Encryption Now 5th Most Used Data Protection Technique.

According to a new report, encryption is now the fifth most used protection technique, with nearly half of businesses in the world employing it.  We at AlertBoot can attest that the use of disk encryption is very popular, but this could be the effect of having a solution that is completely web-based and on-demand, meaning our clients can encrypt as many (or as little) laptops as they require.

Only One-Third of Specialists Use It

The report by B2B International notes that there was a sharp increase in the use of encryption when compared to a similar survey last year.  And yet, that sharp rise is less impressive than it seems:

Only one-third of specialists (36%) use full disk encryption (also known as encryption of information arrays) and less than half of those specialists (44%) actually protect critical information. Data encryption on external devices, e.g. USB drives, is used by 32%.”[infosecurity-magazine.com]

With figures like these, it’s no wonder that businesses, agencies, and organization are experiencing data breaches that are entirely preventable.  Can one expect non-technical people to employ encryption software [http://www.alertboot.com/disk_encryption/full_disk_encryption.aspx ; full disk encryption software ] and other data security tools at a significant level (say, more than 75% of users) when those who definitely know better don’t use it?  Just to clarify things, it’s not the encryption of data on exotic equipment we’re talking about here: the survey found that only 32% of specialists used data encryption on external devices.

At the same time, data loss incidents increased from 30% to 35% in the same period.

Security and ROI

What could be discouraging the use of encryption?  Perhaps the following observation from the report could shed some light.

According to the research, preventing IT security breaches is the top concern for IT professionals (31% of respondents). This is followed by data protection (27%) and, oddly enough, ensuring IT systems are used fully to maximize IT infrastructure ROI (23%).

ROI.  Plunking down coin for security cannot provide an ROI (it stands for “return on investment,” and let me tell you, security is not an investment; it’s an expenditure).  However, we get the message loud and clear: security is expensive.

There are ways to cut down on those costs, however.  For example, let’s say your organization requires the protection of 73 laptops.  The device count is high enough that the organization would benefit from central management to coordinate the deployment and installation.  Benefits would also include the creation of reports when running an audit as part of a compliance follow-up.  On the other hand, such a centrally managed solution would probably require that licenses for enduser encryption be purchased in blocks, with 100 licenses being the minimum.

The organization is essentially paying at 25% premium seeing how they only need 73 licenses.  This “premium” could be eliminated by hiring 27 more people, I guess, but that’s definitely not the answer to this particular conundrum.  The right way to handle this: only get 73 licenses that are necessary.

AlertBoot uses a Software as a Service (Saas) model, so if the above organization only needs 73 licenses, that’s what they pay for.  Additionally, hidden costs like extra hardware (management servers), extra software (to go with the servers), loss of IT department human resources (someone has to mind all those extra servers), and dealing with password resets and whatnot are eliminated as well.

Encryption can be expensive, but it shouldn’t be more expensive than necessary.

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