Encryption helps to ensure the safety of data, whether it is in transit or at rest. But traditionally, data had to be decrypted to be usable. Cloud service providers (CSPs) needed access to the appropriate decryption keys so they can process encrypted customer data. The CSP would then store the keys on-premises or ask the customer to forward them whenever they needed to access their data.
Even though this method does, to an extent, address the data privacy and security concerns that the cloud engenders, it’s not truly secure because customers must disclose their decryption keys. The data becomes vulnerable as it’s not encrypted anymore when processed. This becomes a difficult solution when the entire world is moving their data into the cloud. Organizations need a new approach that keeps data encrypted all the time. This is where Encryption as a Service (EaaS) comes in.
1. Legacy Encryption Solutions Can’t Suffice for the Modern Era
The encryption methods that organizations have used thus far to safeguard the most highly regulated data in their environments cannot handle the scaling requirement. These encryption approaches, such as deterministic encryption or encryption at rest, require decrypting the data in the cloud or at the database level to allow read, write, or search functionality. This creates gaps in security for malicious insiders and hackers to access sensitive information. In addition, new and not yet mature encryption methodologies slow down network performance, are cumbersome to deploy and manage, and can’t scale to meet the growth needs of the modern enterprise.
2. A Subscription Service Gives You More Flexibility and Ease of Use
The most obvious difference in using EaaS is that it’s easy to install and maintain for anybody. It’s offered via a subscription rather than requiring companies to have an information security or encryption expert to install, roll-out and maintain the software. This is relatively new in the encryption space, and it’s an important change. Further, you can pay as you go and pay as you grow. This means organizations that lack the resources to manage encryption by themselves have an easy way to address regulatory compliance concerns – for instance, GDPR requires encryption of sensitive data – and protect their data in a multi-tenant environment.
3. You Don’t Have To Be a Cryptography Expert
EaaS makes encryption easy to use. With the right tools, everyone can manage their security without needing to be a cryptography expert. Any developer with basic knowledge would be able to run the software and secure the whole infrastructure. Enterprises can work with their data in any kind of cloud environment, database or in conjunction with a third-party SaaS tool in a fully end-to-end encrypted form and stay compliant, at maximum performance and with utmost simplicity.
4. Encryption Can Be a Business Enabler
Encryption is not the final answer to all cybersecurity challenges. However, it is a crucial element and can be a game changer. In fact, it can even be a business enabler, not just a necessary evil. But if it’s not built in from Day One, it will be costlier (both financially and timewise) along the way and can have significant consequences in terms of loss of revenue, reputational damage and more. With a solid security framework that includes being encrypted end-to-end, your brand image will improve, and your customers will have more confidence in your abilities. They’ll be able to trust that their data is truly safe because it’s always encrypted – which means, even in the case of a breach, that data is useless. In a nutshell, this means that you’ll be able to focus more on your business, while reducing liabilities and workloads. You’ll have confidence that your infrastructure and sensitive data is properly protected against hacks and leaks.
5. EaaS as a Psychological Game-Changer
Information security is a process of constant adaptation and responses to new threats as hackers get more sophisticated looking for weak spots in systems or human failures. It’s an endless game of cat and mouse. The human mind is risk-averse regarding gains and risk-seeking regarding losses, betting as nothing happened in the past, probably nothing will happen in the future. This is a fundamental error in information security, moreover, knowing that we live in a world in which companies naturally underinvest in protection and detection.
EaaS can therefore work as a bridge to psychological flaws, going beyond current security standards, being preventive instead of reactive. For companies, this builds greater peace of mind – they’ll avoid the constant adaptation to threats, as data is always encrypted and therefore, useless for intruders.
Time for a Change
EaaS allows cloud service customers to take advantage of the security that encryption offers without having to install and use encryption on their own. It’s a relatively new concept, but it’s an important one, because it increases security by removing the gaps that occur when data must be decrypted in the cloud or at the database level. EaaS makes encryption easier to use without hampering performance – an idea whose time has come as enterprises continue their expansion into the cloud.
By Maxim Dressler, Co-Founder, Vaultree.
Maxim Dressler is a project and sales leader with international experience in the software and fintech industry in leading commercial and strategic roles. Vaultree is a cybersecurity startup founded last year.