Encryption software uses cryptography to mask files, text, and data, protecting information from undesired parties. Companies utilize these tools to ensure their sensitive data is secured even in the event of a breach. Companies can apply this technology to communications, databases, and virtually any other kind of file. Encryption products provide capabilities to pick and choose which sets of information administrators deem too valuable to risk. The tools either integrate with or work in unison with whatever application is used for storage or information transfer. The encryption programs can usually obscure the content of data at rest and data in transit. The tools turn the information into ciphertext that only the original owner can decipher.
Many data security and mobile data security solutions function similarly to encryption software, but those tools are designated to more specific types of data and often provide additional functionalities.
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As widespread use of mainframe computers became commonplace, encryption has evolved—to nearly anything tech-related you can think of. Modern encryption solutions can protect data, documents, networks, and virtually all technology containing sensitive information.
But what is encryption? Encryption, as a general concept, is the conversion or masking of information to prevent unauthorized parties from accessing it. The altered information is unintelligible and difficult to decipher for anyone without the encryption key. Depending on the data you want to encrypt, solutions can become more complex, but the focal point of encryption solutions is securing information.
Encryption has become a staple in the technology world as a fortifying tool for accessing privileged information. Web application firewalls, or encrypted databases, will protect both end-user data and the sensitive business information a company wants kept secure.
Today, encryption can be implemented seamlessly into technologies without changing an end user’s day-to-day business practices. Secure messaging and email applications used as alternatives to texting are frequently encrypted. Virtual private networks (VPNs) often encrypt a user’s data and activity. Encryption can be implemented seamlessly into technologies without changing an end user’s day-to-day business practices.
The main and most obvious benefit of encryption technology is information security. While the first thought of many individuals is a secure database or network, communications and data in transfer often receive a large benefit from encryption technology.
Network Security – Network encryption tools in general can be used to create VPNs, virtual servers, or anonymously layered networks to improve security. These tools help mask the identities of end users and secure information. Many of these solutions allow networks to communicate anonymously across vast distances. To do so, they block or mask IP addresses and make it more difficult for hackers to identify and harm you.
Data Security – Securing data in transfer is another common use for encryption. It’s not always the safest option to trust that unfamiliar networks or endpoints will keep information secure. Encrypted messaging and secure email gateways are the most common tools to solve that issue. They will encrypt data until it verifies the receiving party has the proper permissions necessary to view the data.
Endpoint Security – Endpoints cause similar issues to those of messaging. Some users might be using out-of-date applications or flawed devices while trying to access business data. This is a very common occurrence in the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) world, where everyone has a different device. Encryption tools enable professionals to create VPNs or install encrypted operating systems to improve general device security.
Security professionals – Individuals working to secure websites, applications, and networks often choose encryption solutions to increase the effectiveness of security professionals. Encryption tools can add an additional level of security to virtually any IT infrastructure solution. The tools make it harder for hackers to penetrate networks or gain access to sensitive data. Encrypted data is also more difficult and less useful to hackers since they can’t actually view data without deciphering it first.
Data professionals – Everyone from large companies to individuals are targeted every day by hackers and organizations with malintent. Data security software secures and often encrypts data, allowing only approved parties access to sensitive information about a business, its employees, and its customers. This type of software allows database managers to create access standards and perform security tests to audit existing security. Many databases can store encrypted backups in the case of a disaster for easy, secure recovery. Mobile data security software provides similar features, but adds increased security for mobile devices, communications, and authentication.
Everyday individuals – Companies with substantial security practices will often require encrypted messaging, gateways, networks, and endpoints. In many cases, users believe they’re simply logging onto a business network when in reality they are accessing a secured and encrypted virtual environment. To utilize business applications, single sign-on (SSO) or cloud security gateways may be used. They will contain a user’s activity within an isolated environment and secure the data they access with encryption. There are many other everyday business tools that use encryption including backup software, operating systems, and managed services.
There are a few different types of encryption algorithms that actually encrypt information and facilitate the encryption process. There are a few variations, but hashing, symmetric, and asymmetric formulas are the common methods to enable encryption.
Hashing creates unique signatures to identify parties accessing information and track any changes they make. Symmetric methods typically implement private key encryption, which provides access to anyone possessing the access key. Asymmetric encryption, or public key encryption, is similar to symmetric methods, but utilizes keys to both encrypt and decipher information.
For the average user, applications with encryption features are more commonly used. These are a few technologies that frequently implement encryption into their base-level feature sets.
