In today’s digital world, data is big business. Almost everything about us – from our home address and credit card details to our location, likes and dislikes – is collected, collated and stored in ones and zeros. It’s the lifeblood of modern economies and the businesses that operate within them.
While this digital transformation has brought countless advantages to organisations and consumers alike, it has also attracted the unwanted attention of cyber criminals who wish to commandeer this data and exploit it for their own gain. Such is the extent of this criminality that almost 10 billion records have been lost or stolen since 2013. In fact, over 10,000 records will have been stolen in the time it takes you to read this article.
We can all agree that this is a concerning figure, but even more so is the fact that – according to Gemalto’s 2017 Breach Level Index – a mere 3.1% of these events were ‘secure breaches’ where data records were encrypted and therefore rendered useless to those who stole it. Needless to say the market has a long way to go to embrace proper encryption.
The evolving threat landscape
Data breaches have been occurring for a long time, but the form they have taken has evolved. 30 years ago, it was someone stealing paperwork from an office after-hours, 10 years ago it was an unlucky employee leaving a CD or laptop on a train and today it’s brute force attacks on a business’ critical infrastructure.
This landscape, in which cyber criminals and data security companies are locked in a seemingly endless move and counter-move scenario, will continue to evolve throughout the 21st Century and there are three topics that we see causing the biggest shifts in the lines of battle:
The rise of Big Data
An estimated 2.3 trillion gigabytes of data is created every day, with the total amount of data in the world expected to reach 43 trillion gigabytes by 2020. The more volume of data there is, the more at risk it is from theft; especially if current trends continue and almost 97% of this data is unencrypted.
The evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT)
Smart devices connected together to form the IoT provide organisations with a truly unique way to collect and exchange data. This, however, carries a risk as many IoT devices will sit outside corporate networks and firewalls, making data vulnerable.
The growth of the IoT is both impressive and exponential. In 2015 there were an estimated 15 billion devices connected to the IoT and experts predict that this figure will grow to 200 billion by 2020. As the number of connected devices grow, so do the weak points in networks.
The age of the quantum computer
Thanks to their processing power, quantum computers will revolutionise the world of computing and big data when the technology comes to the mass market. But it also has the potential to be used for harm; by leveraging quantum computing, hackers will be able to decipher traditional encryption methods in a fraction of the time it currently takes.
The answer lies in quantum
The efficiency with which quantum computing can crack codes is also what makes quantum encryption so difficult to decipher. It could indeed be the technology that stops the move/counter-move culture altogether, giving security companies the upper hand.
With state-of-the-art quantum-safe network encryption, organisations can encrypt data transferred over their MAN and WAN both at-rest and while in-motion and because of the increased entropy quantum encryption offers, their data is guaranteed to be secure from traditional and quantum attacks alike.
We aren’t the only ones who acknowledge the importance of quantum encryption; the topic has been widely covered over recent years and has recently taken an important step into the mainstream IT security environment after being named on Deloitte’s ‘Exponential Technologies Watchlist’ in its 2018 Tech Trends publication.
With such industry recognition coupled with a renewed emphasis on data security, especially around the impending GDPR legislation which has received extensive media attention, it becomes clear that businesses need to adopt encryption technologies that protect their data from cyber attacks both now and in the future. What’s more, organisations need to take action now – not wait until the next 10 billion records are lost or stolen.
Like to find out more? Our State-of-the-art Network Encryption white paper is available to download now.