Choosing the Right Third-Party Encryption Product for Your Security Needs
When it comes to the security and protection of sensitive data, you might think that standard, out-of-the-box encryption is all you need. But you’d be wrong! In reality, encryption comes in many varieties based on methodology, strength, and security. That’s why choosing the solution that works best for your needs is one of the most important business critical choices you can make to protect your data, your customers’ information and your company’s reputation.
At its core, encryption uses an algorithm that transforms readable data into an incomprehensible hashed form, adding multiple layers of security. If you need a quick refresher on the basics of how encryption works, or even if you need an introduction to encryption in the first place, check out our free resource: Beginner’s Guide to Encryption to get you started!
Although the encryption features available natively within your systems may be minimally sufficient to safeguard your data, third-party encryption products may be necessary for databases with limited encryption capabilities or for legacy databases and applications that have no encryption or data security capability at all. With countless commercial encryption solutions available, choosing the best fit can be a challenge. So how can you find the one that’s right for you? Read below as we take you on a deeper dive and outline some helpful guidelines to consider when making your decision.
Consider Your Encryption Needs
When choosing a third-party encryption solution, it’s essential to consider your specific data protection needs. Ask yourself questions like: What type of data are you storing or transmitting? What level of security do you require? The answers to these questions will help to narrow down additional requirements you may need to examine when choosing the right third-party encryption solution. For example, if you are storing credit card information, you must ensure that your encryption solution meets PCI-DSS compliance standards.
It is important to consider the various forms of digital security required when selecting a third-party encryption solution. These forms of digital security include:
- Network Security involves securing computer networks and the devices connected to them to prevent unauthorized access, hacking and other cyber threats. Network Security is the wall around your data systems.
- Information Security encompasses identifying and protecting sensitive information, such as personal data, health data, financial information, and intellectual property.
- Application Security involves securing hardware, web and mobile applications. These applications, local and distributed, are the method for users to report or interact with sensitive data.
- Operational Security makes sure that operational procedures and protocols are in place to prevent and mitigate security incidents, and should include creation and maintenance of disaster recovery plans, incident response plans, and business continuity plans.
- Compliance Security ensures that an organization complies with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards that relate to security. These regulations often depend on the industry of your business but some common examples include HIPAA, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
Data encryption is a crucial part of each of these aspects of digital security. Encryption of data-at-rest renders the data useless if it ends up in the wrong hands. You can use encryption as part of your application security strategy to make sure it is protected while in use. Encryption is part of virtually every privacy and security law and regulation. By having good encryption solutions in place you can ensure that you meet these standards and regulations without much additional effort and therefore avoid putting your company at risk of non-compliance.
Presenting a particular challenge is the protection of data in legacy systems. There are still many businesses, large and small, that have older legacy systems and users that rely on them. When these systems can no longer receive critical patches and updates for the latest threats, they become extremely vulnerable and require a much higher level of monitoring and protection. Therefore, when looking at encryption solutions, it’s important to ensure that the product you choose is compatible with legacy systems, and that you understand the importance of extra monitoring to avoid falling prey to data breaches.
Each company has varying requirements and needs for encryption solutions, so it is important to keep these different security types in mind. Implementing encryption solutions in-house can be an expensive proposition – to find the skills and the time to design, build and implement your own solution. This is why third-party encryption tools can be the right way for you to reduce the time and expense to implement a solution.
Look for a Reputable Vendor
When narrowing the list of potential vendors for security products, research the vendor’s history, reputation, experience, and track record with security. Look for industry-standard certifications and partnerships with other reputable companies or organizations. Transparency about security practices and excellent customer support can also be good indications of a trustworthy vendor. By taking the time to evaluate potential vendors, you can select one that provides effective security solutions for your needs. Once you have narrowed your choice of reputable vendors, compare the features in detail to assess the solution that meets your encryption needs and provides the necessary level of security for your sensitive data.
