, or offload to our experts. Our comprehensive managed security services, along with our support, are perfect for those who don’t have the resources or expertise to implement a solution like data encryption. Contact us today to discuss your goals.