More and more enterprise companies are adopting the cloud to store and transfer valuable data. Here are five things you may not know about modern cloud data encryption.
Cloud solutions are rapidly gaining in popularity among enterprise organizations thanks to convenience, mobility, and overall workplace flexibility. But to protect all that cloud data flowing back and forth between companies and employees, data encryption must be implemented. Although it cannot prevent data theft from employees, encryption keeps malicious attackers from reading the contents of data, thus protecting sensitive personally identifiable information such as credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, legal or health data, or social security numbers.
With the overall amount of cloud data reaching all-time highs, here are five things you didn’t know about modern cloud data encryption:
1. According to a 2015 RightScale survey, 93 percent of businesses are using the cloud. The same survey reveals 20 percent of respondents are running enterprise workloads from the cloud. That means a ton of big companies and organizations are storing and sending emails, files, and sensitive information back and forth through public, private, and hybrid cloud technologies.
2. According to a Cisco report, annual global cloud traffic will reach 14.1 ZB by the end of 2020, which will be a dramatic increase from the 3.9 ZB counted in 2015. Keep in mind, that’s “ZB” as in zettabytes, which is equivalent to 1,024 exabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. That’s a lot of cloud data. According to the same report, encrypted traffic will become the dominant form of traffic on the Internet.
3. Organizations must use solid traffic encryption to protect data in transit and while at rest. However, about half of the respondents in the Ponemon Institute’s 2016 Global Cloud Data Security Study survey say cloud services make it more difficult to protect sensitive information. Only 40 percent of the respondents say their organizations have a policy that requires security safeguards such as encryption. Which leads us to the next fact…
4. Data breaches are just a fact of life these days, and up to seven percent of data breaches aren’t even discovered until a year or more after the initial attack. This is because skilled hackers perform the exfiltration of data quickly and leave without a trace. The wide gap of time between initial attack and discovery is what can lead to damaging results for companies and customers alike, which is why cloud data encryption is so essential.
5. Remember that Ponemon Institute survey? It also states that only 42 percent of respondents said that they use encryption to secure sensitive cloud data. And only 55 percent of IT professionals surveyed said their organization controls the encryption keys. As more companies adopt cloud usage, IT departments within each organization need to develop greater measures and policies to ensure the protection of sensitive data—ideally through strong encryption.