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Data security has come a long way since the early days. For every move that we as cybersecurity professionals make, cybercriminals make a countermove. It’s a constant cat and mouse game that continues to push professionals to ensure data security.

As professionals, there are many steps we can take to make systems more secure. Our primary aim is to prevent a breach. Even though it takes six months on average to detect a breach, it makes sense to ensure that the data is as well-protected as possible.

That’s where encryption comes in. It’s vital to protect the systems from being breached in the first place. We must assume that any given system can be breached and preventative steps must be taken to limit the potential damage of a breach.

This means inventing better ways to encrypt the data. After all, if a hacker cannot translate stolen data into useable intel, it’s useless. This requires us to keep track of the latest developments and to understand the trends that might define the industry.

In this post, we’ll focus on encryption trends that we expect will emerge in the future.


Increase in Self-Encrypting Drives

We’ve already seen a trend towards the hardware-based encryption of drives. This is where the encryption is built into the device itself and operates entirely outside of the normal operating system. The encryption is not visible to the operating system and is impossible to bypass without the key.

This is a far simpler protection system than installing the software. That said, it shouldn’t be used to replace encryption software since computers with self-encrypting drives are still vulnerable to online attacks.

The aim is to prevent your data from being accessed manually from the device. If someone in the office tries to access your files without permission or if your computer is stolen, they won’t be able to read the files.

Self-encrypting drives offer great protection against simple workarounds like alternative boot methods and tampering with the computer’s memory.

Homomorphic Encryption to Become More Widespread

Presently, any information that is sent online or stored on a computer or drive is encrypted. While the data is encrypted, it’s reasonably safe. The problem arises when the data is decrypted to access it.

The data is more vulnerable when it’s decrypted, for example, information is transmitted in the decrypted form on a malware infected computer. One potential solution for such situation is homomorphic encryption. It allows you to perform basic functions such as querying data in the files without decrypting them.

Let’s say that you request data to see how many sick days Joe Bloggs took in 2016. With homomorphic encryption, you could find out without the data being decrypted first. All the information – from the initial query to the answer – will remain encrypted, and only you will be able to read it.

Moving Target Defense to Dissuade Hackers

One reason that our data is vulnerable is that both cybersecurity professionals and the bad guys use the same code. No matter how much security is kept, the hacker can find a way around it given enough time. Hackers do this by studying the system you’re using and crafting a workaround.

But coming up with a workaround becomes particularly difficult if a system changes regularly. Everything changes just as hackers think they’ve found a loophole. While this might be cumbersome for us, but the hackers will probably be dissuaded after wasting time to find a vulnerability to exploit.


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Don’t Discount the Value of Cold Storage

While cold storage is not the most convenient way to keep data secure, it is an excellent tactic. If the data is stored entirely offline on a storage device separate from your normal system, the hacker cannot access it.

Though, you’d still need to encrypt the data in cold storage and ensure that no unauthorized third-party can get to the storage device. Overall, this is an excellent way to store historical data that doesn’t need to be accessed often.

Wearable Devices and Password Generators Provide Robust Protection

There’s a risk that your password could be stolen if you use the same one every time you log in. We’ve already seen the use of devices that randomly generate a password, which then must be used in order to log in.

Why not do the same thing when it comes to encrypting information? This means that a paired device sends a randomly-generated password so you can access an encrypted file. This serves a dual purpose. To steal the information, a hacker would need to have both the paired device and the randomly generated password, which is often long and difficult to crack.

Quantum Cryptography to Become More Common

It is one of the fairly high-tech options and we can expect its rise soon. With quantum cryptography, information is transmitted on photons of light instead of being transmitted over a hard line.

Data transmitted this way is much more secure. However, the vulnerability lies in the potential interception of the photons. That won’t matter much, though, as the information can’t be copied.

Continued Use of Honey Encryption

This method of protecting valuables has been around since ancient times. It’s the classic bait and switch and is similar to having a false safe. You put a few valuables in there and make it secure enough to make a thief work to get to it. When they get through, they think they’ve found everything and move onto the next target.

With data, your approach would be similar. You build a clone system with varying levels of security. Except, in this case, the information you provide has been altered. It looks like the real deal, fooling the hacker into thinking they’ve hit the jackpot. What they’ve actually gotten, though, is nothing of value.

More Extensive Use of Blockchain Tech

Whether you are for or against it, there’s no denying that blockchain-tech provides robust protection against hackers. But it’s not completely invulnerable. We saw that in the DAO hack a few years ago.

But the hack was not due to vulnerabilities in the tech itself. That was a problem with the smart contract that was initially set up. Like all systems, security is only as good as the person designing it. Storing information on a blockchain-based private network could be an excellent way of keeping it secure.

Biometrics to Enter the Scene

It’s clear that passwords and security questions no longer provide adequate security. As a result, expect to see increased usage of biometric data to authenticate users. Depending on how tight security needs to be, you could install several layers of authentication.

Final Notes

By going through the above points, it is clear that the encryption and security in the future are going to be intense. For example, entering a user name and a randomly generated password followed by a face/retinal scan. So, if we say that the future looks more secure and promising, then it will not be new.

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About Nick Galov

nick-galovNick Galov, is a Hosting Expert and Content Manager at Nick is on a mission to improve the world of web hosting for some time now. When he gets the chance to contribute to the betterment of all kinds of software, he simply cannot say no, when not geeking it out, he enjoys lager and football.

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