The Importance of Data Encryption in Cybersecurity | TechWell

The Importance of Data Encryption in Cybersecurity

Encrypted data on a screen

Encryption is a cybersecurity measure that protects private and personal data through the use of unique codes that scramble the data and make it impossible for intruders to read. Despite a data breach, encryption ensures that an institution’s private data is safe, even when attackers get past the firewall.

Businesses are increasingly collecting a lot of private user data, so to prevent this data from getting into the hands of unauthorized agents, corporations need to ensure that they encrypt all the data in their possession.

The data encryption process is straightforward. An encryption key with a specific encryption algorithm is used to translate the plaintext data into unreadable data, also known as ciphertext. The scrambled data can only be decoded using the corresponding encryption key, so intruders will not be able to read the data when they get past the system security measures.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a data encryption mechanism that websites employ to protect vital user data. It prevents attackers from accessing sensitive user data that is moving to and from the website. The websites that have added SSL to secure their websites have a padlock symbol on their URLs and use “https” instead of “http” for their link address. SSL implementation assures the website’s users that their online transactions are encrypted and sensitive user data is protected.

But do companies really need to put forth the effort to invest in data encryption for their online transactions and processes? Here are four reasons they should.

1. Data in transit is vulnerable 

Hackers can easily attack communication channels and capture the data that is in transit. Data encryption ensures that confidential data cannot get stolen in transit through data extraction techniques such as brute force.

2. Security threats are evolving

Attackers are constantly learning new ways to get past the tightest of cybersecurity defenses, so corporations need to make sure that attackers will not be able to read their data, should their firewalls get breached. Data encryption makes it impossible for attackers to access sensitive data.

3. Uncertified applications could expose sensitive data

The installation and use of certain uncertified online resources and applications may cause intrusions and security breaches. When this happens, your sensitive data may get exposed to harmful online agents. Data encryption prevents this from happening by making sure that your private data is scrambled and difficult to read by unauthorized users.

4. Hacking is a business

Competition and business rivalry mean that companies are always looking to access their competitors’ private data to learn their next business moves. This has led to the growth of the hacking business, where tech-savvy individuals hack companies’ online resources for pay. Data encryption will ensure that anyone who is not supposed to access your data is not able to read, understand, or use the data, even when they succeed in getting past your security systems.

Organizations need to make sure that they protect their data from online attackers, and data encryption is a good tactic. It scrambles sensitive data so that unauthorized users without the encryption key will not be able to make sense of the information, keeping your vital data safe.

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