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Removing the complexity from information protection

Monday, July 20, 2009

The use of encryption is no longer optional for many organisations. Certain new regulations demand its use while others provide a safe harbour so that organisations do not have to notify individuals in the event of a security breach-provided data was encrypted. Even those organisations that are not subject to such regulation should consider the use of encryption as best practice for protecting data on portable devices.

  • Security breaches are everyday news
    Data is increasingly being lost through theft and carelessness. As mobile devices proliferate and become ever smaller, more powerful and functional, it is all too easy for such devices to go missing. This puts large amounts of potentially sensitive information at risk.
  • Encryption, and specifically full-disk encryption, is coming into wider use as a security best practice
    Software-based full-disk encryption and newer self-encrypting hard drives provide the highest level of protection by ensuring that no data can be retrieved by third parties from devices that have been lost.
  • Encryption adds value to an organisation by enabling the secure sharing of information
    Data security technologies should not restrict access to useful information. Rather, the use of encryption allows authenticated users to more easily and securely share information and enables organisations to expand their mobile working practices in a secure manner.
  • Organisations can use encryption to considerably reduce risk across their organisation
    By ensuring that encryption is always on, is transparent to the user and cannot be bypassed, the chance for human error is reduced considerably. For the best benefits, organisations should look for a product that integrates with all existing technologies in use, including security technologies such as threat management systems, all operating systems and all devices.
  • Encryption can aid organisations in achieving their regulatory compliance objectives
    Through the use of full-disk encryption, organisations can ensure that no information, such as file names remain in the clear, so saving the expense and possible embarrassment of having to notify individuals in case of the loss of personally identifiable information. The use of self-encrypting hard drives and trusted hardware devices that can be safely erased adds a further layer of protection and can reduce the cost of securely repurposing old devices for new uses.
  • Productivity gains will be seen through ease of deployment, management and use
    Provided the right solution is implemented, through centralised management capabilities, encryption software, cryptographic keys and security policies can be easily deployed and managed, freeing up IT resources for other tasks. Users will also benefit through robust self-service capabilities for provisioning encryption keys and resetting forgotten passwords.

The complexities and cost of using encryption systems have been reduced considerably through the provision of centralised management, making the use of encryption viable for organisations of all sizes. Whether centrally managed on-premise or through a hosted service provider, full-disk encryption systems can shield organisations from data loss and help them achieve their security objectives.