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A Small Business Guide to Computer Encryption

A Small Business Guide to Computer Encryption

Encryption is an important part of protecting your files and data. Learn how file encryption works, programs to consider implementing, and pitfalls to watch out for.

  • Encryption protects data on your computer and network, reducing the risk of data breaches in your business.
  • Full disk encryption may be the best solution for small businesses. Available from embedded programs or third-party vendors. For parent coding you must back up the data and follow the encryption key. You must also
  • make a memory that is remembered and you must use WPA3 Wi-Fi and VPN.
  • This article is aimed at a small entrepreneur who wants to fully encode all data.– Encryption is a difficult concept that is a difficult concept, but it is necessary to protect business-sensitive data. At the standard level, encryption is a text interfery (CIPREXT) process, so that it cannot be read to unauthorized users. You can encrypt files, folders, volumes or entire drives on your computer, as well as USB drives and files stored in the cloud.

Why is encryption important?

The purpose of file and disk encryption is to protect data stored on a computer or network storage system. All organizations that collect personally identifiable information (PII) such as name, date of birth, social security number, and financial information must protect that data. An organization can be sued if a computer containing PII is stolen and information is leaked or shared.

Why should businesses use encryption?

If your laptop is lost or stolen, thieves can easily access information if your files or disks are not encrypted. Therefore, it is recommended to encrypt sensitive data if not the entire hard drive. Thieves don’t even need to know the password to access your files. It is easy to boot your computer from a USB drive and then access your computer drive.

Disk encryption does not completely protect your computer. Un pirate peut toujours accéder à l’ordinateur via une connexion réseau non sécurisée, ou un utilisateur peut cliquer sur un Lien malveillant dans un e-mail et infecter l’ordinateur avec un logiciel malveillesant qui voleur. These types of attacks require additional security measures, such as anti-malware software, firewalls, and awareness training. However, encrypting the entire files or drives on your computer greatly reduces the risk of data theft. [Read related article: Does Antivirus Really Protect Your Business?]

Cryptography 101: How does it work?

Encryption is a numerical form of encryption that uses a mathematical algorithm to shuffle a message so that only the person with the sender’s password or key can decrypt the message.

There are two main methods of encryption. Symmetric encryption, which protects data with a single private key, and asymmetric encryption, which uses a combination of multiple keys, both public and private. The most common form of symmetric encryption is the US government’s Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Hexadecimal data is encrypted and unlocked multiple times using 128-bit, 192-bit, or 256-bit keys. The last touch is the most powerful. The key can be replaced with the password we created, making the password the only direct way to decrypt the data.

This method is ideal for encrypting files and disks. The only weakness is the password itself, which can be cracked by hackers. They are not likely to enter data through encryption. Although 128-bit AES is a strong encryption key, most government regulations require the strongest 256-bit AES to meet certain standards.

Asymmetric encryption is used to send secure messages and other data between two people. On email platforms, like most email services, all users have a public key and a private key.

The public key acts as a kind of address and a method for the sender to encrypt their message. This message is mostly encrypted with the sender’s private key. The recipient can then use the sender’s public key to authenticate the sender of the message and then decrypt the message with their own private key. A hacker who intercepts a message cannot see its contents without the recipient’s private key.

Types of computer encryption

  • Encrypt Individual Files and Folders – This method only encrypts certain items you call. If relatively few business documents are stored on a computer, this is acceptable and better than no encryption.
  • Volume Encryption: This method creates a kind of container that is fully encrypted. All files and folders created or stored in this container are encrypted.
  • Full Disk or Entire Disk Encryption: This is the most complete form of computer encryption. It is transparent to the users and does not require them to save the files to a particular location on the disk. All files, folders and volumes are encrypted. When you turn on your computer, you need to enter the encryption code or ask your computer to read the encryption key (a random string of letters and numbers) from your USB device. Thisaction unlocks the file and allows it to be used normally.

How small businesses can easily encrypt their data

While it may seem impossible to encrypt data in one language, there are many simple solutions to encrypting a business. To begin with, most computers have an internal encoder, but you may need to enable it manually. You can also install some third-party encryption software for complete disk protection. Many professional anti-malware programs include encryption software, and some vendors also sell standalone encryption tools.

