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In any organisation, the data held within your system is the most crucial and precious aspect of your business. Whether it be credit card information, transaction histories, or client intel, the data you hold is the core foundation of what your company runs on. This is why it must be safeguarded and protected with the utmost concern. One method of doing this is to implement encryption at rest for your data.

What is encryption at rest?

A data security breach could potentially be crippling for any business. Once a cybercriminal has access to your data, not only will they be able to see your company’s most private information, but they may also be able to steal, copy, or even alter this information for various fraudulent acts. Therefore, many companies opt for data encryption as an added layer of security, so that even if data is somehow obtained, it must first be decrypted in order to be accessed fully.

There are two main forms of data. Data in motion is data that is currently being transferred from one location to another. Data at rest is data that is stored in one location where it can be protected and monitored. Encryption at rest is when data at rest is given layers of encryption for security. The data – let’s say, credit card information – is in its original form a potential breach risk. However, this sensitive data can be transformed into another unrecognisable form of data that must be encrypted to be accessed. The algorithm for the encryption is handled by an encryption key which only you, or authorised persons, obtain, meaning that other hackers will not have the means to decipher the encrypted data. As a result, should someone gain access to your data, they will be unable to get past the layers of encryption without an encryption key, and your data remains unreachable.

What are the pros and cons?

There are multiple benefits to rest encrypted data.

Added security

Your company’s data is extremely sensitive and therefore requires the most extensive protection. Your data is much more secure with encryption since it is an added layer of safety. Should your data fall into the wrong hands, the culprit will still be unable to access your data in its entirety due to its encryption, and without the encryption key, your data remains protected.

You choose authorised personnel

With encryption keys, you can decide who is authorised to access your data. Should you wish to be the only one with access, you alone can hold the key. However, you may also give authorised personnel the encryption key for the data should it be necessary.

Maintain data integrity

Not only will your data be safeguarded from hackers, but should you somehow experience a breach and your encrypted data is potentially altered by a skilful hacker, you will be immediately notified of this corruption. This will allow you to take action and prevent any damage, keeping the data uncorrupted and intact.

Encryption security across multiple devices

With rest encrypted data, the security of your encryption can stretch across multiple devices. This means that your data is protected wherever or however it is accessed, and no matter the device, only authorised personnel with an encryption key may access the data.

There are, however, some potential setbacks to encryption at rest.

Vulnerable data in transit

Data at rest may be secure, but should the data be transported, the security becomes more limited. The data may therefore require additional encryption to ensure its safety whilst in transit.

Time consuming data management

The layers of encryption are beneficial to prevent breaches, however, this can prove tiresome for accessing your own data. Depending on the strength of your encryption and the number of encryption keys, simply accessing your own data could take much longer and require multiple levels of security to get through.

Expense

Depending on the level of security you desire, data at rest encryption can be quite costly. Your system will require certain upgrades and maintenance to continue performing at optimal efficiency when encrypting your data, particularly if the capacity of data is higher.

For more tips on protecting your data from cybercriminals, visit catalyst2 today.