Importance of Encryption in the Business World

Aashish Yadav | April 4, 2022 | 179 views

Importance of Encryption in the Business World

Almost every day, we come across some news about data breaches and cyber-attacks, which has forced us to discuss and debate more about the importance of data and how we can protect it. Some of the most significant data breaches of 2021 and 2022 were the Microsoft Software data breach (2021), Facebook data breach (2021), Bureau Veritas cyberattack (2021), Gloucester Council Cyberattack (2022), and many more. Cyber-attacks were rated as the fifth-top risk in 2020 by the World Economic Forum. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased cybercrime by 600% compared to the pre-pandemic period. According to Accenture, 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves. As per Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime will cost businesses worldwide $10.5 trillion annually by 2025 up from $3 trillion in 2015.


Unfortunately, we still don’t have a concrete solution, which can be called a one-size-fits-all approach for preventing security breaches or even handling them when they happen. However, there are numerous methods for minimizing data exposure. Data encryption and regular data back-ups have become two of the most effective and widely used methods for protecting against data exposure.

Importance of Encryption

The facts and figures mentioned above highlight the growing importance of encryption for data security. No business, regardless of size, is immune to the risk of a data breach. Encryption has become the need of the hour because it is considered the last line of defense.

Many applications and websites depend upon user passwords and password verification software to access sensitive information. Apart from knowing how to generate a safe password, users have minimal options to encrypt their password. This is why they use a password manager to keep their passwords secure. A good password manager must use strong encryption to protect what is a gold mine of data.

Businesses can choose an encryption type as per their preference and requirements. There are two types of encryption for scrambling or masking data. They are as follows:

Symmetric Encryption

Symmetric encryption is the simplest way to protect data from hackers. It has just one key, and everyone uses it to encrypt and decrypt data. For example, you encrypt a file and send it to your manager, who uses the same key to unlock or decrypt it.

Asymmetric Encryption

Asymmetric encryption encrypts using two keys. The public key is used for encryption, whereas the private key is used for decryption. For example, the private key can be used to encrypt a file, but only the manager can use the private key to decrypt it.

Reasons why encrypting your data is crucial

Encryption has evolved as a critical component in securing data from malicious attacks of any kind. However, some organizations are still hesitant about encryption because they are unaware of the benefits. So let’s look at the top reasons why businesses should encrypt their data.

Encryption is the Last Line of Defense

When we talk about cyberattacks, companies are often helpless when it comes to preventing them. In this case, encryption acts as a protector making it difficult to encrypt data without the decryption key. This is one of the significant implications of encryption, and hence we call it the last line of defense.

Encryption is Cheap to Implement

From smartphones to Microsoft Windows, almost every device, software, and operating system today has encryption technology. Also, there are many encryption programs available for free download, programs like LastPass, TunnelBear, HTTPS and others.

Encryption protects data on the go

One of the biggest data security threats companies face is when data is on the move. It means portable devices, whether mobile phones, USBs, laptops, or tablets containing sensitive data, move outside a company’s security network. A misplaced USB, a laptop left unsupervised, or a mobile phone forgotten in a coffee shop can sometimes be disastrous. Encryption makes sure that if a device is lost or stolen, its data can't be read or misused by anyone who doesn't have a key to decrypt it.

Encryption Algorithms to Secure Your Business Network & How Encryption Works

Various encryption algorithms help secure your business networks. But before we dive into the details of encryption algorithms, it is important to know the workings of encryption.

How Encryption Works

Unencrypted information or data, such as blogs like the one you are reading, is written in plaintext. At its core, data encryption employs an encryption algorithm to distort or mask plaintext, resulting in “ciphertext”, which humans interpret as alphanumeric nonsense. An encryption algorithm is incomplete and cannot convert plaintext to ciphertext and vice-versa.

Encryption Algorithms to Secure Your Business Data

As data security threats have become more sophisticated and aggressive, maintaining online security has become critical. Therefore, modern encryption has grown more complex to protect private data. Different types of encryption algorithms can help you enhance your data encryption strategy. If required, you can create your own algorithm. However, there are a few standard encryption algorithms that you can consider.

Data Encryption Standard (DES)

The data encryption standard is an older symmetric-key method of encrypting data that was utilized as a standard method by the United States government. But it was withdrawn later as it was not considered secure enough for many modern applications.

