Most businesses that have a web presence don’t think about encryption unless they accept credit card payments online. For that matter, it’s likely that most business owners don’t know what website encryption is or why it matters.
But it does matter, which is why all websites that Studio 305 hosts will be encrypted by default. It doesn’t matter how small your business is, or what product or service you sell, encryption is essential to the security of your company.
Keep reading to learn what website encryption is and why why your website should be using it.
What is encryption?
Encryption is the best way to maintain internet security. It involves assigning a special, unique key or password that is required to gain access to the encrypted files. Encrypted files contain cipher text, unencrypted data contains plaintext.
So, encryption is essentially the process though which plaintext is converted to cipher text using algorithms that are actually based on ancient Egyptian scribe. What it means for you as a small business owner is that you, or someone you designate, will be given a special key.
Without that key, no one can see your accounting files, your employee files, your correspondence, nothing. Not hackers, not viruses, only who you want to be able to access those files can see them.
Why would anyone hack my small business?
Cyber attacks by hackers are constantly on the rise. It is a very real threat, however, the risk of getting your financial records hacked by some stranger is fairly small in comparison to other risks that encryption helps you avoid.
People make mistakes. And if your files are unencrypted, those innocent mistakes can cost you. An employee could find a random USB drive outside of the office, then plug it into a company computer to see what was on it. It seemed to be empty, so the employee tossed it and thought nothing more of it. Days later, the company’s network was repeatedly being attacked by someone who planted that USB drive with malware on it outside of that business.
Simple, innocent human curiosity can lead to devastating impacts on a company. If your files are encrypted, you don’t have to worry about a click on the wrong email or the use of a strange flash drive costing you your business.
Cloud computing has many advantages. It allows you to store much more data remotely than you could afford to if you had to build and maintain your own server centers. That convenience doesn’t come without risks, however.
When you are saving your important data files to a cloud server, it travels from your business, through the internet, to a remote data storage facility maintained by an outside company.
In theory, anyone with an internet connection and the know how can access your files, whether a hacker or an employee of that cloud server company who thinks he or she can sell some files for extra cash.
If your valuable files are encrypted, then they get scrambled, so to speak, between the browser and the server. Only someone with the right key can access those files, whether from the browser or the server end.
Here are a few helpful hints and reasons to always encrypt your files.
- Always look for “https” in the URL. The “s” indicates that it is a secure site.
- Never keep your encryption key where you store your data, or send the key via email.
- Remember, data thieves often can’t tell what is valuable information and what isn’t until after they access it. It can be difficult to interpret the files until they can read them, so they may wreck your system just seeing if there is anything worth taking, much like a house burglar.
- Don’t risk your business because you think “it won’t happen to me.” It is difficult and time consuming to stay on top of where a cyber security risk might be coming from. No matter the size of your business, if you have a website, you are at risk, whether from thieves or just a simple human error.
Both Apple and Google have petitioned the US government to not build back doors to allow access, even by those companies to their customers, and to pass legislation requiring encryption. The companies at the forefront of the digital revolution recognize the importance of encryption as the most effective basic security tool, and you should too.
Hire a web design firm that automatically encrypts everything. The cost is well worth the security of your company, and you can have peace of mind, knowing that your business, your money, and your employees are safe. No matter where a threat comes from, you can handle it. Encryption is an easy step to protecting your investment, don’t overlook it.