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The Case for “Encrypt Everything”

April 13th, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Visual concept of an internet connected laptop with server rack background doing virtually sophisticated data processing calculation.Within the IT industry, when considering data-at-rest (DAR) encryption, you may have noticed recently that security experts seem a little divided on how to leverage and apply this technology. Many experts have stated that only sensitive data should be encrypted. Others seem to be preaching a “new” gospel that all data-at-rest should be encrypted. Why this philosophical split and what, if anything, has taken us down this path? Does a right answer exist, and are there advantages to one strategy over another?

I will state up front as an initial thesis that, historically, obstacles around encryption have driven a lot of its present day conception and (lack of) acceptance, adoption and use within enterprises. If we take a quick look back in time as well take as a sampling of some uses of encryption today, I think it’s pretty easy to demonstrate that without these past obstacles, the intermediate and precautionary concept of “encrypt only sensitive data” would never have come into play and enterprises today would be encrypting all data-at-rest as standard operating procedure.

Historical Obstacles to Pervasive Encryption

Pervasive DAR encryption has always held at least conceptual appeal. As companies have faced escalating threats to their data in recent years, the idea of restricting data and information to only those parties with “need to know” status has quickly grown in time as an attractive option. But that attraction and appeal has in the past never been able to find realization due to the sizable obstacles surrounding DAR encryption.  Few realize that the dynamics around enterprise DAR encryption have changed such that these ambitions can now be very readily realized.

Taking an encrypt everything approach releases organizations to better and more quickly address expansion needs and develop and adopt efficient and cost-effective operational and scaling strategies while simultaneously and immediately addressing risk…

But before jumping too far ahead, let’s quickly review some of the main obstacles that have driven most companies to apprehension around DAR encryption: More »