When it comes to protecting the data related to your business, encryption in motion is crucial. Encryption hides the information stored within files. While encryption in motion focuses on data that are moving, encryption at rest focuses on stored data. Many of the best practices for encryption in motion overlap with those for encryption at rest. However, there are a few key differences.
Best Practices for Encryption In Motion
Understand the Risks for Data in Motion
To make the most of your encryption in motion policies, you must understand why data in motion is at risk. As soon as the data leaves its origin, such as your network, you will not have any control over it. A cybercriminal could intercept the data and then have access to it or even use it to inject controls that override your system.
In addition to potential issues with malicious intent, there is also the risk of human error causing data in motion to be sent to the wrong destination, which could be serious depending on the data in question. Encryption can minimize both issues by preventing unauthorized access to the data.
Categorize All Data and Identity Vulnerabilities
Develop your company’s cybersecurity policies to include systematic categorization of all data, regardless of where it is and whether it is in motion. This should occur automatically and without fail, as it lets you ensure that sensitive data is identified immediately, so you can take the appropriate security measures. By identifying types of data, you will be better able to apply the right protection strategies.
In addition to identifying the data that is at risk, you should work to set priorities in terms of which assets are the most critical or vulnerable to attacks. Use that information to guide the policy you create, ensuring that the most vulnerable and critical types of data in motion have the highest levels of protection.
Develop the Proper Security Framework
Many of the unintentional actions leading to data risks are due to unclear policies related to data security. You can overcome this by setting up a clear security framework for encryption in motion, ideally with a multilayer plan. Encryption in motion of an end-to-end nature is just one component. It should also include automation of the file-based tasks, strong authentication, management of rules and policies, tamper-evident audit trails, monitoring of all file transfers, and the automation of creating and distributing reports.
Create Robust Network Security Controls
When you set up your business’s network, be sure to include robust network security controls, as these will help protect data in motion. Some examples of these security practices can include network access controls and firewalls, which will secure your network against malware attacks and protect data.
Choose Encryption with the Right Configurations
As you decide which encryption solution to use for your data in motion, ensure you select one that lets you configure the controls. For example, you want the option of user prompting for sensitive data that is in transit, as well as automatic encryption or blocking. This would apply to cases when sensitive data is in motion, such as going to cloud storage, in an email message, being transferred, or put on a removable drive.
Require Multi-factor Authentication
It should go without saying that a crucial best practice for encryption in motion is requiring two-factor authentication since this is a key part of any cybersecurity policy. With multi-factor authentication, users need to confirm their identities with more than just a password before logging in. Multifactor authentication only adds a few seconds to the processing of logging in yet makes a dramatic difference in terms of security. There is no longer a risk of a hacker gaining access and decrypting files after they discover someone’s password, as they would also need the device used for multifactor authentication.
Use SST/TLS Protocols
One of the most important pieces of encryption in motion for your business is the use of SSL/TLS protocols. These are the typical recommendation fromany expert and allow for the encryption of data exchanged across various locations. At the very least, you want to have SSL and TLS protocols in place for your business’s network, although additional policies are always better.
Consider a Virtual Private Network
Do not create your encryption in motion policies without considering access to the network from a remote location. In today’s connected world, few companies work entirely on-site. Unless you are one of those rare ones that do, you need to have a VPN in place. These virtual private networks let you securely connect to the on-site network or cloud infrastructure from a different location. With a virtual private network, you do not have to worry about encryption in motion, even when working from your home network instead of the secure business one.
Restrict Methods of Transferring Data
It makes sense that restricting the methods that can be used to transfer data should assist with encryption in motion. After all, you will then have to account for fewer situations, resulting in the need for a less robust policy. When considering which data transfer methods to allow, consider the level of security associated with each since some are inherently less secure.
Generally speaking, cloud-based apps, like Google Drive and Dropbox, are convenient but have some security flaws since those who use them can completely bypass the procurement and IT departments. They might not meet your corporation’s standards for encryption or data protection, especially if not used properly. It is better to just prevent the use of these cloud-based sharing methods and focus on a secure cloud solution instead. Select a cloud storage and sharing provider with encryption in place and other security measures, then require employees to use that.
Keep the Encryption Keys Safe
As with any encryption policy, you must ensure that the encryption keys are safe. Otherwise, cybercriminals could access the keys and decrypt the data with ease, undoing all your efforts to creating a strong policy. The keys should be stored centrally but in an area that is separate from the data.