Encrypt (Almost) Everything and Avoid Being the Next Headline

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Remember perimeter security? Not too long ago, there was a relatively clear boundary defined based on physical locations such as buildings or facilities that organizations secure and control. It was known as the network perimeter. It is designed to prevent unauthorized access, detect intrusions, and provide a layer of defense against potential threats or attacks.

Now those days are gone. Thanks to the rise of remote work, most organizations do not have a single, defensible boundary between internal resources and the outside world. Employees access both data and applications over the Internet — and from multiple devices and locations.

In this new landscape, security starts with robust identity and access management systems that continuously authenticate users and devices to prevent unauthorized access.

Yet breaches are increasingly common, and identities can be compromised even with the strictest protocols. In fact, compromised credentials were responsible for more than 80% of last year’s security incidents, according to Verizon research!

That’s why end-to-end data encryption is seen as an increasingly critical component of enterprise security — not to mention the Zero Trust frameworks that have gained ground with everyone from corporate security experts to White House officials. Even if information is stolen, it can’t be read or used. Encrypting a significant portion of data and communication would be beneficial in mitigating data breaches, protecting privacy and intellectual property, meeting legal and compliance requirements, and defending against insider threats.

Scalable, Efficient Data Encryption

Unfortunately, though interest in encryption has grown, many organizations still have limited encryption plans that apply just to certain applications and data types — or none at all. Why? One reason is the misguided assumption that encrypting everything will be too complex, too expensive or both.

In truth, PKI — the longstanding backbone of both Internet and enterprise network security — offers a simple, scalable, and efficient way to accomplish the goal. At the core of PKI is the use of asymmetric cryptography, which involves the use of key pairs: a public key and a private key. The public key is widely distributed and used to encrypt information while the corresponding private key is kept secret and used for decryption.

PKI enables various security services, such as:

  • Secure communication: It allows for the encryption of sensitive data, ensuring confidentiality and privacy during transmission.
  • Data integrity: It verifies that the data has not been tampered with during transit.
  • Authentication: It verifies the identity of individuals, organizations, or devices involved in a communication or transaction.
  • Non-repudiation: It ensures that the sender of a message cannot deny sending it, and the recipient cannot deny receiving it.

PKI is widely used in various applications, including secure email communication, digital signatures, secure web browsing (HTTPS), virtual private networks (VPNs), and secure online transactions, among others.

Of all the ways to encrypt enterprise data, PKI stands out for its efficiency as most enterprise systems and devices can use digital certificates without any modifications.

A Foundational Security Technology

PKI is a foundational security technology. It’s been around for decades, and it is already deployed in most enterprise IT infrastructures. Support for digital certificates is already built into a wide variety of software, from email clients and servers to web servers and operating systems.

Is deploying encryption everywhere expensive? Not when you compare it to the average cost of a data breach, which reached a global average of $4.35 million last year. (Organizations that made extensive use of encryption lowered those costs by an average of $252,088.)

Is PKI deployment complicated? Not with PKI-as-a-Service (PKIaaS) solutions, which are hosted in the cloud, managed by external vendors and delivered through a SaaS portal. PKIaaS keeps costs simple and predictable, freeing IT teams from time-consuming PKI management tasks and eliminating single points of failure. Cloud PKI can be integrated into existing security systems within a matter of days and scaled as you grow. New use cases can be added just as quickly.

At a time when breaches have become a question of “when,” not “if,” encrypting everything streamlines security and removes the utility of stolen data to a would-be attacker. Doing it through PKI delivers efficiency and trust through a solution that’s easier than ever to scale.

Learn more about the power of PKI encryption in our eBook: Encrypt Everything With Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) 

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