When the subject of encryption comes up, particularly with individuals who aren’t security or tech specialists, they all have a different idea of what it entails. To some, it’s a new age, government-level secret weapon used by secret agents and rogue nations.
However, in reality, encryption is all around us. It is used by companies in every industry and in every sector to gain the compliance, data privacy and security they need in today’s increasingly digital world.
Yet many organisations do not fully understand the benefits, or where to begin when implementing encryption as part of their cybersecurity strategies.
To help them better understand the benefits, challenges and pitfalls to avoid, Altron Systems Integration, in conjunction with media partner TechCentral, recently hosted a round-table event, themed “Encryption: Defending the business against modern threats” at the One&Only in Cape Town.
Delving into what has been happening in the encryption space, the discussion initially centred on how encryption is becoming increasingly popular as businesses across the board are accelerating their cloud journeys. This is because with data moving to a range of clouds, and out of an organisation’s control, securing data at rest and while in motion has become a top priority.
Similarly, trends such as the internet of things (IoT), big data and hybrid workforces are seeing the attack surface widen exponentially, and data move across devices, connections and networks – and outside the company’s perimeter. Here again, encryption is the answer in an increasingly complex threat landscape.
Attendees also mentioned that compliance with local regulations has become a key driver for implementing encryption in the business, as falling foul of regulations can see companies incurring hefty penalties.
Next, delegates discussed the relative merits of home-grown versus outsourced encryption platforms. While some had achieved much success building their own platforms in-house using open-source tools, the general consensus was that this is impractical for most entities from a cost, skills and resource perspective, particularly as so many excellent tools are available on the market.
As with most discussions about cybersecurity, the topic of the IT skills crisis inevitably came up, with those present lamenting not only the dearth of IT skills, but the difficulty they face trying to hang on to them. Unfortunately, digital transformation has turned the traditional economic landscape on its head and fuelled the need for workforces with digital skills.
Moreover, as technology increasingly pervades our business and personal lives, cybersecurity has become a top priority for organisations and individuals alike. The pandemic and subsequent move to distributed workforces also saw cyberattacks surge, creating a demand for more cybersecurity talent to enable entities to safeguard their sensitive and proprietary data.
Unfortunately, with such a tremendous demand, the lack of cybersecurity professionals is weakening companies’ security nets and exposing them to all manner of threats, including ransomware, malicious insiders, or even the catastrophic failures of critical infrastructure that might have unimaginable consequences.
For these reasons and others, it was agreed that encryption is a vital component of any in-depth, robust security strategy because of its ability to mitigate weaknesses in any primary security control mechanisms.
About Altron Systems Integration
A specialist provider leveraging world-class technology and leading practices to build, implement and support sustainable ICT-based business solutions which are strategically aligned, fit for purpose, cost effective and optimised for performance. We have highly skilled, experienced professionals directed at solving business critical customer problems through a consultative approach. We also bring our collective knowledge to every deployment engagement. From legacy integration to digital transformation, our solutions catalogue includes the full spectrum of ICT services. Few other organisations can claim the depth and breadth of the capabilities and experience we provide. For more information, visit www.altronsystemsintegration.co.za or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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