Data is often the most secure when it is at rest. When data is stored on a hard drive unconnected to the Internet, it is impossible to access it without physical access to the drive. On the other end of the spectrum, data in transit is data that is the most vulnerable. One of the most important parts of secure data transport is encryption.
The Importance of Encryption
Data that is in transit should always be data that is encrypted. Then, if the data is intercepted and there is an attempt to read the data, the hacker will only see gibberish unless they are able to decrypt the data. For example, if a file contains a credit card number, that number will be more difficult to see without decryption.
To encrypt the data, the sender must also send a key to the receiver. The key will then be used by the receiver to decrypt the data. For example, if you send an encrypted message, the software used by the other party will receive the key and decrypt the data so it can be read by the end-user. The end-user simply reads the message and never sees the encryption that takes place.
Data Encryption Standards
Some forms of encryption are more effective than others. You will want your encryption to follow GDPR regulations. You will also want your employees to always send data over a secure network. This most often becomes a problem when your data is stored on a cloud and employees are able to access the data over an unsecured network such as a coffee shop's WiFi.
Common threats from cybercriminals that businesses can face include the use of their resources to launch Denial of Service attacks, botnets, and to engage in cryptocurrency mining.
There are two ways that decryption keys can be used to decrypt an encoded message. These are symmetric and asymmetric encryption. With symmetric encryption, the communications are secured with a set session key or certificate. With asymmetric encryption, two keys are used instead of one. For symmetric encryption to work, both parties will need to know what the key is to be able to transmit data.
The key used in decryption is a cryptographic key that will take the seemingly random set of characters in an encrypted message and will transform it back into plain text that can then be read by the end-user or a software program.