Backup and Storage

Encryption recommended for keeping data safe

Companies have been urged to use encryption to take care of their data.

Companies keen to keep their sensitive data as safe as possible from prying eyes have been advised to ensure it is always encrypted before being stored.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, security expert Dave Hansen recommended this technique as the "only thing" that can give real peace of mind to business owners and chief information officers.

"The reality is that data leaks, but when it happens, there is less reason to worry if the data is encrypted. Failure to encrypt virtual servers and data stores is a problem waiting to happen," he commented.

Despite this, he warned that few organisations seem to be bothering with encryption at present, even though there are frequent reports in the media about breaches. Just this month, Sony received a massive fine for failing to protect the data of its PlayStation users.

To ensure the same fate does not befall other companies, Mr Hansen recommended authentication, encryption and key management as good basic techniques to adopt.

Similar advice about encryption was also recently offered by lawyer Brian J Henchey in an article for TechWorld, who said it will provide reassurance for clients and customers too.

"Encryption theoretically reduces the value to third parties of any data compromised in a breach, thereby mitigating the associated cleanup costs. As a bonus, encryption may provide data owners with a degree of control over the data that they otherwise would not have," he said.

Mr Hansen said another problem he has recently been coming across is that migration to the cloud is largely unplanned, which can result in company IT systems clashing.

The expert added he would like to see better organisation when it comes to making the move, as well as improved training on security awareness for staff bringing in their own devices to work on.

Although all this may sound difficult to implement, it will not be a problem for businesses outsourcing document storage and records management to a third-party cloud service such as Dajon. There will also be the added benefit of increased security.