Top Benefits of Encryption & How to Mitigate Associated Challenges

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Encrypting data is generally considered a standard security measure when dealing with sensitive information. Despite this, 83% of companies admit that they don’t encrypt all the sensitive data they hold. Choosing this while knowing encryption benefits isn’t usually a sign of neglect; it’s usually because the company decided that the challenges aren’t worth it.

“If your encryption solution is too much trouble to use, that doesn’t mean encryption itself is the problem. Instead, you may have just picked the wrong encryption method for your needs.”Charles Bender, CEO, Attentus Technologies

The trouble of decrypting data may be inconvenient. There is also the risk of someone losing access to information they need for work. However, there are ways to mitigate these challenges while continuing to encrypt data as you should.

This article is here to show you how. We’ll take a look at how encryption works, its different types, its advantages and disadvantages, and how to mitigate common challenges.



How Data Encryption Works

Data encryption transforms readable data into a coded format only authorized users can decode and read. This process involves two main steps: encrypting (or scrambling) the data and then decrypting it, which turns it back into its original form.

A specific algorithm (key) changes the data into a secure format. The key’s complexity determines how hard it is for unwanted parties to break the code. When you send encrypted data, the recipient uses a matching key to decrypt the message. If they don’t have the right key, they see gibberish instead of the information.

Types of Encryption

While the process is relatively simple, there are a few different ways encryption algorithms can work. Selecting the right encryption technologies for your specific needs will help you mitigate most of the common challenges before you even start.

If you aren’t sure which to pick, here’s a quick rundown.


Encryption Type How It Works Ideal Use Case
Symmetric Encryption Uses the same key for encryption and decryption. Fast and efficient for large volumes of data within a secure environment.
Asymmetric Encryption Utilizes a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption. Suitable for secure communication over unsecured networks, like the internet.
Hash Functions Converts data into a fixed-size string of characters called a hash. Not reversible. Ideal for verifying data integrity and authenticating information without revealing the original data.
TLS (Transport Layer Security) Secures communications over a computer network through encryption. Protecting data in transit, especially for web applications and email.
AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) Symmetric key algorithm that encrypts fixed block sizes of data. Widely used for securing sensitive but unclassified material by government agencies and businesses.
RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) An asymmetric cryptographic algorithm that uses two keys: one for encryption and one for decryption. Commonly used for secure data transmission, like sending encrypted emails or for digital signatures.
Blockchain Encryption Uses decentralized encryption techniques to secure transactions. Ensuring the security and integrity of cryptocurrency transactions and smart contracts.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Data Encryption


Enhanced Security Posture

One notable analysis of data breaches discovered that only 1% of victims encrypted the compromised data. That shows just how much encryption can block without you even realizing it. The reason why it works so well is that even if hackers manage to access your data, they won’t be able to use it, as they need the specific key to decode it.

Privacy Protection

Encryption is key to maintaining privacy. By encrypting messages, emails, and files, you ensure that only the intended recipients can view your information. This protects it from being seen by individuals or entities who shouldn’t know what the information says.

Regulatory Compliance

Many industries have regulations requiring the protection of sensitive data. Encryption helps businesses comply with these laws by securing customer and client information. Failing to encrypt data can result in heavy fines and legal penalties if your compliance standards require it.

Data Integrity

Encryption also verifies that the information sent is the same as the information received. This is because it prevents data from being altered during transmission, protecting against tampering, and ensuring the authenticity of the information.


Performance Impact

Encrypting and decrypting data requires processing power, which can slow down systems, especially if they’re older or not equipped to handle encryption tasks efficiently. This means that while your data is more secure, you might experience a decrease in system performance.

Complexity in Management

Managing encryption keys requires a good security infrastructure and policies. If keys are lost or mishandled, accessing the encrypted data can become impossible, or the decryption key could fall into the wrong hands. This complexity in key management requires dedicated resources and planning.


Implementing encryption technology and managing it can be costly. Businesses need to invest in software, hardware, and training for their staff to handle encrypted data properly. For small businesses, these costs can be significant, making encryption a challenging security measure to implement despite its benefits.

Potential For False Security

Relying solely on encryption can lead to a false sense of security. If encryption is not implemented correctly or if the encryption method is outdated, it can leave data vulnerable. Additionally, encrypted data is not immune to all types of cyber attacks. Although only 1% of data breach victims encrypt their data, it’s important to remember that 1% isn’t 0.


Discover More Ways to Protect Your Sensitive Data


How to Leverage The Advantages of Encryption Without The Challenges

Optimize System Performance

To mitigate the performance impact of encryption, choose encryption algorithms that balance security with efficiency. Implement hardware that is designed to handle encryption tasks, such as dedicated encryption processors. This approach ensures your data remains secure without significantly slowing down your systems.

Simplify Encryption Key Management

Utilize centralized key management solutions to reduce the complexity of managing encryption keys. These systems help organize and store keys securely, making it easier to control access and recover keys when needed.

Leverage Cost-Effective Encryption Solutions

Explore open-source encryption tools that offer robust security features at a lower cost. Many of these solutions provide the same level of data protection as their commercial counterparts. Additionally, consider using cloud-based encryption services, which can reduce the need for expensive hardware and maintenance.

Implement Multi-Layered Security Measures

Incorporate encryption as part of a multi-layered security strategy. This includes using firewalls, antivirus software, and access controls alongside encryption. Regularly update and audit your security practices to ensure they are effective against the latest threats.

Regularly Update Encryption Methods

Stay informed about the latest developments in encryption technology and update your encryption methods accordingly. Older encryption algorithms can become vulnerable over time as new hacking techniques emerge.


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Fully Reap The Benefits of Encryption & So Much More With Strategic Data Security Guidance

In our opinion, everyone should encrypt all data at rest and in-transit. Although encryption comes with challenges, these challenges are very easy to overcome. It’s one of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect your data.

If you seek guidance on implementing encryption effectively, ask IT consultants from Attentus Technologies. Our team has in-depth knowledge of small business practices and cybersecurity measures. We can help you choose the best encryption method for your specific needs.

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