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What is data encryption at rest? 

14 May 2021 by Laura Valentine

Data encryptionIn today’s ever-evolving cyber-threat landscape, data breaches are a constant concern. The exposure of 36 billion records in the first three quarters of 2020 alone, is enough to keep any business owner up at night – regardless of your perceived protection. 

Cybercriminals are constantly sizing up routes to gain access to your company’s data, which likely houses sensitive information. Sometimes, even the most equipped antivirus software and firewalls are broken down. 

Data encryption at rest is an extra layer of defence, providing vital reinforcement should the worst happen. Here, we explain why encryption is so important in the current cyber-threat landscape. 

Understanding data at rest 

Data at rest is infrequently handled, yet sensitive, information, such as client invoices, that you might store in the cloud or on a server. Comparatively, data in motion is the everyday information that’s stored via apps and programmes.  

This active data is often encrypted, protecting it from cyber-attacks as it travels across the communication channels. Applying similar encryption to your archived data offers an invaluable safety net, should you encounter a breach.  

When implementing this multi-layered protection, the first step is to identify the location of your sensitive data. You must then think about how it’s used and who is able to access it.  

The need for encryption 

Antivirus software and firewalls provide a sturdy barrier of protection, but, if breached, your data is laid bare. Encrypting data transforms this information into a secret code that can only be read by those with a key.  

Data in motion travels under this guise, so if it’s intercepted by a cybercriminal, its real value remains protected. But what about the files you keep stored in your system that aren’t actively transported? Encryption at rest scrambles this data when static on the infrastructure, preventing any unwanted access. 

From a hacker’s perspective, this is like forcibly breaching a castle wall to find another line of defence that’s only penetrable with an undiscoverable key. 

Cyber landscape challenges 

Because the cyber-threat landscape is evolving so quickly, it’s dangerous to think you’re unlikely to be affected. Research shows that in the UK, a small business is successfully hacked every 19 seconds. What’s more, 32% of businesses experience breaches or attacks at least once a week. To boost your level of security, a change of mindset and an assessment of your weakest areas will help put you in a much stronger position.  

How can we help? 

When it comes to cloud hosting, UKFast works with expert platforms (such as AWS and Azure), who pride themselves on their capabilities to encrypt data at rest, offering your business the protection it needs.  

With a fully managed security support platform and many levels of protection, our services are designed to stay ahead of changes in the cyber-threat landscape. Click here to learn more about our Threat Vision security suite.