If you work in business, you are familiar with cybersecurity rules and regulations. Unfortunately, cyberattacks are occurring at an astonishing rate and have become a significant challenge for businesses of all industries, sizes and geographies.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, more than 2,000 cyber-attacks take place worldwide every day (opens in new tab) — that’s an incident every 39 seconds — and these attacks have major consequences. Estimates suggest that by 2025, global cybercrime costs $10.5 trillion annually (opens in new tab)not to mention the personal security risks and reputational damage that can result from a hack.
With such high stakes, there is no doubt that cybersecurity should be at the top of every organization’s agenda. There are many different solutions and approaches, but regardless of tactics, encryption should be at the center of any cybersecurity strategy. Encryption technology converts sensitive data into code that only the intended recipient can decipher, facilitating the secure transfer and access of important information. Let’s take a look at some of the most important encryption-based offerings that businesses can use to protect against malicious and costly attacks.
SSL certificates (opens in new tab) play a vital role in securing websites for businesses of all sizes. By installing SSL server certificates on a website, companies can enable the Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), a standard solution used to ensure online transaction security. TLS ensures that a user’s session on a website remains fully encrypted and that all data exchanged between the user and the website is kept secure. This is evidenced by a padlock icon displayed in the browser bar. SSL certificates also provide server authentication, which allows the user to verify the authenticity of a particular site.
There are three categories of SSL certificates: Extended Validation (EV), Organization Validation (OV), and Domain Validation (DV), all of which provide the same level of encryption but with different approaches to checking and verification. In addition to these categories, there are also several types of SSL Certificates available, including Single Domain, SAN and Wildcard. Which one you use depends on the number of domains and subdomains you want to protect with the certificate.
When considering an SSL certificate provider, it is important to choose one with experience implementing all categories and types of certificates, as well as the knowledge to help you choose the best option to protect your business . For more flexibility, look for a security partner that allows customers to request and issue their own certificates with a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). This can help speed up processes and reduce reliance on remote teams to deploy new certificates. Some providers also offer services that automatically deliver certificates – another plus to increase efficiency.
Encryption also plays an invaluable role in email communication. Business emails are a common entry point for cybercriminals and a source of costly attacks. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as of December 2021, global attacks on business email had resulted in more than $43 billion in losses (opens in new tab).
Ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of all business emails has never been more important and getting S/MIME certificates is a critical step in keeping communications secure. S/MIME certificates provide strong protection against email hacks with end-to-end encryption and a digital signature. They ensure that email material is accessible only to the intended recipient and enable that recipient to easily confirm the identity of the sender.
When selecting an email security solution, consider vendors with business S/MIME certificate options that can configure the technical signing method for a company’s specific regulatory framework, as well as other specific needs. The ability to customize the solution in this way can facilitate adoption. If you want to test the effectiveness of S/MIME certificates on your personal email, look for a vendor that offers free options for this use.
Code Signing Certificates (opens in new tab), which are essential in protecting against malicious malware attacks, are a third tool that all companies should have in their cybersecurity arsenal. These certificates allow users to place a digital signature on a wide variety of software or application components to confirm their origin, guarantee authorship, and ensure that the code has not been modified. Code Signing Certificates tie the identity of an IT organization to a private key used by the developer or distributor to sign the code, as well as a public key that allows the end user to verify the identity of the signing party, guaranteeing the software is reliable.
These certificates can provide valuable protection against potentially crippling malware attacks, but there are a few best practices to consider to ensure they are used effectively. First, limit the number of staff who can access the machines used for the code signing process. The fewer people who have access to the private keys, the less chance of errors or misuse that could compromise security. Closely monitor all code signing operations to prevent the signing of unapproved or malicious code, and store the keys with security-compliant tools to reduce the possibility of attacks. It is also recommended to scan for viruses before signing any code and to add a timestamp to the signed code. Finally, don’t sign all software with the same certificate and make sure you change the keys regularly.
There is no doubt that cyber-attacks have become a constant threat to today’s businesses. Fortunately, encryption technology exists to help organizations protect themselves in today’s hostile cyber environment. By using encryption and implementing critical security solutions and measures, companies can thwart malicious attackers and protect them from malicious hacks. Encryption may be just one piece of the puzzle, but its applications extend far into the security space, making it central to any cybersecurity strategy.
You increase the security of your organization with Actalis certificates – for more information, click here (opens in new tab).