Prime Factors Blog

Bang for the Buck: Why Encryption Provides Effective (and Cost-Effective) Data Security

Posted by Pete Flagella on May 11, 2017 10:00:00 AM

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Unfortunately, keeping data secure is no longer as simple as placing items in a locked file cabinet. With the adoption of cloud computing, companies now have data that is located across a myriad of different providers and platforms, and ensuring this data is safe can be a challenge. While it may be difficult to institute a perfect security system, encryption offers companies perhaps the most powerful and cost-effective way to protect data – both at rest and while in transit. 

In this blog, we’re going to discuss why it should be a requirement for any company doing business in today’s environment.

To learn how encryption can lower the cost of regulatory compliance while enhancing security, download our white paper Reducing the Cost of Regulatory Compliance with Encryption 

Why Do I Need Encryption?

Within the past year, the Ponemon Institute, in coordination with IBM, released the 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis, which showed the average cost of a data breach of participating companies to be $4 million, with an average cost of $158 per record stolen. 

In addition, many times, once a company has been hacked, they could experience additional security incidents long after the original breach. And a 2014 State of IT Changes Survey found that more than half of IT professionals continue to make changes to their IT systems without documentation, which makes it extremely difficult to identify a potential data leak source. 

As these eye-opening stats demonstrate, data breaches are a major risk for businesses of all sizes, and encryption offers a unique way to protect data from potential hackers or even insiders who may inadvertently have access to sensitive information.

How Is Encryption More Cost Effective Than Other Security Measures?

When it comes to data security, your company has an array of options based on your risk tolerance and your budget. While there are outward-facing options such as perimeter security and physical security measures, some of them are not cost effective for many organizations, and others have their limitations in how well they can protect data. 

In the past, this may have meant that companies would simply do the best they could manage financially in terms of protecting their data. And of all the security measures, encryption is perhaps the most effective, which in the end makes it the most cost-effective. The reasons are straightforward: while perimeter solutions may fail to block all novel cyber threats, and thorough education and security policies may not completely stop risky employee behavior, properly instituted encryption makes any stolen data unusable

One of the challenges of encryption, however, is that it can be difficult to know which solution to use and stay abreast of all the constant changes in data security. With items like SSL, PGP, DLP, ciphertext, and many others, it can be challenging for even the most advanced IT personnel to properly implement and manage an effective encryption solution, especially when an open source solution is chosen that takes vast expertise to institute, with virtually zero support.

Don’t Let Complexity Prevent You from Focusing on Data Security

While data security and encryption can be complicated, this does not mean that you can afford to not address these critical issues. In 2016, The Denver Post reported that 60% of small companies went out of business within 6 months after suffering a cyber-attack. Large enterprises, with their wealth of information that is valuable to criminals, are at an even greater risk, at least in terms of raw dollars. For example, the financial institutions in the Ponemon study paid an average of over $7 million per breach, in terms of both the short-term costs of dealing with the incident, as well as long-term costs, such as the damage to their brand and the loss of customers.

Don’t let this be you. If you would like to learn more about encryption and how to keep your organization safe in today’s environment, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Prime Factors team today at 888-963-6358 or through our contact form for a free consultation.


To learn how encryption can lower the cost of regulatory compliance while enhancing security, download our white paper Reducing the Cost of Regulatory Compliance with Encryption.  

Topics: encryption, PCI Data Encryption, PCI Data Security Standards, encryption keys