IT SecurityIn the fight against cybercrime, few tools are as effective as encryption in preventing your information falling into the hands of hackers. By encrypting your files and information is ‘scrambled’, so that should a hacker intercept that data, they will be completely unable to read it. Without the relevant decryption keys, the data is virtually unrecoverable.

As a result, almost every IT service can be better protected using encryption in some form or other. Here are three that your business should consider.

1. Disk encryption

Solutions like Broadband Cloud Solution’s Drive Encryption tool allow you to encrypt the files stored on computer hard drives. Drive encryption does affect the performance of your computer systems, slowing down the process of reading and writing files. Because of this, it is not recommended for central file stores and servers.

That said, devices which can access and store information outside the office, like laptops, should definitely have drive encryption enabled. This will then prevent sensitive/valuable data falling into the wrong hands – even if the whole laptop is stolen. You should also consider enabling disk encryption on computers supplied to employees working from home.

2. Web traffic encryption

The information flowing across the internet can be intercepted by determined hackers, unless it is sent via SSL – secure sockets layer. Your company website should definitely have an SSL secure certificate to help protect the information of your customers (and boost your Google search rankings) for instance.

But SSL is also vital for keeping traffic between remote workers and your on-site systems secure too. Your remote workers must have a virtual private network (VPN) connection configured that encrypts data flowing to and from the office – otherwise it can be intercepted and stolen.

A compromised remote connection allows hackers to penetrate the company network to steal even more information, or to damage your assets and reputation.

3. Email encryption

Modern email systems allow you to encrypt email messages so that only the intended recipient can read them. However, these encryption systems rely on your recipients having the decryption key installed in advance – virtually impossible when dealing with first time customers. As such, email encryption is only suitable for internal emails, if at all.

You can add an extra layer of protection for email using SSL. Just like web traffic, this involves encrypting traffic between your email software (Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, Thunderbird etc) and the mail server itself. Just like website SSL connections, hackers cannot use any of the information they intercept between your computer and the email server.

If your systems are compromised, make sure they are encrypted

As good as your network security defences may be, there is always a high degree of probability that they will be compromised, deliberately or accidentally. If your data and network traffic is properly encrypted, you can greatly limit the amount of damage caused.

For more help and advice about drive encryption or SSL certificates, please get in touch.

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