A DES key has 64 binary digits (also known as bits), 56 of which are randomly generated by the algorithm. The other eight are utilized for the detection of errors. People who use DES know the encryption algorithm, but unauthorized entities do not have the decryption key. Data encryption standard is insecure because the 56-bit key is too small.

Triple Data Encryption Standard (Triple DES)

The triple data encryption standard (also called Triple DES, or TDES or 3DES) is the newer and safer version of the data encryption standard. There are two kinds of triple DES: two-key and three-key, based on the number of generated keys. Triple DES runs DES three times; the data is encrypted, decrypted, and then again encrypted before it is sent to the receiving party.

Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA)

Popularly known as RSA, it is named after its creators, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Len Adelman. RSA is an asymmetric encryption algorithm primarily utilized to share data over insecure networks. RSA is a popular option for secure data transmission. It leverages a robust algorithm for data scrambling.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

Today the advanced encryption standard (AES) is extensively used and supported in both hardware and software in today's encryption. There have been no realistic cryptanalytic attacks against AES identified so far. Additionally, AES includes built-in key length flexibility, which provides some 'future-proofing' against advancements in the capacity to execute exhaustive key searches.

Twofish

In terms of encryption techniques, Twofish is regarded as a highly safe solution. Any encryption standard that employs a key length of 128 bits or more is theoretically immune to brute force attacks. This is where Twofish comes into play. Twofish is vulnerable to side channel attacks because it employs "pre-computed key-dependent S-boxes." This is because the tables have already been calculated. Creating these tables key-dependent, on the other hand, helps to limit that danger.

Conclusion

Cybercrimes constantly evolve, compelling security experts to come up with new strategies and methods. Irrespective of the size or industry, every business can benefit from taking extra steps to protect its data. Whether it is about protecting your email communication or storing data, you should be sure that you include encryption in your lineup of security tools.

FAQ


What are public and private keys?

Both public and private keys are employed in asymmetric encryption. A public key is a key that is known by everyone and is not a secret. Anyone can use it to encrypt data. But, the data can only be decrypted by the user who has access to the private decryption key.

Is it possible to break encryption?

Yes, in a word. While decrypting encrypted data would require a significant amount of processing power and expertise, it is still possible. It is, however, extremely unusual due to the resources needed.

Is it safe to use encryption?

Encryption is extremely secure. The majority of encryption standards provide a degree of protection that is unrivaled by other cybersecurity precautions. The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has authorized the AES 256 encryption standard due to its fantastic dependability.

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Alteryx, Inc., the Analytics Automation company, has announced a strategic investment in MANTA, the data lineage company. MANTA enables enterprises to achieve full visibility into the most complex data environments. With this investment from Alteryx Ventures, MANTA will be able to bolster product innovation, expand its partner ecosystem, and grow in key markets. Alteryx's investment in MANTA furthers the company's commitment to enterprise governance, risk, and compliance and accelerates joint product integration. MANTA empowers data professionals and IT departments to ensure data pipeline health across the enterprise. Alteryx's deep roots in enabling analytics democratization within many of the largest and most complex global enterprises makes it an ideal partner in establishing strong governance practices. Combined, the two companies create an end-to-end solution that enables organizations to deeply understand data lineage, including how data moves through a company, where it originated, how it is transformed and analyzed, and ultimately where it's used. This creates a meaningful audit trail for compliance. "We are excited to work with MANTA to help companies gain visibility into their data environments. Both companies share a common mission to enable analytics adoption at scale, The MANTA Data Lineage Platform will be a strong partner to our customers looking to efficiently grow their analytics footprint within their teams." Jay Henderson, SVP of Product Management, Alteryx Commenting on this partnership, Tomas Kratky, MANTA CEO and Founder, said, Data Lineage is becoming the cornerstone of a modern data management strategy and is at the core of advanced concepts like data fabric, enabling businesses to fully operationalize data and boost internal productivity. We are proud to partner with Alteryx to advance our innovation even further and support our growing customer base on their data journey. Alteryx Ventures invests in companies with innovative technology and services that complement Alteryx's analytics and data science products and encourage innovation within the analytics ecosystem. Alteryx's vision centers on enabling every person to achieve breakthrough outcomes from data through analytics automation, data science, and unprecedented ease of use. About MANTA MANTA is a world-class data lineage platform that helps fix your blind spots and offers a line of sight into your data environment. By automatically scanning your data environment, MANTA builds a powerful map of all data flows and delivers it through a native UI and other channels to both technical and non-technical users. With MANTA, everyone gets full visibility and control of their data pipeline. Visit getmanta.com to learn how MANTA can help your company leverage data as a true corporate asset. About Alteryx Alteryx powers analytics for all by providing our leading Analytics Automation Platform. Alteryx delivers easy end-to-end automation of data engineering, analytics, reporting, machine learning, and data science processes, enabling enterprises everywhere to democratize data analytics across their organizations for a broad range of use cases. More than 8,000 customers globally rely on Alteryx to deliver high-impact business outcomes.

