The COVID-19 pandemic forced many organizations to transition to online work, a notion that many businesses felt was previously out of the question. This transition came with its fair share of frustrations, but eventually businesses figured out that remote work offered various benefits. That said, one of the biggest issues also manifested, and was in the form of security.
Now that Google’s Android Messages application has end-to-end encryption, it might be a good time to discuss the concept of what end-to-end encryption actually is and why it’s important. Let’s take a closer look.
In normal circumstances, the virtual private network (VPN) is a great tool for people who work out of the office. With the COVID-19 outbreak pushing a lot of workers out of the office, the VPN has now become an essential part of a business’ day-to-day operations. Today, we’ll define the VPN and tell you why you’ll probably need a VPN designed for business use.
The blockchain continues to largely be defined as the technology behind cryptocurrency. However, it’s certainly not the only practical way to use the blockchain. Blockchain has only become more well-known over the years, but as far as what the future holds, what can the business sector expect?
Employees don’t always get all of their work done from the comfort of their office. They often find themselves on the road for conferences or trying to stay ahead during their downtime at home. Unfortunately, security can become a problem, and access to data needs to be as secure as possible when outside the company network. A virtual private network, or VPN, can be an integral part of your remote business strategy.
Secrets need to be protected. That’s why humans created cryptography. Cryptography can be traced back to around the time the pharaohs ruled Egypt, but today’s cryptography is a lot different than simple hieroglyph replacement. Cryptography used in the computing systems today is called encryption. For this week’s tech term we will look back at the history of encryption and how it is used today to facilitate data security and personal privacy.
Security needs to be a priority for everyone involved with business. This has led to a rise in the use of solutions that will protect the security and privacy of the user and their systems. A very common, yet effective, means of securing your data is to use a virtual private network, or VPN.
Encryption is one of the most effective ways to secure a file, and even the average user can take full advantage of it on their Windows PC. In essence, you can arrange for your files to appear as random numbers, letters, and special characters in the event that an unauthorized user accesses them.You might be surprised to learn that even your Windows PC has encryption options so that you can protect your sensitive information if so desired.
Data security is arguably one of the most important parts of running a business, especially when personally identifiable or confidential information is being shared across your network. Yet, some businesses continue to ignore security in favor of a “more convenient” approach which doesn’t hinder operations. When implemented properly, your security not only augments operations, but secures your organization’s data infrastructure.
Cyber security is an imperative part of managing an organization’s data, and if it’s not handled properly, hackers could find a way to access it or steal it for themselves. The information that’s most important to hackers is typically customer information and internal data, like company policies or employee personal information. Of these two, which do you think most businesses prioritize in?
It should come as no surprise that businesses will generally prioritize the security of their customers over that of their employees. InformationWeek summarizes a survey conducted by Vanson Bourne:
Nearly one-third of companies and organizations with 100-to-2,000 employees in the US, Canada, India, Australia, Japan, and Malaysia, say they don't regularly encrypt their employees' bank information, and 43 percent don't always encrypt human resources files. Nearly half say they don't routinely encrypt employee health information.
It’s quite shocking that so many businesses will leave this valuable information unencrypted and vulnerable. If hackers decide to target it (or a nosy person wants to read it), they could easily access sensitive files that could put your team in jeopardy. Encrypted files, however, are much more difficult to access. Without the encryption key, the data will appear to be nothing more than a mass of jumbled characters. Financial services usually automatically encrypt customer data, but employee information likely isn’t experiencing the same benefit. It’s your responsibility as an employer to make sure that your employees’ sensitive information is protected from hackers.
Marty Ward, Vice President of Product Marketing at Sophos (sponsor of the survey), told InformationWeek, “That companies are prioritizing customer over employee data is not surprising. But it is surprising how much employee data is exposed out there, and [that they are] leaving intellectual property and financial data unencrypted."
Here are just some of the examples of data related to your everyday business operations that you should encrypt:
- Employee bank account information.
- Employee social security numbers.
- Employee health records.
- Company intellectual property.
- Company financial data.
- Passwords to company accounts.
In other words, companies should be prioritizing the encryption of their in-house data, simply because there’s so much at stake. For example, it’s one thing to have a customer’s credit card information stolen since credit cards can cancel charges that are deemed fraudulent, but it is another problem entirely for Social Security numbers and employee bank information to be stolen. This can lead to identity theft and major losses for the victim that can be difficult, if not impossible, to undo.
There’s still plenty of ways to keep your information safe, especially now that encryption services are becoming increasingly easier to implement. Most organizations have plans to implement encryption for their business over the next two years. Is your data preserved and safe from hackers? To find out, contact PCSOFT at 02 98730080.
Eventually, one technology gets replaced by another and users of the older technology must upgrade, or else risk running an inefficient operation. This upgrade-or-be-obsolete scenario plays out most often with software, like with SHA1, the Internet’s most popular encryption protocol, slated to have its SSL certificates expire on January 1, 2017.