Endpoint encryption solutions protect the data stored on an endpoint (i.e., a device connected to your network) by making it unreadable to anyone but a trusted, authorized user with the correct decryption key. Some endpoint encryption solutions protect individual files; others encrypt everything within the hard drive or disk on the endpoint. But both types of endpoint encryption solutions prevent cybercriminals from being able to read your company’s data. In the event that a company endpoint, such as a laptop, is successfully breached, if your data is encrypted, your data will be safe.
In order to do this, endpoint encryption solutions offer a comprehensive set of security features, including advanced encryption algorithms that are virtually impossible to crack, key management systems that help you store, organize, and recover decryption keys, and compatibility with a broad range of device types, so you can ensure all of your data is safe—no matter where it’s stored.
As well as providing an additional layer of protection should one of your business’ endpoints be compromised, endpoint encryption can help you prove compliance with auditing processes. Some solutions are designed to be compliant with specific data protection regulations such as HIPAA, which requires that patient information is encrypted when at rest (i.e., stored on a disk). This, in turn, can reduce your liability if you do experience a data breach. Thanks to all these factors, implementing encryption can greatly reduce the overall cost of a breach, both in terms of data loss and financial loss. A recent study found that comprehensive use of encryption reduces the average total cost of a breach by over $250,000.
In this article, we’ll explore the top endpoint encryption solutions for business. We’ll look at features such as encryption methods, key management, device compatibility, and user authentication. We’ll give you some background information on the provider and the key features of each solution, as well as the type of customer that they are most suitable for.
What Is Endpoint Encryption?
Encryption is the process of turning data into scrambled ciphertext that can only be read by an authorized user with the correct decryption key. The decryption key turns the ciphertext back into its original format; to anyone without the key, the data will be completely illegible, rendering it useless. This process keeps data secure, even if its accessed by an unauthorized third party.
Endpoint encryption is the process of encrypting data that is stored on your endpoints. By encrypting your endpoints, you ensure that a threat actor can’t access your company data, even if they manage to breach a user’s endpoint using malware.
Why Should You Encrypt Your Endpoints?
There are hundreds of methods that a cybercriminal could use to gain access to—or take control of—your users’ endpoints. Encryption keeps your data safe from the prying eyes of an attacker, even if they manage to tap into the device itself.
On top of that, using an endpoint encryption solution to encrypt your endpoints, and generate encryption reports, can help you prove compliance with data protection regulations that mandate data encryption. HIPAA, for example, requires that covered entities (healthcare organizations) encrypt patients’ Personal Health Information (PHI) at rest. It can also protect you against potential litigation in the event of a breach, and could even help lower premiums if you’re trying to obtain cybersecurity insurance.
So, long story short, endpoint encryption can protect your data, and it can save you money.
What Features Should You Look For In An Endpoint Encryption Solution?
No matter the size of your organization or the industry you’re operating in, there are a few key features that you should look for in any endpoint encryption solution:
- The solution should use a highly secure encryption method to secure your data. AES 256-bit encryption is widely accepted as the most secure encryption standard.
- The solution should offer a means of managing your encryption and decryption keys, including allowing you to recover a key if it’s lost or forgotten.
- The solution must be compatible with all the different types of endpoint connected to your network.
- The solution must be compatible with, and easily deployable within, your infrastructure—whether that’s on-premises or cloud-based.
- The solution should offer a central management console that your IT or security team can use to manage encryption processes, generate reports, and manage keys.
While these are the most important features to look for in an endpoint encryption solution, some solutions offer additional features such as a password strength indicator or file transfer encryption. It’s important that you consider and prioritize your organization’s needs before investigating solutions. We recommend trialling a solution, where possible, to make sure it’s the right one for you before you invest.