When a client or co-worker asks you for a file, do you ever just quickly upload the file, unencrypted, through an unapproved file transfer platform? While it might seem like you’re not taking a huge risk, a data breach involving the file you transferred is always a possibility. You can’t predict when data will be hijacked or file transfer services will be hacked.
If the data you’re transferring would cause harm by falling into the wrong hands, you can’t afford to send files unencrypted for any reason. Encryption is the key to preventing that data breach you don’t think you have to worry about.
When you’re moving your files to the cloud, it’s especially important to pay attention to data security. For example, you want to use a secure cloud migration platform, like Box Shuttle, to transfer your data securely. Not only can you encrypt your files with Box Shuttle, but you’ll also maintain important data like permissions, meta data, and version history.
If you’re not encrypting your files for every data transfer, including your cloud migration, here are five reasons to start.
- Unencrypted data will likely be used for criminal purposes
When hackers steal files, they’re looking for information they can use to commit crimes like identity theft and credit card fraud. Unencrypted data is an easy target for hackers. However, if your files get stolen but can’t be read, your data will be useless to cybercriminals.
Encrypting your files makes it impossible for anyone to read the contents without having a special decryption key. When your sensitive files are encrypted, you don’t have to worry about data theft. Unless your decryption key is stored alongside your data, which it should not be, you won’t have anything to worry about.
Since you can’t prevent or predict when data will get stolen, encryption offers the highest form of data protection.
- Data privacy violation penalties are gigantic
Have you seen the fines some companies have been forced to pay after a data breach? Some of the highest data breach fines through 2014 were paid by Apple ($32.5M), Google (multiple incidents totaling more than $200M), and Hewlett-Packard ($14.5M).
From 2015 to the present, hundreds of millions of dollars in fines have been dished out to additional companies for violating data privacy laws.
These fines aren’t small potatoes; they are huge. If you want to avoid going bankrupt, you can’t risk storing unencrypted data anywhere.
The problem with data privacy violations is they happen all the time, but you only get fined when you get caught or when you report an incident. However, it’s always a bad idea (and usually illegal) to hide an incident. Eventually, you will get caught.
- You can’t control what happens to your unencrypted data
Do you know how many cloud server employees have access to your data on the server side? No matter how many precautions you take to limit employee and client access, you still can’t control what happens to your data when it’s on a cloud server.
To be safe, you have to take 100% responsibility for protecting your data. Since you can’t control what your cloud server’s employees do with your data, your only option is to encrypt everything you store in the cloud.
- A disgruntled employee might retain access to your business’ cloud account
Imagine firing a troublesome employee and forgetting to terminate their access to your cloud server account. You may have taken back their company laptop, but if they remember their username and password, they could start downloading company files intending to use them for nefarious purposes.
If your data is encrypted on your cloud server, your former employee won’t be able to decrypt the stolen data without access to your company’s decryption key. Hopefully, decryption keys and software are never installed on personal devices.
- Transferring files over HTTP is unsecure
You don’t only have to worry about data being hacked and stolen. You also need to worry about data being stolen in transit while using unsecured HTTP. Security experts from Kaspersky Labs say that data can be intercepted in several ways:
- Unprotected Wi-Fi
- Your ISP can intercept your data
- Hackers can intercept your data through malware installed on your router
Since there are so many ways data can be intercepted and stolen, it makes sense to encrypt data before uploading it to any cloud server.
Make end-to-end encryption your priority
Encryption should be a priority. However, only end-to-end encryption is truly secure. Since data can be stolen in transit and at rest, end-to-end encryption is the best way to prevent consequences in the unfortunate event that your data gets stolen.