Six Common Encryption Mistakes You Need to Avoid

We are in 2020, and businesses, as well as individuals, are looking for better ways to help them remain anonymous as well as protect their sensitive data. Among other things, this can be achieved by ensuring that you make use of the best tools available to ensure that your data remains safe.

One of the best ways that companies are using to ensure their data security is data encryption. In fact, the data in use encryption will determine how secure your information will be online. As such, you need to ensure that you have done due diligence to ensure the data encryption service you use will help minimize cases of data breaches and fraud.

Even so, how you use an encryption tool will go a long in determining its effectiveness to serve its purpose. Encryption tools, just like any digital tool, can be used in the wrong way. Unfortunately, encryption mistakes will not only put your sensitive data at risk but will also compromise the security benefits that come with data encryption tools.

In this post, we shall look at some costly data encryption mistakes you should avoid.

Let’s get started:

1.       Not Encryption Your Sensitive Data

While this post is about the mistakes to avoid when encrypting your data, it is essential to note that some companies do not encrypt their data in the first place. This is the single most mistake when it comes to data encryption.

Some organizations, even after realizing the massive damage that is caused by data breaches, they are yet to take steps to encrypt their sensitive data. Failure to encrypt your sensitive data can have far-reaching effects, including:

  • Reputation damage in case of a data breach
  • Litigation costs due to a data breach involving your customers
  • Challenges when entering new markets
  • An investor may deny you funds if they suspect gaps in your data security strategy
  • Sometimes it’s a requirement in government channels

2.       Using Your Own Algorithm

Even if you have employed the best brains in your company, you should not confuse them with security experts. Even if they have a bit of knowledge on matters of security, the chances are that they don’t have the best experience on the encryption in use today.

Unfortunately, even a simple error in your data security can put your entire organization at risk. The worst part is that you might know about it until when it is too late.

3.       Relying on Outdated Encryption

While highly experienced experts develop encryption algorithms, people will still find a way to bypass them. The truth is that not just hackers who are trying to defeat encryption algorithms, even the security researchers and government agencies are looking for loopholes in encryption so they can improve on them.

Think about the WPA2, the popular way of encrypting the WiFi signal. Before WPA2 was developed, people relied on WE and WPA to encrypt the WiFi signal between the device and the router. But why did people stop using WEP and WPA and turned to WPA2? We are glad you asked.

Among other things, this is because WEP and WPA became less secure, and as such outdated. As a rule of thumb, ensure that the data encryption tool you are using is not obsolete.

4.       Hiring Wrong Experts

While coders do a very recommendable job in the digital space, you ought not to think that they can replace security experts.

If you take data security seriously, ensure to seek the services of security experts who specialize in implementing data encryption solutions. Such security experts will work with your internal team of developers to provide a reliable data solution.

Failure to hire security experts to handle your data security will put your company at risk of a data breach.

5.       Leaving Encryption in the Open

Remember when you were in college and you would leave your keys hidden somewhere so that your roommate could see it when they return? Some people do the same with their encryption key.

Imagine what could happen if someone else other than your friend came to know where you are keeping the keys. This could put your entire room at risk, right?

Well, the same can happen if your copy on the encryption key on your server. To that end, you need to find ways to store your key in different levels of encryption. Ideally, consider encrypting your key using a key-encryption key. This way, even if your server is compromised, the hackers won’t be able to decrypt the key.

6.   Failure to Have a Data Recovery Plan

While the primary goal of data encryption is to prevent hackers from accessing your data, you should not forget to create a data recovery plan in place. Otherwise, how will you access the data yourself if you lose your encryption keys? 

Chris Z