Data encryption – Databases, data warehouses, and backup servers are the most commonly encrypted types of software you will come across. Stored files are always a target because they can be the easiest to locate. Data warehouses and backup systems often include enormous amounts of data that would be disastrous to lose. As a result, IT professionals are often quick to secure those files through encryption technology.
File encryption – File encryption software helps to securely encrypt files and folders that are stored locally or within a cloud application. Strong file encryption will prevent hackers from actually accessing or altering sensitive data. Many free file encryption software solutions exist for personal use, but typically won’t scale to suit the needs of a larger business. Encrypted databases, storage clouds and hard drives are often more fitting.
Encrypted messaging – Email encryption and secure messaging apps turn communications into cipher text, the encrypted form of information, which is far less valuable to hackers. The receiving party may need an encryption key or verification tool to prove their identity and access communications files. These tools are often used by health care, human resources, or government professionals who need to facilitate the secure transfer of sensitive information.
Endpoint encryption – Full-disk encryption and hard drive encryption are two common examples of endpoint encryption solutions. If someone’s laptop is stolen, but their hard drive or hard drives were encrypted, it would be extremely difficult for someone to gain access to locally stored files without an encryption key. Some endpoint protection and encryption tools also facilitate disk partitioning, which creates separately encrypted components and increased security through multiple layers of cipher text.
Encryption is an ever-evolving practice that has become commonplace given the massive data breaches of recent years. The globalized economy has made it harder than ever for companies to secure their data. A number of emerging technologies, along with government legislation, are improving encryption practices and requiring its use to help secure the sensitive information of private individuals.
GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has forced businesses to adopt a number of encryption methods. The EU regulation has set a number of standards to increase the security of personal information. Pseudonymisation is a key component that is solved by encryption. Stored information must mask personal details, often through the creation of ciphertext. Databases and other information must now be encrypted locally as well, since this type of encryption provides the closest level of security possible compared to cloud-based encrypted databases or remote services.
Blockchain – Blockchain technology is founded on principles of encryption. These tools encrypt transactions between parties and store their anonymous identifiers on a public ledger. As transactions on the blockchain continue, they are proactively verified through the ledger system based off recent transactions. These tools help keep the identities of participating parties secure while increasing the transparency and validity of the transactional network as a whole.
Identity Management – Identity management is a key component of encryption and a rapidly evolving industry. Encryption relies on the verification or parties to decrypt information. Identity and access management tools can encrypt credentials and improve the requirements necessary for decryption. Some utilize multi-factor authentication or risk-based identification features to analyze requesting parties and require multiple levels of verification. The personal use of encrypted password managers can also help secure data by storing passwords and user names in secure, encrypted environments.
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Paubox is the easiest way to send and receive HIPAA compliant email. No other solution makes secure email so simple to use. Paubox is the only provider with Zero-Step Encryption on ALL sent email. Senders can just write and send emails as normal from any device and Paubox seamlessly encrypts the message from end-to-end, without the need for portals, plug-ins, or keywords. It's just as easy for recipients to view secure email sent to them. No keys to exchange, no passwords to remember, apps to download, or portals to login to. This is done through Paubox's patent-pending process that includes encrypting all outbound email through our servers with industry-standard Transport Layer Security (TLS) and up to 256-bit AES encryption. Paubox Encrypted Email can be deployed using existing domains and email platforms like Office 365, Exchange, and G Suite, or can be hosted by Paubox. Works with a variety of email clients including Apple Mail and Thunderbird All accounts include FREE inbound encryption and protection against SPAM, malware, virus and phishing attacks. Business Associate Agreements are included for no additional charge.
Baffle's solution goes beyond simple encryption to truly close gaps in the data access model. The technology protects against some of the most recent high profile attacks. It's easy to deploy, requires no changes to the apps, and encrypts data at-rest, in use, in memory and in the search index. That’s complete data protection.
Using the integrated ServiceNow Edge Encryption solution, your data is protected while in motion and at rest. Data moving between your data center and your ServiceNow instance passes through the proxy, which is configured to encrypt specific fields and attachments before they reach the instance.
The ESP solutions incorporate a core set of tools to include robust functionality, an intuitive interface and the capability to compartmentalize data by individual users, organizations or customized groups. These tools enable our clients to manage projects, collaborate on areas of interest and to disseminate information quickly and easily to other participants.
Votiro Disarmer for file transfer disarms known and unknown file threats coming from the external network before they enter your internal network. Designated to work in a complete network separation environment, Votiro Disarmer for file transfer automates the file sharing process and sanitizes files from any zero-day threats on local or remote servers, using our patented CDR technology. The data is then replicated to the internal server for safe use.