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    Top 5 Simple Powerful Data Security Tools Used in Large Companies

    By the end of the day, all business is going to have data. Whether it is a list of your customers, accounting records for a small business, or a database containing intellectual property at a Fortune 500 company, this data has value and must be protected from unauthorized use or worse.

    Every company should consider some simple but powerful tools used.

    We need to consider that cybercriminals are constantly inventing new ways of compromise. Data security professionals must continuously look for new ways to enhance their defenses and keep ahead of the curve."

    Though this statement is applicable today, it was true even before the beginning of 2015 when more people started looking for data security solutions. However, because current data security tools did not seem to be enough, many turned towards information technology companies who promised them added protection against different types of malware. But IT companies were also unable to provide adequate protection so consumers started asking questions like "How can I protect myself better?" or "What should I do?"

    Thus, there has been an increase in the popularity of articles that discuss how best to protect data.

    These are simple but powerful data security tools to help you secure your business against cyber criminals.

    Simple Powerful Data Security Tools Used in Large Companies

    Top 5 Simple Powerful Data Security Tools Used in Large Companies

    File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

    This is a network protocol for transferring computer files between a client and server. It uses TCP port 21 by default although it can use other ports as well. FTP's biggest problem is that it does not provide any type of security so communicating data can be intercepted by unauthorized parties very easily. To avoid this security breach, the newer SFTP protocol was created which provides SSL/TLS encryption, ensuring all communication between two servers happens in an encrypted form. The protection provided by SFTP comes at the expense of speed since SSL/TLS encryption is much slower than unencrypted connections like TCP.

    SSH (Secure Shell)

    Much like FTP, this protocol does not encrypt all network traffic and it is recommended to be used alongside SFTP for enhanced security. SSH provides encryption but can also be slow especially when using outdated, non-updated protocols which aren't as secure as the latest ones. SSH uses port 22 by default and users should take into consideration that they need to keep their servers up-to-date with the latest version of the software; otherwise, hackers can use critical exploits in older versions of this tool to steal valuable information from their servers.

    PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)

    This data encryption method requires a private key and a public key to ensure safe communication between two parties instead of sending plain text messages. When Alice sends Bob a message using PGP, the software will encrypt it with Bob's public key and once he receives it, decrypts it with his private one. The possible problems with this tool lie in key distribution and difficulties of managing two keys for every person communicating with each other. PGP combined with a VPN is perfect for global communication between restrictive countries such as China, Korea, and others.

    HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)

    Unlike unencrypted HTTP connections which send data in plain text form, HTTPS uses SSL/TLS encryption to protect data sent between servers and clients such as browsers. This protocol is used on most websites nowadays due to its ability to secure data but also slow down speed by adding additional overhead on top of TCP connections. Thus, many developers decided that in order to enhance privacy but have a fast-enough connection, an encrypted layer should be added to the already existing HTTP protocol instead of replacing it completely with HTTPS. This new, modified version of HTTP is called "HTTP 2" but it still does not solve the problem of certificate distribution since each server needs its own certificate signed by a CA (certificate authority).

    SSL/TLS Certificates

    These certificates are used along with encryption protocols such as HTTPS and SFTP. In the case of web servers, SSL/TLS certificates secure communication between clients and servers as well as authenticate them so users know they are dealing with the correct company. Businesses who want their websites to use either SSL or TLS need to purchase these certificates from trusted providers which have been verified by a set of other companies called certificate authorities. The latter will be responsible for verifying that the information being sent through, for example, HTTPS is correct and it's actually coming from the company itself. In case a certificate authority finds out that a security breach has happened somewhere along the line, they can blacklist this CA which means that no one will trust their websites anymore since all certificates signed by them will be considered fake.

    PKI (Public Key Infrastructure)

    This is a network system used to control the distribution of public keys needed to encrypt data with SSL/TLS certificates before sending it over HTTPS connections. PKI uses asymmetric cryptography where each party has its own public and private key used together with other people's

    To sum up the article, the author has introduced five simple, but powerful tools used in data security - SSH, PGP, HTTPS, SSL/TLS certificates, and PKI. They are described with their key features that make them suitable for use by companies wanting to secure their data.


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