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT, BUSINESS STRATEGY

Matillion Accelerates Productivity for Data Teams with Key Ecosystem Integrations

Matillion | November 30, 2022

Matillion, the leader in data productivity, today announced technical and cloud ecosystem partnerships to accelerate the value of data within enterprises. Varying skill levels, competing protocols, and a mix of processes and platforms keep modern data teams from delivering what the business needs. Seventy-five percent of data teams believe that outdated migration and maintenance processes are costing their organizations time, productivity, and money — at an annual price tag of up to $43.5 million. The Data Productivity Cloud is a data integration platform that allows teams of all skill levels to deliver business-ready data through cloud-native ELT (data extract, load, and transform). "Enterprises on a cloud data modernization journey need to prioritize a data stack that works in harmony with other platforms to achieve rapid time to value and trusted insights. The Data Productivity Cloud is a stack-ready platform that integrates with the platforms we need to deliver business-ready data to improve customer experience," said Harveer Singh, chief data architect and head of data at Western Union. "We use Matillion to load, transform, synchronize and orchestrate our data to produce a single source of truth in our data warehouse and connect to various business intelligence tools." Data teams improve efficiency using Matillion Data Productivity Cloud and these integrated accelerators: Healthcare Data Integration in Snowflake: FHIR Data Loader powered by Matillion and Hakkōda is a low-code solution that makes it easier for healthcare data teams to load FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) data in Snowflake, then transform the data into a fully structured format for more accessible analytics. AWS Redshift Serverless Scale: allows customers to easily run and scale analytics without provisioning and managing data warehouse clusters. Matillion users can choose Redshift Serverless agent from the drop-down menu inside Matillion ETL to scale data analytics. AllCloud's Matillion One Click solution: accelerates customers' journey to the cloud for data analytics by automating the setup and maintenance of data pipelines, monitoring costs and performance, and managing upgrades and disaster recovery, reducing deployment time by 75%. Collibra integration for end-to-end data lineage: as Collibra's Rising Star Partner of the Year 2022, Matillion integrates with Collibra to create unified data lineage that maps inbound and outbound data flows and stitches data objects to existing assets in the Collibra data catalog. "Working with FHIR data has become necessary for healthcare data teams. This dynamic and private data needs to be integrated for analytics but proves difficult to manage for legacy or point solution data platforms," said Patrick Buell, VP of consulting and co-founder at Hakkōda. "With Matillion's Data Productivity Cloud and Hakkōda's FHIR Starter accelerator, healthcare data professionals can load and transform FHIR data into Snowflake for faster time to insights. Solutions which used to require very senior expertise are now as easy as drag and drop." "The Data Productivity Cloud enables teams to get the most out of their data infrastructure, using native integrations and low maintenance connectors to help enterprises use more of their data and put it to work. "We are proud to partner with leading cloud technology providers and system integrators that put the customer at the center of their innovations and support data teams to deliver insights quickly." Josh Lewis, VP of global channels and alliances at Matillion About Matillion Matillion is The Data Productivity Cloud Matillion helps teams get data business-ready, faster — accelerating time-to-value and increasing the impact data can have. Thousands of enterprises including Cisco, DocuSign, Pacific Life, Slack, and TUI trust Matillion to load, transform, sync, and orchestrate their data for a wide range of use cases from insights and operational analytics, to data science, machine learning, and AI.

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