encryption & data security trends

Major Challenges and Emerging Solutions

The reshaping of the financial sector, caused by advances in digital technology from cloud and blockchain technologies to IoT and mobile payments, had the unfortunate side effect of also opening up many new avenues for cyber-attackers. While the benefits of digital transformation are many, the inherent complexity of new systems means that the security of sensitive data can come at risk, potentially opening it up for abuse.

Challenge of the Day: Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is facing major challenges, with frequent security breaches both in Europe and in the rest of the world. All this despite information security receiving significant budgetary increases. There is a growing concern that not only have the attackers managed to keep one step ahead of cybersecurity but also that these increased funds aren't being spent in an effective manner. 

What is Effective and What is Not?

For example, data-at-rest and data-in-motion defenses are referencing as the most effective, both reducing attack surfaces and enabling fast responses necessary to stop data exfiltration attacks in progress. But these are also frequently given lower priority in spending increases. At the same time, endpoint and network defenses still receive higher priority considering they are no longer wholly effective, especially against cyber-attacks which include spear phishing and zero-day exploits.

Fixing it in the Present

There is good news, however, with 72% of respondents increasing their IT security spending and 27% reporting a planned significant increase for 2018.

The need for a comprehensive overhaul of not only practices but also of the way of thinking about data security is inevitable in the wake of digital transformation. GDPR is also a significant factor because its data privacy and information security implications can result in business disruption for enterprises struggling to adjust and avoid costly penalties.

Moving it to Cloud Nine

Cloud computing has evolved the perspective of network security tools, since a business's infrastructure is no longer contained within its four walls and cloud-based services can account for more than half a business' offerings, in the form of Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, and Platform as a Service.  But there are still security concerns with regards to cloud, since cloud's unique and complex security requirements can make it challenging to protect and retain control of data. 

Encryption is Key

Specific data security plans are needed for each deployment and environment but businesses are often given little control over the storage and protection of their data in a cloud. One way to go is with third party management solutions providing encryption for multiple environments. Ask any cybersecurity expert and they will tell you the basic security maxim is: whoever controls the keys, controls the data. If implemented properly, encryption protects data in traditional data centers equally well as in a cloud or anywhere else it may be used or stored. 

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Encrypted Future is Here

It is good news then that Thales reports European businesses identifying encryption technologies as the most effective way of protecting their data, specifically BYOK – “Bring Your Own Keys” (44%), cloud-native encryption (41%), tokenization (43%) and hardware security modules (42%). There are also projects under way that will implement encryption for data protection at even higher levels than the current ones.