5 Ways to Use Encryption at Your Business to Prevent a Data Breach

5 Ways to Use Encryption at Your Business to Prevent a Data Breach

Protecting your business data and the data you collect from customers, employees, and others has become harder. As technology continues to evolve, so do hacking threats and the coordination of major attacks against everyday businesses.

A recent example of an attack that impacted 250,000 small businesses, government agencies, and enterprise companies happened to Microsoft Exchange Server. Companies running the server software to handle their business email onsite were subject to having their email data compromised and their servers were taken over.

Cybercrime has increased 400%+ during the pandemic. This significant threat increase has required companies to boost their IT security if they want to avoid a major data breach, resulting in compliance penalties, and other fallouts.

When a company has a breach of personally identifiable information, sensitive company documents, or other vital information (like bank account logins), it can leave long-lasting damage. Many companies never fully recover.

So, protecting business data from being accessed by hackers is high on the cybersecurity priority list if you want a thriving business.

One of the best ways to protect data is to encrypt it. This makes it unreadable, except by those with the decryption key. This means that even if a cybercriminal has accessed your sensitive documents, they can’t read them or use them for anything, the data is protected.

Where Can We Use Encryption to Better Protect Our Data?

Using encryption doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you may already be using it on your website or in other areas of your business.

Here are several ways you can use encryption to boost your data security and keep your company safe from an expensive breach.

Laptop Hard Drive Encryption

Laptops hold a lot of valuable information for thieves. This includes data they can use themselves, like credit card numbers stored in a browser, and data they can sell on the Dark Web, such as your contacts list.

Instead of trying to secure each area of a laptop separately to keep it protected in case of theft, you can use hard drive encryption to make the entire laptop unreadable at once.

You can use software like BitLocker to encrypt a laptop’s hard drive. Without the passcode to disable the encryption, a thief would not be able to access any data at all, saving you from a breach.

Website Encryption 

If you don’t have encryption on your company’s website, any data sent through a web form could be accessed by a hacker. You might also be losing customers without realizing if your site isn’t encrypted because the “Not secure” tag browsers now put on unencrypted sites can scare people away.

Website encryption simply involves purchasing an SSL certificate for your website from your web host. This will encrypt all the traffic being sent through your site and it will now have “HTTPS” at the beginning of the URL, as well as a lock icon. 

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

The number of employees working remotely 3-5 days per week has more than doubled since the pandemic began. This has led to more vulnerabilities for business data being exposed because remote workers may not be using secure Wi-Fi to get online.

The easiest way to ensure all your employee data traffic is encrypted is to have your staff use a VPN. A business virtual private network subscription can provide significant protection against “man in the middle” attacks on Wi-Fi routers. When employees connect to the internet through the VPN app, their traffic is filtered through the VPN server and encrypted to keep it safeguarded. 

Router Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6/WPA3

 The latest generation of router technology, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) was given a significant security upgrade through the WPA3 security protocol. This standard boosts the encryption of wireless network signals in addition to increasing speed and improving multi-device handling.

If you’re still using an older router, then upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 is an easy way to improve your network security and encryption.

Email Encryption 

How many sensitive documents get sent through your business email each week? While not all emails are sensitive, many of them are. They can contain sensitive information in the body of the email as well as any attached documents.

Using email encryption that’s available in platforms like Microsoft 365 can give you peace of mind and help prevent a sensitive email from being intercepted by a hacker.

Once you have email encryption set up in a program like Outlook, users can encrypt their email and its attachments at the click of a button. Email encryption can also be attached to security policies and enacted automatically through a feature like sensitivity labels.

Keep Your Business Safe from an Expensive Data Breach!

Quantum PC Services can help your Sturgeon Bay area business find easy ways to integrate encryption and other data security safeguards. We’ll help you prevent attacks and keep your network, devices, and data safe.

Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.