State of data security in a shifting digital era

Antoine Harb, business development manager & team leader MEA, Kingston Technology discusses the current state of data security and solutions that help ensure data is protected

Kingston, Security, Digital, Data Security

Data forms the very foundation of any modern digital enterprise. It is the key element that drives new user experiences through innovations and business insights.

Organisations these days however, face consistent pressures of regulating complex IT environments, upgrading applications and improving on efficiencies while complying with stringent regulations; all the while handling large volume of data. In attempts to answer to the growing competitive pressures, many businesses across industries fall victim to a record-number of application outages, cyber-attacks and data breaches. These outages have caused massive disruptions for businesses and customers, and can greatly effect business growth and reputation.

Digitisation has connected the world in such a way that data security and privacy have become integral to everyday life. Organisations are coming to terms with the reality that as custodians of data, they bear the critical responsibility of ensuring personal information is protected. This has created a fundamental shift in how data is viewed and managed. The majority have now been forced to review how they secure and automate the delivery of data. Numerous business applications having access to large amounts of data has created a huge source of risk, and companies often struggle with keeping that volume of data secure.

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In light of the current scenario, encryption is becoming a crucial link in security. It is fast becoming a must have element in the security strategy of companies, and is becoming less of an added option. While IT security seeks to protect our physical assets—networked computers, databases, servers, etc.—encryption protects the data that lives on and between those assets. With encryption, even if data does end up getting stolen, it would not be accessed and be unreadable, ultimately becoming safe and impenetrable.

When it comes to threats and current state of data security, it is evident that most organisations are in denial.  Employees sometimes create the greatest risk for data at rest. Data stored on different devices or transferred between devices can fall prey to being stolen or mishandled if proper precautions are not in place. Employees, either intentionally or unintentionally, put company data at risk. According to recent reports, over one-third of all data breaches are caused by insiders. This makes it a risk too big to ignore by organisations.

The most efficient method of protecting data at rest is encrypting data on hardware. By encrypting data on media it is protected from unauthorised access through the use of encrypted keys that are difficult to decrypt. Encryption at rest uses a symmetric algorithm so that data can be very quickly encrypted and decrypted. However, since the symmetric key itself needs to be protected, they can use a PIN, password, or even a PKI certificate on a smart card to secure the symmetric key, making it very difficult for an attacker to compromise.

Encryption at rest should be mandatory for any organisation;  USB keys, external drives, backup tapes, and the hard drives of all laptops should be encrypted without exception. To further enhance the security of servers and to protect against malicious users or vendors, companies should encrypt the hard drives of all servers, in addition to encrypting devices employees use to transfer that data. Kingston’s encrypted USB Flash drives feature an advanced level of security built on the features that ensures safeguarding of sensitive information. The company’s award winning Ironkey D300S is customisable, easy to use and brings two additional qualities on top of its industry-leading data protection. Aside from the USB’s, the company has also introduced its latest KC 600 SATA SSD designed for a remarkable performance and optimised to provide functional system responsiveness with incredible boot, loading and transfer times; with  3D TLC NAND technology while supporting a full security suite that includes AES 256 bit encryption, TCG Opal and eDrive.”

The future of data security

As we are about to set foot into 2020, the volume of data- driven businesses is only set to continue growing radically. This current deluge of data shows no signs of slowing down or getting less complex. Organisations in this day and age are fast realising that valuable time is being spent protecting the data generated and not enough time is spent gaining valuable information from that data. The goal is to set up small measures throughout the organisation and build security into systems and devices alike to protect data. There is no one size fits all solution, thus every company needs to establish their own approach to encrypting data and adding that vital layer of security for end-user data protection.

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