What is encryption & why does your organisation need it?

Encryption – it sounds like a tool only reserved for top-tier IT experts, right?

Don’t be fooled by its complexity; encryption is more accessible than you think, and might be an essential security tool for your organisation.

But what exactly is encryption, and why should you care about it?

Let’s break it down together.

What is encryption and why does it matter?

Encryption is like a secret code that scrambles your data into an unreadable format without the right key.

It’s like putting your information in a locked box before sending it.

So, even if hackers intercept your data, they won’t be able to decipher it without the key.

Encryption is essential for protecting sensitive data. Whether it’s your passwords, financial details, or personal messages, encryption ensures that only authorised parties can access and understand your information.

The benefits of encryption

Data protection: encryption protects your data from unauthorised access, preventing data breaches and unauthorised disclosure of sensitive information.

Compliance: many industry regulations and data protection laws, such as GDPR, require businesses to encrypt sensitive data. Encryption tools can avoid potential fines or penalties for non-compliance.

Trust building: demonstrating a commitment to data security through encryption can build trust with your customers and partners and enhance the business’s reputation.

Intellectual property protection: Encryption helps to protect intellectual property, trade secrets, and private information from theft, protecting your competitive advantage.

Secure communication: Encryption ensures that communication channels, such as emails and messaging platforms, are secure from interception.

Overall, implementing encryption in your business can mitigate risks and demonstrate your commitment to protecting sensitive data and maintaining strong cybersecurity practices.

Types of encryption

Symmetric encryption

Symmetric encryption uses a single key for both encryption and decryption.

This means the same key is used to scramble and unscramble the data.

It’s like having a single key that locks and unlocks a door, making it efficient for encrypting large amounts of data quickly. One common example of symmetric encryption is the use of password-protected ZIP files.

Asymmetric encryption

Asymmetric encryption uses a pair of keys: a public key and a private key.

The public key is freely available and is used for encryption, while the private key is kept secret and is used for decryption.

This setup allows for secure communication without the need to share a secret key beforehand.

Asymmetric encryption can be used to help employees securely access company networks remotely via VPN, where data is encrypted with the server’s public key and can only be decrypted by the server’s private key.


Hashing is a one-way encryption technique that converts data into a fixed-size string of characters, known as a hash value or digest.

Once data is hashed, it cannot be converted back to its original form, this is useful for password storage.

For example, when you create an account on a website and set a password, the website hashes your password before storing it in its database.

When you log in, the website hashes the password you provide and compares it to the stored hash to verify your identity without storing your actual password.

How your business can implement encryption

Setting up encryption without an IT team doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are some easy ways to do it:

Email encryption

Use encrypted email services: many email providers offer built-in encryption features or plugins that enable you to encrypt emails easily.

This ensures that sensitive information shared via email, such as customer details or private data, remains protected.

Financial records encryption

The payroll department can benefit from encryption, particularly when it comes to securing financial records.

Encrypting sensitive financial data, such as bank account information, transaction details, and payroll records, adds an additional layer of security.

By using encryption software or tools for these records, you can prevent unauthorised access and protect your financial information from potential cyber threats.

File-level encryption

File-level encryption allows you to encrypt individual files or folders on your computer or server.

This means that even if someone gains unauthorised access to your device or network, they won’t be able to view the contents of encrypted files without the decryption key.

Full-disk encryption

Full-disk encryption encrypts the contents of your computer’s hard drive or storage device.

Most modern devices have built-in full-disk encryption features that you can easily enable in the settings.

This means that all the data stored on the device remains inaccessible even if the device is lost or stolen.

How Bob’s Business can help your organisation

At Bob’s Business, we are the UK’s Most Trusted Cybersecurity Awareness Training provider, equipping organisations with the knowledge and skills needed to protect sensitive data.

In the face of escalating cyber threats in 2024, cybersecurity training is not just a precautionary measure; it’s imperative.

Empower your workforce with the knowledge and skills to prevent cyber threats and fortify your organisation’s defences today. Interact with the bot below to discover our range of cyber solutions.

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