Built-in encryption

Strong encryption is included in recent versions of Windows and OS X and is also available for some Linux distributions.

Microsoft BitLocker is a disk encryption tool available on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. It is designed to work with the Trusted Platform Module chip in your computer, which stores the disk encryption key. It is possible to enable BitLocker even without the chip, but it requires some settings to be configured in the operating system, which requires administrative privileges. To enable BitLocker, open Windows Explorer or File Explorer and right-click on the C drive. If your version of Windows supports BitLocker, the menu will display the Enable BitLocker option, which you can click to launch the program. Switch.

If BitLocker is enabled, Microsoft will ask you to save a copy of your recovery key. This is an important step as you will need the recovery key to unlock the drive. Without the key, neither you nor anyone else can access your data. You can print the key or save it to your Microsoft account or file. With BitLocker, you may also need your personal identification number (PIN) at startup.

Apple FileVault provides encryption for PCs running Mac OS X. When you enable encryption, FileVault will ask you to save the disk encryption recovery key to your iCloud account, but you can write it down.

For Linux, you typically use a tool such as dm-crypt to encrypt the drive when you install the operating system. However, third-party tools for post-install encryption are also available.

Third-party encryption software

TrueCrypt was once one of the most popular open source disk encryption software, but its developers stopped maintaining it in 2014. Security experts still question whether it is safe to use. For your safety, use products that are tested and updated regularly. These are some of the open source products that are very much appreciated.

  • VeraCrypt is a free program that works on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It often gets the highest ratings from third-party users and testers.
  • AxCrypt is easy to use encryption software with free and premium versions. It has a password manager and collaboration function to share encrypted data with others.
  • Gpg4win uses military-grade security to encrypt and digitally sign files and emails.

Many anti-malware vendors, such as Symantec, Kaspersky, Sophos, and ESET, include encryption in their security suites or sell it as a standalone product. Copying files from a USB drive to encrypted files allows you to automatically decrypt files, so USB drives must also be encrypted.

“It is important to send a file or copy to a USB key” and Joe Siegrist says JoeSiegrist.

To verify that the file is encrypted on a USB device, use Open Source Software using software such as Microsoft BitLocker, or purchase a USB drive with integrated encryption such as IRORKEY, SANDISK, KANGURU. Please.

How much is the encryption of information?

According to the Pawnmon Research Institute, the average cost of computer data encryption is $ 235. This is quite affordable as it can cost several orders of magnitude more to fix data breaches. Encryption will of course become more expensive if you lose your key and therefore your access, so always keep an eye on your key.

Computer Encryption Best Practices

Before enabling encryption on your computer, back up your data files and create an image backup that is an exact copy of the entire contents of your hard drive. Also make sure you have the operating system installation media and create an emergency boot disk on removable media.

From now on, back up your computer regularly. If the encrypted disk crashes or gets damaged, the files can be lost forever. If you have a current backup, you can start it very quickly.

When you generate a code or PIN, you use random numbers and letters and remember them. The longer and more complex it is, the better, but it’s not so complicated that you don’t remember it. Consider putting two sentences together, such as short lines from two songs you like. Use only the first letter of each word and replace some characters, such as a zero for O and 3 or the hash (#) for the letter E. Also use mixed capital letters. See our article on creating strong passwords for more on this topic.

Keep a copy of the PIN or password and the encryption key (if separate) in a safe place if they are forgotten. “If you enable full disk encryption and forget your password, you will not be able to access your computer and others, including IT and data recovery personnel, will not be able to access it,” Siegrist said.

When using Wi-Fi, use Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3), an encryption format to secure your wireless connection. Never use insecure wired equivalent (WEP) privacy. Even WPA2 was hacked in 2017, making it less secure than WPA3.

Finally, install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access your office network from your laptop or other mobile device while working remotely. A VPN creates a secure tunnel over the internet and encrypts all data sent and received during that session. For more information on VPN, check out our guide to the best VPN services for your business.

Remember that computer encryption is only part of a complete security plan to protect your computer and sensitive data. This is an essential security check for organizations handling sensitive data and should be enabled on any device that could fall into the wrong hands. Check out our Cyber ​​Security Guide for Small Businesses for more tips and advice.

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