Encryption: Knowing What to Protect

Encryption can be challenging, especially when you pick up training manuals that can be used for weight training (gym for the day: check). Microsoft’s PKI training manual or the many pages of documentation you need to read about understanding GPG/PGP can be daunting. So it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by not knowing how much effort it will take or where to begin and instead flipping on Game of Thrones.

Insentra’s security blog series is intended to help demystify encryption and show how it can be used to secure your computers, files and email – at home or on the job. This is important because all users have a responsibility to protect sensitive data from prying eyes. Whether you’re a security professional in a large corporation or a homebody looking after your family’s finances, protecting your data is just as important.

What’s the first step you ask? You have to Know What to Protect!

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to flip and switch and ensure all your data will be protected (if there is a switch, please point us in that direction!). Encryption of data takes effort and planning. Encrypting all of your data is generally unfeasible so you need to choose which data needs to be encrypted. Firstly, think about the types of data that you have and its sensitivity. There is some data that is private and some data that you don’t mind being made public. Examples of private data include financial data, personally identifiable information, pictures and intellectual property.

If you’re looking at encryption for your business, try grouping your information into ‘information assets’ including financial assets, sales assets, marketing assets, proprietary assets etc and then think about where they are located. Is the data in a spreadsheet or on a laptop, file server, in the cloud or in email? Once you have considered what type of data you have and where it resides consider the risk of that data being accessed by an unauthorized user and the consequences of a data breach.

Once you have analysed your data you can start to consider encryption strategies to protect it!

Follow along with our encryption blogs as over the next few months we will be covering different areas surrounding:

  • Key Management (PGP/GPG or PKI)
  • Whole Disk Encryption
  • File Encryption
  • File Share Encryption
  • Email Encryption

If you can’t wait that long or have more questions, don’t hesitate to get in contact with Insentra today! We’d love to help you manage an encryption solution for all your needs.

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