When it comes to protecting your company from cyber crime and risks, prevention is always better than cure. And a big part of cyber crime prevention, for any business, is data encryption. But what is data encryption? What does this involve? And what are the advantages of data encryption for small businesses? Well, here at Creative Network Solutions, we are Manchester’s leading IT support and network services experts. And this is our guide to everything you should know about small businesses and data encryption.
What is data encryption?
As a necessary part of protecting sensitive data, data encryption is a very helpful tool for any business, regardless of size. But what is this? Well, simply put, encryption involves making your text unreadable to any unauthorized users, or anyone without the decryption key. By scrambling the text, at different levels of difficulty, you can make sure that your businesses sensitive data is never at risk. You can encrypt:
- files and folders
- individual files
- entire computer disks
- files stored in the cloud
What are the different data encryption options for SMBs?
To encrypt your data, you could consider using built in encryption software, or third party software instead.
- For Windows Microsoft BitLocker is a a built in disk encryption tool. This is designed to work with a Trusted Platform Module chip in your computer, which stores your disk encryption key.
- For computers running Mac OS X, Apple FileVault offers powerful encryption, built in. When this is enabled, you should choose to write the password down, instead of storing this on your iCloud account, for additional, practical security.
- For Linux systems, the disk is normally encrypted when the OS is installed by using one of the many tools, such as dm-ctypt. After installation, there are several third party tools available to encrypt your data.
What are the benefits of data encryption for SMBs?
So why should small businesses go to such lengths to encrypt their data, especially if they already use a secure network? Well, there are many advantages to using data encryption, including:
- Increased security for PII- PII is personally identifiable information, and if your business stores any of this kind of data, including names, birth dates, and financial information, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that this is kept safe and secure. Encryption is one of the best ways to meet this requirement.
- Physical cyber crime- data encryption will protect your files, even if your physical hardware is lost or stolen. This means that personal information would not be recovered, and no other security measure can offer this level of data protection.
Encryption isn’t the only tool you need
With encrypted files it’s easy to be complacent. But you should never be complacent with your consumer data. And while encryption offers powerful data protection, malicious malware and insecure network connections can still lead to breaches in your network, resulting in loss of revenue, and reputation. That’s why you need all round cyber security, to protect your business from all eventualities. For more information or advice, why not ask the experts today, here at Creative Network Solutions.