Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operations

2/8/2019
02:00 PM

6 Reasons to Be Wary of Encryption in Your Enterprise

Encryption can be critical to data security, but it's not a universal panacea.
2 of 7

Encryption Isn't Free
Both Microsoft and Apple now include encryption as an option for clients running their operating systems. So if there's no additional charge for encrypting the hard disk on a laptop, encryption is free for everyone, right? Well, no.
First, there's a dramatic difference between encrypting the hard disk of a laptop or desktop computer and encrypting the petabytes that make up a modern enterprise data storage infrastructure. There's really no comparing the scale of the two processes in a way that's meaningful. Time is one of the resources that is eaten in vast quantities by the latter; CPU cycles and memory are two more.
There is also a performance impact for encryption and decryption. The small performance penalty that may be all but unnoticeable on an encrypted laptop can become unbearable when multiplied across tens of thousands of users and millions of transactions. Very real costs are associated with encrypting data - and the conversation hasn't even reached the point of discussing the cost of the software or services to provide the encryption itself.
The point is that encryption has costs associated with it - costs that must be weighed against the benefits of encryption for a particular piece of data. It's a rare organization that will find every bit so important that it's sufficiently valuable to justify the cost of encryption, so calculations are required in even the smallest of companies.
(Image: Victor Moussa via Adobe Stock)

Encryption Isn't Free

Both Microsoft and Apple now include encryption as an option for clients running their operating systems. So if there's no additional charge for encrypting the hard disk on a laptop, encryption is free for everyone, right? Well, no.

First, there's a dramatic difference between encrypting the hard disk of a laptop or desktop computer and encrypting the petabytes that make up a modern enterprise data storage infrastructure. There's really no comparing the scale of the two processes in a way that's meaningful. Time is one of the resources that is eaten in vast quantities by the latter; CPU cycles and memory are two more.

There is also a performance impact for encryption and decryption. The small performance penalty that may be all but unnoticeable on an encrypted laptop can become unbearable when multiplied across tens of thousands of users and millions of transactions. Very real costs are associated with encrypting data and the conversation hasn't even reached the point of discussing the cost of the software or services to provide the encryption itself.

The point is that encryption has costs associated with it costs that must be weighed against the benefits of encryption for a particular piece of data. It's a rare organization that will find every bit so important that it's sufficiently valuable to justify the cost of encryption, so calculations are required in even the smallest of companies.

(Image: Victor Moussa via Adobe Stock)

2 of 7
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
davinoishi
100%
0%
davinoishi,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/12/2019 | 11:35:33 AM
Transparent Encryption
While file and volume encryption have limits, there are transparent solutions available that allow information to remain encrypted even in use.
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment:   It's a PEN test of our cloud security.
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-5226
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
Cross-site scripting in SimpleSAMLphp before version 1.18.4. The www/erroreport.php script allows error reports to be submitted and sent to the system administrator. Starting with SimpleSAMLphp 1.18.0, a new SimpleSAML\Utils\EMail class was introduced to handle sending emails, implemented as a wrapp...
CVE-2019-1517
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was in a CNA pool that was not assigned to any issues during 2019. Notes: none.
CVE-2019-1518
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was in a CNA pool that was not assigned to any issues during 2019. Notes: none.
CVE-2019-1519
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was in a CNA pool that was not assigned to any issues during 2019. Notes: none.
CVE-2019-1520
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-24
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was in a CNA pool that was not assigned to any issues during 2019. Notes: none.