Evaluate the Product’s Features
When selecting a third-party encryption product, it’s imperative to evaluate the different features each solution provides to determine if they align with your security needs. Here are some essential features to look for:
- Key Management: Encryption keys denote the passphrase, algorithm, and complexity of the cipher used to encrypt your data. They are literally the keys to access your data. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that your encryption keys remain secure and stored separately from encrypted data. With a strong key management system, the contents of your keys will be secured and stored separately in a remote vault, vastly limiting the likelihood of data breaches.
- Compatibility: Compatibility of third-party encryption products with your applications, systems and devices ensures that encrypted data can be shared and accessed across your environment and software programs. Without compatibility, the encrypted data may only be accessible on specific devices or using specific software, limiting the usability and effectiveness of the encryption.
- Usability: Consider the use of the system or application and how it can benefit your business. This can be anything from word processing software to password managers. You are looking for a tool that is transparent to users, and non-disruptive to the workflow and their experience.
- Scalability: As your systems grow, you have to ensure that you have a product that can scale and handle the increased amount of traffic and activity without the risk of crashing or slowing down. A scalable encryption solution can adapt to changing business needs and expansion.
- Portability: With the advent of remote work in recent years, employees need to access sensitive company data from different locations securely. Ensure that the encryption solution you choose is portable and can be used across multiple devices and locations if the application requires it.
By evaluating the different features that each encryption solution provides, you can select one that meets your business’s specific security needs. Keep in mind that not all features are necessary for every business, so you should evaluate which features are most important for your organization.
Check for Support and Updates
Selecting a third-party encryption product with adequate support and maintenance is indispensable to keep up with the ever-evolving tactics of cyber attackers. Look for a vendor that has a clear support system in place that can help you resolve any issues or concerns you may have with the product. This may include technical support, customer service, or online documentation.
In addition, check if the vendor has a track record of providing regular updates to the product to ensure it stays up-to-date with the latest security threats. Updates should include bug fixes, performance improvements, and security patches that address vulnerabilities and ensure the product’s continued effectiveness in protecting your sensitive data.
Assess the Product’s Cost
While cost is an important factor to consider when evaluating a third-party encryption tool, it should not be the only factor. You should balance cost with security needs and features to ensure you are getting the best value for your investment. Some products may come with a significant upfront cost, while others may require ongoing fees. Some may be inexpensive to license, but implementation costs could be high in terms of labor, consulting fees and time. It’s important to balance cost with security needs to ensure you’re getting the best value for your investment.
NetLib Security’s Encryptionizer is a cost-effective, flexible solution that is easy to use and can meet your most critical data protection and compliance needs. Encryptionizer protects data contents on any Window-based Database Management System, including but not limited to: Oracle, DB2, and PostgreSQL. NetLib Security also offers tailored data protection solutions for Microsoft SQL Server, SQL Express, MySQL, and Web Servers. NetLib Security’s transparent encryption solution requires no additional programming and has virtually no impact on performance. It can be installed on systems, or embedded into applications for OEMs, ISVs, and other distributed software. Click here to learn more about NetLib’s Encryptionizer.
Selecting the right third-party encryption product requires careful consideration of your encryption needs, the vendor’s reputation, the product’s features, the support and updates provided, and the cost and resources to acquire and implement. Following these guidelines will help you choose a product that meets your security requirements and safeguards your sensitive data effectively.
About NetLib Security
NetLib Security has spent the past 20+ years developing a powerful, patented solution that starts by setting up a formidable offense for every environment where your data resides: physical, virtual and cloud. Our platform simplifies the process while ensuring high levels of security.
Simplify your data security needs. Encryptionizer is easy to deploy. It is a cost-effective way to proactively and transparently protect your sensitive data that allows you to quickly and confidently meet your security requirements. With budget considerations in mind, we have designed an affordable data security platform that protects, manages, and defends your data, while responding to the ever changing compliance requirements.
Data breaches are expensive. Security does not have to be.
NetLib Security works with government agencies, healthcare organizations, small to large enterprises, financial services, credit card processors, distributors, and resellers to provide a flexible data security solution that meets their evolving needs. To learn more or request a free evaluation visit us at www.netlibsecurity.com.