An Argument for Data Encryption

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Encryption is a good security practice!
It is important for businesses to consider encrypting their data or important files.  With the rise of hackers and virus/malware attacks, it is becoming easier for outside forces to access a firm’s sensitive data.  Not to mention, the cost of a data breach can be high (ex. $278 is the average cost per lost or stolen record in Canada as of 2016.[1])
 

Why Encrypt?

Data encryption is seen and agreed upon as a good idea, yet not every firm has made the decision to implement this practice.  Here are some reasons why firms should start thinking about the move to data encryption.
 

1) Client Trust

A difficult thing for a company to gain and even harder to maintain. If a client sees that a firm has significant gaps in their security or has been the victim of an internal or external data breach, this can cause a client to rethink their relationship with that firm which could result in them taking their business elsewhere.
 

2) The New Normal

The phrase “everyone is doing it” comes to mind. With more and more firms deciding to encrypt all or specific portions of their data, it becomes a question of what happens to those firms who have chosen not to.  Getting left behind is never a good thing and something that firms should be mindful of when considering encrypting their data.
 

3) Client Requirements

While firms currently have the option whether or not to encrypt their data, it’s possible data encryption will become a mandatory part of doing business with certain clients and firms. For example, a legal client might insist that their law firm place encryption or reinforced security parameters around their data and client files to protect it from outsiders.  Refusing to accommodate these clients could lead to a loss of business for the firm.
 
 

How Do You Implement Data Encryption?

Getting a firm to instigate data encryption is not an easy task.  Here are some tips to help get you started.
 

1) Establish a Culture of Security

Security and data encryption are complementary forces.  In order for data encryption to be taken seriously, a firm needs to create a company ideology around security.  The idea that security is fundamental should be behind every major decision and action taken by the firm and its members.  This will not only please clients but help to protect the firm both legally and financially in the long run.
 

2) Find your Partner or Champion

New ideas are adopted much faster when there is someone with influence advocating for them.  When pitching the idea of data encryption, it’s important that you find a partner or champion who believes in its necessity, will argue the case for firm adoption, and is in a significant position at the firm to instigate changes.
 

3) Establish a Framework or Policy

Clear rules and guidelines are a big help when convincing firm members to adopt data encryption practices.  Establishing Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies allows firms to control data access and keep track of documents which creates peace of mind regarding the security of sensitive documents and information.
 

Looking to the Future

The ability to be secure and protect your data is a high priority in this increasingly digital and transparent age.  Firms should be mindful of their data security and consider encryption to combat against any present or future threats that can affect their firm.
 
 
References:
[1] Ponemon Institute LLC., & IBM. (2016 June). 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study: Canada.  Ponemon Institute LLC.  Retrieved from https://m.softchoice.com/web/content/m/usg-assets/2016CostofDataBreach-CanadaStudy.pdf
 
Courtney Rosebush is a Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Triella, a technology consulting firm specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Courtney can be reached at 647.426.1004 x 227. For additional articles, go to www.triella.com/publications. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Kaspersky Reseller.
© 2016 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.
 
 

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