Any company or organisation that holds sensitive data has a critical need to ensure that the information stored is properly protected. Businesses that collect personal, private information – data that is used to deliver superior service and make employees and customers’ lives that much easier – nevertheless enter into a trust with employees and consumers. In all-too-common cases already seen overseas, when data breaches occur and make headlines, reputational damage ensues. And, when data breaches occur in industries where governmental regulations are involved, organisations found to be careless in safeguarding data can also face substantial fines. In other cases, the issue is not customer data but sensitive intellectual property belonging to a company, the secrecy of which is essential to that business’ competitive advantage.
Proper protection of data can also open the door to new business relationships, especially with institutions that have policies of exclusively selecting vendors and partners that meet certain careful criteria when it comes to data security practices. But in all these cases – whether an organisation is incentivized to invest in data security in order to protect their reputation, to meet regulatory requirements, to safeguard intellectual property, to prepare for new business relationships, or for any other reason – data encryption is one of the first and most critical tools in the data security playbook.