Companies can reduce the likelihood of a data breach, and thus reduce the risk of fines in the future under the General Data Protection Act (GDPR), if they choose to use encryption for data protection.
The processing of personal data is naturally associated with a certain degree of risk. Especially nowadays, where cyber attacks are almost inevitable for companies.
In general, encryption refers to the procedure that converts unencrypted text, also known as clear text, into information that is unreadable, in a form of interpretation using a key, where the output information only becomes readable again using the correct key.
This minimizes the risk of an incident during data processing, as the encrypted content is basically unreadable to third parties who do not have the correct key.
Encryption is the best way to protect data during transfer and is a way to protect stored personal data. It also reduces the risk of abuse within a company, as access is limited to only authorized people with the right key.
Encryption for data protection and the GDPR: what you should know
In today’s age of computers, encryption is often associated with the process where an ordinary plain text is converted into cipher text, which is the text made in such a way that the intended recipient of the text can only decode it and hence this process is known as cryptography.
The process of converting ciphertext into plaintext is known as decryption.
The main uses of encryption are as follows:
- Confidentiality: the information can only be accessed by the person for whom it is intended and no other person except them can access it;
- Digital Signature: In which information is signed so that the sender of the information can be identified, with integrity and non-repudiation.
- Integrity: the information cannot be modified in storage or in the transition between the sender and the intended recipient without any addition to the information being detected;
- Authentication: the identities of the sender and recipient are confirmed. As well as the destination/source of the information is confirmed.
Types of encryption for data protection:
In general, there are three types of encryption for data protection:
- Symmetric key cryptography
It is an encryption system where the sender and receiver of the message use a single common key to encrypt and decrypt messages.
Symmetric key systems are faster and simpler, but the problem is that the sender and recipient need to somehow exchange the key in a secure way.
The most popular symmetric key cryptosystem is the Data Encryption System (DES) and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Advanced Encryption Standard (AES);
- Hash functions
There is no use of any key in this algorithm. A fixed-length hash value is calculated according to the plaintext, which makes it impossible for the content of the plaintext to be retrieved. Many operating systems use hash functions to encrypt passwords;
- Asymmetric key cryptography
In this system, a key pair is used to encrypt and decrypt information. A public key is used to encrypt and a private key is used to decrypt.
The public key and the private key are different. Even if the public key is known to everyone, the intended receiver can only decrypt it because only he knows the private key.
To maintain confidentiality in the storage and transit of data
Encryption allows data to be stored encrypted, allowing users to stay away from attacks by hackers.
Reliability of transmission
A conventional approach that enables reliability is to perform encryption of the transmission channel, either symmetric or asymmetric or even a combination of the two encryptions.
If you use symmetric cryptography, you need a key to encrypt the information, then you need to find some way to exchange the key, which turns out to be a problem to be solved, which is the exchange of keys in a secure way.
It is worth remembering that this method performs well.
Another way is to use asymmetric cryptography, in which the recipient’s public key can be used so that the message can be opened only by the recipient who has the corresponding key, the private key.
The problem with this type of use is performance.
For authenticity, which aims to know if the sender of the message is himself, makes use of PKI, (Public Key Infrastructure).
This is done by encrypting the message with the sender’s private key, just as anyone can have their corresponding public key, it can be verified that the message was generated by the appropriate sender.
Why is encryption for data protection crucial for GDPR compliance?
While there are no explicit data protection encryption requirements in the General Data Protection Act (GDPR), the new legislation requires you to apply security measures and safeguards.
The LGPD highlights the need to use appropriate technical and organizational measures for personal data security.
Because encryption for data protection makes information unreadable and unusable to people without a valid cryptographic key,encryption strategies for data protection can be extremely beneficial to your company in the event of a data breach and the requirements under the GDPR.
Remember the LGPD requirement to notify customers affected by a security incident?
By encrypting your data, you reduce the chance of fulfilling this obligation due to cyber attack issues or other types of problems.
No information is technically “breached” if the data is unintelligible to the attacker.
How to choose the most appropriate way to ensure data security?
The Thales CipherTrust Data Security platform guarantees the entire structure and integrity of your company’s data, and the format of the fields in the database, whatever it may be: Oracle, SQL, MySQL, DB2, PostGrid, you name it.
Simple, comprehensive and effective, Cipher Trust provides capabilities to secure and control access to databases, files and containers – and can protect assets located in cloud, virtual, big data and physical environments.
With CipherTrust, you can protect your company’s data and anonymize your sensitive assets, ensuring security for your company and avoiding future problems with data leakage.
EVAL has been developing projects in the financial, health, education and industry segments for over 18 years. Since 2004, we have offered Authentication, Electronic and Digital Signature and Data Protection solutions. Currently, we are present in the main Brazilian banks, health institutions, schools and universities, and different industries.
With value recognized by the market, EVAL’s solutions and services meet the highest regulatory standards of public and private organizations, such as SBIS, ITI, PCI DSS, and LGPD. In practice, we promote information security and compliance, increase companies’ operational efficiency, and reduce costs.
Innovate now, lead always: get to know Eval’s solutions and services and take your company to the next level.
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