Why You Should Consider Encrypting Your Data Drives

The rise of the internet and the era of the Big Data flow of information across networks has ramped up the necessity for increasingly tighter security measures to be created to hide sensitive material from unscrupulous, prying eyes. In this article, we’ll examine how encryption can provide that high-level of security when it comes to protecting the data that’s important to you. 

Encryption is not a new concept when it comes to securing our data. The idea of scrambling messages behind secret codes has been with us for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians, for instance, were more than adept at protecting important information behind a cypher.

In the digital age, the concept remains the same; a means of hiding important data behind a code, rendering it indecipherable to those who don’t possess the ‘key’ to unlock it.

Used properly, it’s one of the most secure measures you can apply when it comes to data protection.

Data is protected even when a device is lost or stolen

Ten Million devices (laptops, mobiles, tablets) are reported lost or stolen in the UK each year. It’s a staggering amount of hardware disappearing into the ether, and you can only imagine the volume of data stored on each lost device.

This is where the safety of having your hard drive encrypted can pay dividends, helping with your corporate compliance, and your own peace of mind.

If your drives and the files contained within are encrypted, then they are protected; the information remains locked behind the coded wall.

Doesn’t a password do the same thing?

Actually, no.

While passwords are, in their own way, an important barrier protection for your computer, and certainly an obstacle for anyone trying to gain access, they are more liable to be breached. For one thing, too many passwords are easy to be cracked – users who apply the same password (partner’s birthday, child’s name etc) to almost everything.

Further, should your drive end up in the possession of someone who wants to break into it, passwords offer scant protection when they simply remove the hard drive and plug it into an alternate computer.

Encryption differs from passwords in that, rather than just offering a barrier, it is actually scrambling the data itself; the only way that can be unscrambled is by having the access code to do so. So even if the hard drive is removed, the data is still unreadable.

Protecting Ourselves

In a work environment, where devices are used in an ever more remote fashion, away from the office, and populated with information about the business, and the individuals within, the threat of identity theft, has never been higher.

And the reality of modern life is that we rely on our devices to store our own personal information as well as our work.

Think of your smartphone or your laptop. What’s stored on there? Files, photos, emails, contact lists, financial information, National Insurance number? Your home and office address?

Basically, you could, and in many cases, probably do, have a dossier of your entire work and personal life contained within digital files.

If this data is left vulnerable to breach through inadequate security, then it can come at a pretty spectacular cost.

It’s the reason that the major hosting providers such as Microsoft, employ high-level encryption on their cloud services – ensuring that data at rest and in-transit (via emails) are encoded; or why lifestyle apps such as Apple Wallet will do likewise. 

Conclusion

Our devices are the means by which we store, transfer, and use the crucial (and often highly sensitive) data that allows both work and personal life to function properly. And in a world where such data is extremely high currency, and prone to be a target for those of unscrupulous morals, it is an imperative that you do all you can to keep it secure.

While we certainly advocate using passwords on your devices, and complex ones at that, they alone are not enough.

Encryption is a higher level of security. Applying it to the drives that need protecting adds a whole new layer of protection and demonstrates important levels of due diligence within your business, and added peace of mind that your data is as safe as it can be; even if your devices disappear. 

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Related blogs: SabreICT

Tagged with: encryption, IT security

Categorised as: SabreICT

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