Encryption: An Essential Cybersecurity Defence


By Matthew Reeve on 7th August, 2019.

Safeguarding Your Data Through Encryption

It seems like every week now there’s a new story in the media about a big organisation or business suffering a data leak. Although this is concerning in itself, in reality it’s only the tip of the iceberg; these are only the ‘newsworthy hacks’. Not everyone will make headlines like Yahoo or Facebook.

With data breaches becoming an increasingly frequent problem, its important businesses ensure the security of their own data as well as that of their customers. One of the best methods to do this is through encryption.

In this blog post we’ll look at some recent newsworthy data hacks, the introduction of the GDPR, how encryption works to protect your data, and the Secura Web Protect offering that includes encryption protection.


Recent Data Breaches

Just last month it was announced that British Airways were facing a record £183 million fine from the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) for a breach of its security systems in 2018. British Airways described the hack as a “sophisticated, malicious criminal attack”. The hack saw users of BA’s website redirected to a fraudulent site, which subsequently gathered the personal data of approximately 500,000 customers, including names, addresses, travel booking details and payment card information.

In September 2018, the largest hotel chain in the world, Marriot International, announced the records of 500 million customers had been hacked. It’s believed the hacker had access to the guest reservation database as far back as 2014. Private information such as names, contacts, passport information and booking accounts were compromised as well as encrypted payment card information. Marriot also announced that the related encryption keys may also have been stolen.


GDPR

2018 saw the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) across Europe, the world’s strongest data protection regulations. Designed to modernise laws that protect personal information in the data-driven digital age, the GDPR introduced rigorous revamps in the law and huge penalties for data breaches; either a $20 million fine, or up to 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

Although the GDPR means businesses may have to re-think their IT security measures, it does not in itself demand specific security technology. What it does outline is the need for implementation of appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect data, and in this sense, encryption is an excellent process within a robust, multi-layered security plan.


How Encryption Works

Essentially, encryption is the method of encoding a message or file so that it can only be read or accessed by a party or individual with a specific decryption key. The process is achieved through an algorithm which scrambles or cyphers the data, and then uses a cryptographic key for the algorithm which unscrambles or deciphers it upon delivery.

Cloud encryption typically ranges from encrypted connections, to limited encryption of specific sensitive data, to complete encryption of all data uploaded to the cloud. Applicating encryption ensures if the data is intercepted, it is unreadable and effectively rendered useless without the decryption key. Because of this, an effective decryption key management system should also be a priority.


Data Encryption With Web Protect

Web Protect is Secura’s suite of products which provide a multi-layered security strategy, fully managed by Secura on behalf of our customers, removing the hassle and workload of running a security solution internally. Blending the best network security and web service protection technologies, Web Protect includes encryption solutions by Hytrust; cloud security experts.

Encryption through Web Protect utilises Hytrust Data Control and ensures sensitive data is powerfully encrypted at a flexible, granular, virtual machine (VM) level. The ability to install per VM makes it incredibly flexible and cost effective, as you can specifically focus your encryption instead of paying for it across your entire environment.

Hytrust protection can be delivered quickly and deployed easily, meaning no downtime to VPC environments. HyTrust also enables encryption at rest for VM volumes, removing the need to install premium license feature versions of some software, like SQL Enterprise, making it an incredibly economical way to secure your data.

Click here for more information on Web Protect by Secura, or please get in touch if you have any questions.


Matthew Reeve

Content Executive

Matthew is Secura’s content specialist, producing gripping, emotionally complex, edge of your seat, cloud hosting articles and videos.

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@securacloud