What is Data Encryption and Why Do We Need It?

Looking to learn more about data encryption and why it’s so important in the world of modern IT? Get all of your questions answered below, and see why encryption is so important in today’s tech-focused business world.

What Is Data Encryption?

Data encryption uses special algorithms to translate data from its original format into a new, coded format. In order to translate it back, the user needs a special encryption “key,” or “code.”

The data itself is disguised as “ciphertext,” which is not readable to anyone who does not have the required key to translate it back to the original format. The encryption algorithm only allows the text to be read if it’s decrypted with the proper key/code.

What Is Data Encryption Used For?

Data encryption is used to protect digital data stored on computer systems, and transmitted through the internet to servers and other computer networks. It’s one of the first lines of defense when it comes to securing IT systems and communications.

This is because, even if it’s accessed without authorization, the encryption will protect the information contained in your data – it will not be readable without the proper key.

Why Do I Need Data Encryption?

Unfortunately, data breaches are a scary reality in the world today. In 2019, there were more data breaches than ever before, with more than 4.1 billion breaches in the first half of 2019 alone.

Encryption is not a “magic bullet” to make your systems fully secure. However, it does add another layer of protection to your identity, privacy, and data. It protects your data even if it’s lost, and encryption systems allow you to hide data if you are ever being watched by a threat or a hacker.

What Is Data Encryption Used For?
  • Email Encryption – Email is inherently insecure unless encryption is layered on. The good news is that Office 365 now has encryption options available, but you need to know they are there and how to use them.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) – VPNs come in two flavors, corporate and public.
    • Corporate VPNs allow you to connect to you organization safely but encrypting the data stream
    • Public VPNs can encrypt data and help you remain anonymous on the Internet
  •  Storage Encryption – All of your files need to be encrypted where they live, including laptop hard drives, USB thumb drives, and cloud storage. The good news is that both Apple and Microsoft have native options in their respective operating systems, but they must be turned on to work, and they are not always on by default.
  • Web Traffic – Just a few years ago, only certain web sites used SSL encryption, such as banks and your doctor’s office. That’s changed and now all sites should be encrypting the traffic.If they aren’t, stay clear.

Need help sorting out the complex world of information security? Reach out…we’re here to help. Contact JPMerc now. We’re your trusted partner for the data security solutions.