When the COVID-19 pandemic began, cases of cybercrime exploded, and it’s only getting worse.
With the rise in remote work, businesses have had to rely on mobile devices for transferring important documents and sensitive data. Unfortunately, mobile devices such as tablets, phones, and laptops come with a greater security risk than a traditional workstation.
Portable = Stealable
Every 53 seconds, a laptop is stolen, according to Kensington Computer Products Group. Additionally, only 7 percent of the 70 million smartphones lost every year are ever recovered.
While being able to teleconference from a remote location is incredibly convenient, it exposes mobile devices to great risk. Company data and network connections stored on such devices open up a world of theft opportunities for scammers.
Unsecured WiFi as a Gateway
Because portable devices generally aren’t hardwired into a network, they’re reliant on the security of the wireless connection they use. If they’re on a properly encrypted, secure wireless network, there’s not much to worry about.
However, with many workers using teleconferencing and cloud software from home, their home networks will probably not be as robust as an office network and could lead to a severe breach. The situation is even worse if they’re using free or public networks.
Let’s talk about how you can protect your devices by going over what data encryption is:
1. Encryption Algorithms
Using encryption algorithms protects data as it travels from computer to computer. There are several different types.
- Symmetric. With symmetric encryption, only one key is used for encryption and decryption.
- Asymmetric. With asymmetric encryption, two keys are used. However, even with asymmetric encryption, one of the keys is public and can be shared, while the private key must be protected.
- RSA. The Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) algorithm can use either the public or private key to encrypt a message and is both faster to use and more secure.
- AES. The AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) can use 128, 192, and 256-bit keys and is nearly invulnerable, except to brute force attacks.
- Triple DES. Triple DES (Data Encryption Standard) is a type of symmetric encryption that uses the DES algorithm on data blocks three times for extra security.
- Twofish. The successor to Blowfish, Twofish is license-free. It puts data through 16 rounds of symmetric encryption.
Hashing creates a specific signature for every message or data set. Any data that’s been encrypted using hashing can’t be translated back into its unencrypted status.
While it’s arguably not a type of encryption, it’s useful in verifying data. Hashing is a one-way process and is highly useful for avoiding data duplication, creating digital signatures, and recordkeeping.
3. SSL/TLS Encryption
When a company builds a website, it needs to make sure the site is secure for users to access. The solution for this, SSL, or Security Sockets Layer, has evolved to become Transport Layer Security. These aren’t algorithms in and of themselves but rather use encryption algorithms to protect data as it flows between website and user.
Keeping track of these keys is where certificate management becomes essential. Without a certificate manager, companies can easily let their certificates expire or lapse, essentially handing control of the keys over to hackers.
Protecting Data with a Certificate Management System
Let’s expand on that last section a bit because it’s the one that has an equal impact on users and businesses. Security protocols that protect user data as they access company websites are essential to avoiding security breaches that can lead to data theft. Using certificate management system keeps businesses from relying on human memory for managing certificates, protecting companies and customers alike.