Business encryption use on the rise

Data Encryption

With the use of cloud services growing rapidly among businesses big and small, the role of encryption to protect corporate data online has become increasingly important. And just as with individual internet users, businesses too are clearly showing that they have a growing understanding of the benefits of encryption, and are giving it a greater priority.

At least that is what the findings of the Thales’ 2017 Global Encryption Trends Study, which was carried out by the Ponemon Institute, has found. According to the study, 41% of the IT security professionals questioned said that they were accelerating the adoption of encryption alongside that of cloud solutions.

Encryption and cloud in sync

Two-thirds of those questioned said that they employed encryption on their company data in ways which ensured they retained control of the encryption process. They either encrypt the data locally before it is sent to the cloud, or they use keys generated and managed locally to encrypt the data in the cloud.

Both ways ensure that a company is in control of its data encryption at all times. But the figures also indicate that around a third of respondents admitted that they are handing over control of the data encryption process to their cloud providers.

This preference amongst companies to retain control of the encryption of their data when it goes into the cloud is also seen in other areas of the study. 31% either are using or plan to use hardware security modules (HSMs) with bring your own key (BYOK) deployments, while 20% are either using or planning to use cloud access security broker (CASB) deployments.

Why is encryption use on the rise?

Perhaps most interestingly, the report also provides an insight into what is motivating businesses to invest in encryption.

The biggest factor was revealed to be compliance (55%) which tells us that more and more companies are making the encryption of their data a corporate requirement.

Around half of the respondents also said a main motivating factor was either protecting enterprise intellectual property (51%), protecting customer information (49%) or defending themselves from external threats (49%).

This tells us that even businesses are aware of the myriad of different risks there are on the market and that encryption offers a strong solution to many of the threats they face.

And furthermore, responsibility for encryption policies is increasingly being held by senior executives as opposed to those who sit at IT operations levels, which indicates the seriousness which businesses take the matter of encryption in this day and age.

John Grimm, the senior director of security strategy at Thales e-Security, said: “This year’s findings align with key trends demonstrating an increased reliance on the cloud, ever-evolving internal and external threats, and new data sources mandating stronger protection.”

Meanwhile, Larry Ponemon, chairman of the Ponemon Institute, which carried out the research commented that “the stakes are too high for organizations to stand by and wait for an attack to happen to them before introducing a sophisticated data protection strategy. Encryption and key management continue to play critical roles in these strategies.”

Encryption is what companies turn to to protect themselves from the risks of holding data online, so it is more than good enough to be a solution for individual consumer needs too.

This is why VPN use is on the rise around the world as more and more individuals (and businesses) develop a better understanding of how encryption benefits them and how a VPN is a great tool to provide it.