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5 Reasons Why Every Business Should Encrypt Its Sensitive Data

If your business has already taken the basic IT security steps such as ensuring firewall and anti-virus protection is installed on your network, then the next step to enhance your security still further is encryption.

All major companies across the globe utilise encryption and more and more small businesses are following suit, especially as many companies are switching to the cloud, which means the secure data they collate is no longer solely in their hands.

In today’s business world data protection should always be a priority, so if you want to ensure that your small business doesn’t run the risk of a serious security breach then take a look at these 5 reasons why you should encrypt your sensitive data.

What is Sensitive Data?

All types of businesses collect sensitive data about their staff, clients and the people they come into contact with. This type of data should always be handled with care and the upmost steps should be taken to prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Types of sensitive data include:

  • Criminal records
  • Sexual preferences
  • Mental or physical health
  • Membership of unions
  • Religious or spiritual beliefs
  • Political convictions
  • Ethnic or racial origin
  • Information regarding children
  • Financial information

1. Complete Data Protection

If data is stolen from your company files and it’s been securely encrypted, it would take a hacker a lifetime to break the code and get their hands on the information.

2. Multi Device Security

Thousands of people use mobile devices like tablets and smartphones for work, which has allowed more of us to work from home and when we’re on the move. Despite stringent security measures, when data is travelling in and out of your walls at a rate of knots it’s impossible to keep complete control over who can access it. When data is encrypted there’s no danger of information being used if it does end up with the wrong person.

3. Secure Transmission

Data being sent from one destination to another can be intercepted and transferring data in this way can pose a security risk. You can encrypt information that you’re sending through email or through the cloud so that it can’t be viewed by an unauthorised person.

4. Data Integrity

Whilst data theft is one way to take advantage of unencrypted information, it can also be misused through manipulation. Hackers can target specific data and disrupt communications within a company or change important figures. When encrypted data is used a hacker will either not be able to access the file, or if it is accessed the recipient will easily be able to see that it has been changed.

5. Ensure Compliance

Data protection is a hot topic in the business world and many companies need to adhere to strict regulations as to how they store the information the collect. Utilising encryption can help ensure that your business meets all its contractual and legal requirements. This could entail providing specific customer protection or archiving data such as banking information. In the majority of cases the simplest way to ensure your compliance is to encrypt your data.

About The Author

Damian Coates is a senior IT consultant at Utilize, the leading IT support company in London. He is a fierce advocate of data protection and has implemented a range of solutions for clients during his career.

Which Is Better - An Internet Security Suite Or Piecing Together Independent Solutions?

The first step in developing a successful Internet security strategy is deciding what type of solution to use.  There are two basic options.  Users can either purchase a comprehensive Internet security suite, or piece together several independent solutions to address specific types of threats separately.  There are notable benefits to both options, so it is important to choose a strategy which best suits the user’s needs.

Benefits of an Internet Security Suite

An Internet security suite is a solution sold as a single package.  It contains multiple tools created by a single developer.  Each tool is designed to address a specific type of threat.

1. Built to Minimize Any Gaps in Protection

The first benefit of using a comprehensive Internet security suite is that its tools are designed to complement one another.  This minimizes any gaps in protection because each tool is built to operate within the framework of the full package.

2. No Risk of Compatibility Problems

Another benefit of an Internet security suite is compatibility.  Piecing together multiple tools from individual developers significantly increases the risk of  compatibility issues.  Since a comprehensive Internet security suite is built by a single developer and each tool is designed to operate within the framework of the suite, there is little risk of compatibility problems.

3. Easier to Renew Subscription

The final benefit of using an Internet security suite is that subscription renewal is much easier.  The process of upgrading, updating, or renewing the subscription for a comprehensive internet security package is a one step process.  Piecing together multiple solutions requires users to address each solution separately which in most cases is a much more time-consuming process.

Benefits of Piecing Together Independent Solutions

Purchasing multiple independent Internet security tools allows users to get the exact level of protection they want.  It also allows them to easily switch from one developer to another at a moment’s notice which provides greater flexibility.

1.  Choose Only the Best

The most significant benefit of piecing together  independent tools from multiple developers is quality.  Most comprehensive solutions emphasize one area of protection over another.  As a result, certain aspects of their security features may be lacking.  By purchasing multiple tools independently, users can ensure each area of internet security is addressed by tools specifically designed for each type of threat.

2. Independent Solutions Specialize in Their Area of Focus

Another benefit of piecing together multiple tools is the overall level of effectiveness each individual tool has to offer.  Installing the best antivirus software guarantees the best level of protection.  The same is true for anti-malware, anti-spyware, and anti-spam protection.  Each tool focuses on one specific type of threat and is designed to provide maximum protection in that area.  This ensures there are no weak links or vulnerabilities.

3.  Can Change Solutions If a Better Option Becomes Available

The final benefit of combining independent security tools is flexibility.  If a better antivirus solution hits the market, a user can easily switch to that product without compromising the rest of their internet security strategy.  This is more difficult to do if the user has a full internet security suite rather than a set of independent solutions.

Both options have a variety of benefits to consider.  A comprehensive suite of tools is ideal for anyone who wants a more hands-free solution because everything is taken care of simultaneously within the framework of the suite.  Anyone who wants more flexibility and control over their Internet security strategy will benefit from choosing each tool separately.

About the Author

Emily Schriber educates her readers on how they can browse freely and secure their devices, including iPads, by using a virtual private network while in public hotspots.  Instructions to setup a VPN on an iPad can be found at https://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn/ipad-vpn

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