5 Key Elements of Data Encryption Best Practices

Gone are the days of rooms full of filing cabinets — your enterprise’s data is now digital. As such, protecting sensitive data has never been more critical. Cybercriminals are also becoming more skilled at gaining access to sensitive data, requiring businesses to take a proactive role in protecting important information.

One of the best ways to protect your company’s data is to make sure it is encrypted.

What Is Data Encryption?

There are a lot of elements to data encryption, and many different encryption protocols. However, every set of data encryption best practices should have these 5 key elements:

1. Sensitive Data is Identified

Another thing to consider is what data would be detrimental to the company if it got out. Trade secrets, business strategies, and new developments could damage the company’s future if they were exposed. Prioritize what would cause the most damage and make sure it is encrypted.

2. Encrypt Data at Rest

Encrypting data at rest can also help your enterprise meet security and regulatory requirements like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Ensure that you are aware of the regulatory requirements of your field when encrypting data.

3. Encrypt Data In Transit

When sensitive data is in transit to another location, it is important that it be encrypted. Some use client-to-server encryption (C2S), which encrypts the data as it travels from one client to a central server, and then encrypts it again as it is sent to the recipient. The problem with C2S encryption is that if the server is compromised, the data is also compromised, since it is decrypted at the server.

The more secure way to secure data in transit is end-to-end encryption (E2E), which encrypts the data the entire time it travels from one user to another. This way, even a MitM attack wouldn’t be effective, because the data is fully encrypted while in transit.

4. Well-Managed Encryption Keys

Encryption keys should always be kept separate from the data that is encrypted. This way, in the unfortunate event that someone gets access to the encrypted data, they don’t also have access to the key. You should also keep backup keys, which should be stored in yet another location. IT should manage who can obtain these keys so that there isn’t unnecessary access to this vital information.

Encryption keys should also be changed regularly. This way, even if someone gains access to your keys, it won’t benefit them for long. Changing encryption keys frequently also prohibits any intruders from having access to all past data, since previous data will have been encrypted with a different key.

5. Monitor Encryption Performance

Protect Your Data with Wickr

Originally published at https://wickr.com on November 25, 2020.

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