Best Encryption Practices to Protect Your Business
Growing in importance, Encryption is something that every business needs! Not only to provide better online security but to prevent data breaches and business interruption.
What is Encryption?
In its simplest form, Encryption is the process by which data is encoded to prevent that data from being easily understood by an unauthorised person. Only the parties involved in the communication are authorised to decrypt the data. As examples, those parties can be between your browser and a website, a storage device and an individual authorised user.
Normally a message is encrypted with a key, but for demonstration purposes and in a very simple way, characters may be “shifted” to another place in the alphabet. For instance, B might become A. The word “AZS” is an encrypted form of “BAT” as the places have been shifted by one place to the left. One of the most popular shift cyphers is the ROT13, which is short for “rotate by 13 places”.
Why Use Encryption?
Encryption prevents unauthorised actors from seeing sensitive data, whether that data is static or in transit. Data is considered to be transmitting whenever it is sent to another party or endpoint. For instance, transferring a file to another device. For the duration of the transmit, a third-party can “eavesdrop” on the communication and create an opportunity for a man-in-the-middle attack (MITM).
A man-in-the-middle attack can alter the communication between two parties and can happen in real-time. It can alter the data that is being transmitted and received and can lead to serious complications. For instance, a patch that seems normal might end up carrying a payload of viruses and backdoors which hackers can use to gain entry and compromise an otherwise secure system. Some everyday computer users and even administrators do not often see that their systems are already compromised because the altered data will be presented just as a normal software update. Another grave consequence is that sensitive data can be taken by hackers. If a system regularly transmits bank details or credit card credentials, they could be taken by malicious actors. Some systems would also be unable to detect whether data was compromised.
What practices can be implemented to make sure that data is secure and sound?
Multiple Encryption Methods
Having layers of Encryption for data can be beneficial. They can act as a separate layer of security for each encryption method available. If one of the Encryption fails, there are other methods that can be used to slow down or even deter hackers from taking further action.
ARCO Platform communicates with each component using wolfSSL.
The wolfSSL library is a lightweight SSL/TLS library targeted for embedded, RTOS, and resource-constrained environments – primarily because of its small size, speed, and feature set. It is used in many common platforms because the wolfSSL library supports over 30 different operating environments, industry standards up to the current TLS 1.3 library and offers progressive cyphers such as ChaCha20, Curve25519, NTRU, and Blake2b. User benchmarking and feedback report dramatically better performance when using wolfSSL versus other similar implementations of TLS.
Detailed Logs and Audit Trails
System design should incorporate the creation and storage of traffic logs for every event. This should include tracking which users are logged in and from where they are logged in. This can help administrators and cybersecurity experts to identify suspicious activities. In the case of an attack, investigators can see location data which may be helpful in building better fortification strategies.
ARCO Platforms includes real-time events, reports and alarms throughout the system.
Access to real-time information will help Companies visually understand changing security and business conditions to enable better decisions. Ones based on the real-time data and collated in pre-designated reports. ARCO enables you to identify trends and measure the impact of system activities.
Set Minimal Privileges for Users
Integrated systems tend to provide a lot of user privileges. It is important to limit access to a system to the minimal privileges required by each user. The temptation is to incorporate more system privileges than are required. For instance, a guest user does not need administrator privileges.
ARCO Platform gives users a set of permissions from a set of configurable roles.
Roles are only allowed to access the information necessary to perform specific tasks effectively. Access can be based on several factors, such as authority, responsibility and job competency. In addition, access to ARCO Platform can be limited to specific tasks such as the ability to view, create or modify a device.
It is also important to create regular system backups. This permits authorised users to restore data in case of a disruption to service.
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