Andréa Sumé

The Importance of Encryption and Access Controls

Data encryption is a crucial component of any organization which is concerned with security. It converts data that is readable that is known as plaintext into unreadable code, called ciphertext to ensure that only those who have the correct key can decrypt it back to its original form. It’s also commonly required from a regulatory standpoint for industries such as financial and healthcare.

In a mobile environment where the information you post on social media, send via chat applications and save in emails is constantly shifting between devices and servers encryption safeguards the integrity of your data. It also protects any prying eyes from accessing your personal information or business secrets, helping you meet compliance regulations and reduce cybersecurity security risks.

It also helps protect the data stored in fixed storage devices — such as a hard drive, USB stick or database — and could be susceptible to theft by unauthorised individuals. Encryption, when utilized in combination with other security functions such as authentication, will ensure that even malicious insiders or malware obtain the data, they will not be able to read or use it.

However, no matter how secure your encryption algorithm is it will be only as efficient as the security controls that decide the people who are able, and cannot, see the encrypted code. This is referred to as security access control or access control. Overly focusing on this aspect of security can compromise the security and confidentiality of your data if you give the wrong people access to the keys that allow access to it.

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