Data security is one of the ongoing concerns that businesses need to stay on top of. With today’s data privacy regulations, such as HIPAA or PCI, a breach of your data doesn’t only impact your direct business operations, it can also mean high compliance penalties.
For example, a noncompliance penalty for HIPAA can range from $100 to $50,000 per record breached. Simply leaving a laptop unattended and accessible can mean a large breach of confidential data and a hefty fine.
Keeping data secure and away from unauthorized access can be challenging because there are so many ways that criminals can get their hands on business data. And they are continually trying to do just that.
Here are some 2020 statistics that illustrate the significant increase in cyberattacks over the last year:
- Remote employees during the pandemic led to an increase in data breach costs of $137,000.
- In May 2020, there was an increase of coronavirus-related cyberattacks of 30% over the prior month.
- Web application breaches doubled in 2020 as compared to the prior year.
To keep up with the rise in the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks, it’s important to use every tool in the protection arsenal to keep your business network, devices, and data protected.
One of the tools that many companies overlook is data encryption.
How Can We Incorporate Encryption Into Our Cybersecurity Strategy?
When data encryption is deployed, an encryption key is used to “scramble” data. Once encrypted, the data cannot be read by anyone that doesn’t have the key to decrypt the information.
Encryption is a strong tool to use along with your other cybersecurity protections because it can be used in a wide variety of ways and keeps data that’s been exposed to a hacker from being able to be read.
Here are some of the simplest ways to use encryption in your business workflows.
Protect Remote Teams With a VPN
The number of employees working remotely permanently is expected to double this year. If not properly protected, the data that a remote worker is sending through their home Wi-Fi can be intercepted and compromised.
Rather than trying to police every network your employees may be connecting to, you can use a business virtual private network (VPN). The VPN connection will encrypt data transmitted through the network by routing it through the VPN’s servers.
All remote employees need to do is download the VPN app on their devices, sign in to their company’s account and turn the VPN on. Then no matter what network they’re on (even public Wi-Fi), their traffic is encrypted and secure.
Laptop Hard Drive Encryption
A stunning 45% of all data breaches dealing with healthcare information happen on laptops. There is a laptop stolen every 53 seconds, which makes this device a major risk for data security.
Laptops not only contain files on the hard drive itself, they can also contain saved passwords, contact lists, and may be syncing with a company cloud account.
You can help ensure that your company doesn’t suffer a major breach or data privacy compliance violation due to a lost or stolen laptop by encrypting the hard drive.
Hard drive encryption can be done easily using software, like Microsoft BitLocker. It encrypts all contents on the hard drive, so a thief would not be able to access any data at all that the laptop contains.
Companies send sensitive messages and attachments through email all the time. They’ll even email someone in their company a username and password for a new account. A hacker that gains access to business email either through an account breach or network breach has a lot of sensitive and useful data at their disposal.
Email encryption can be done through advanced features in platforms like Microsoft 365 for Business. Once enabled, messages and their attachments can be encrypted either using preset security policies or manually by users.
Email encryption is useful for protecting particularly sensitive emails in case they’re intercepted by a hacker. The way email encryption works is that only the intended recipient of the message receives the key to decrypt the message.
If you have a website that collects any type of data (contact form, shopping cart, newsletter signup, etc.), then you really should have encryption on your site. Google now includes site security in its ranking algorithm and sites that don’t have encryption are noted by most browsers as “not secure,” which can drive away leads.
Encrypting your website involves purchasing an SSL certificate through your web host or another service and having it installed on your web server. This will ensure that any data being shared through your site is encrypted.
Get Encryption Set Up in Your Workflows With Help From Texas I.T. Pros
Texas I.T. Pros can help your Denton or Wise County business incorporate encryption to improve your data security and compliance.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.