Benefit clients, boost business with encryption

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Guest Author

Until quite recently, encryption struck many people as something only the most tech-savvy organizations or security-conscious individuals would use. But as data breaches and compromised devices have become an unfortunate fact of life affecting most individuals and many businesses, encryption is suddenly a hot commodity.

More organizations are now looking to implement encryption on their endpoints, which are increasingly exposed by a mobile workforce. There is a real need not just to protect digital assets, but to also to gain regulatory advantages.

Technology solution providers (TSPs) are in an ideal position to deploy effective endpoint encryption, helping to drive understanding and adoption

Endpoint encryption as an opening

Stepping up as a source of expertise on encryption can go a long way toward strengthening your relationships with clients, as well as increasing your revenue. As much as people are clamoring to use encryption, it is still perceived as having a steeper learning curve than more familiar security products.

In fact, encryption technology has been around at least as long as other security technologies, but few people realize when they’re using it. Some encryption capabilities are currently bundled with operating systems and applications, running unobtrusively in the background.

You can demonstrate that you are a trusted source of security expertise by helping clients understand forms of encryption they may already be using, like OS-level disk encryption, secure Web browsing, and VPNs.

This can lead to a conversation about how the client is managing endpoint encryption, if at all. For example, are email attachments being encrypted? What about sensitive information on USB drives and other removable media? Laptops that leave the office?

Raising these questions is a natural next step if you already provide your customers with other security products, including antimalware, firewalls, and two-factor authentication.

Endpoint encryption fits right into the mix as an extension of this layered approach, or it could serve as an opening gambit with which to engage new clients.

Encryption as a business differentiator

A good endpoint encryption solution offers your clients a whole slew of benefits over the piecemeal approach to encryption that many organizations are currently using. Start with a remote management system that will allow you to deploy and manage the encryption software, licenses, encryption keys, and security policy via the internet.

Consider how this solves just one part of today’s security challenge: USB drives and flash memory cards. A good endpoint encryption product will allow you to enforce encryption of all sensitive data on all such drives used on company machines.

Suppose a USB thumb drive goes missing. Instead of panicking about who might access files on that drive, your client can rest assured that those files are unreadable by anyone who lacks the key.

And if the drive contains personal information protected under some federal and state laws, you actually get a pass—a "safe harbor," if you will—against various sanctions, such as breach reporting or even fines.

HIPAA offers this reporting exemption for encrypted medical data. California state law has a notification exemption for any personally identifiable data that is properly encrypted.

Endpoint encryption products can provide easily managed, user-friendly protection for the most vulnerable devices and data that your clients are using today. A scalable, small-footprint solution can endear you to the client while increasing your yield.

And when the encryption solution you sold your client saves the day after he or she experiences a laptop theft, you get to be a hero as well!