According to Solitaire global “Only about 2 percent of corporate data is encrypted, or securely “scrambled”, so even those with permission to access the data can’t read it without a digital key.  By contrast, more than 80 percent of mobile device data is encrypted”. Given the hype around cybercrime and the cost to the business of security breaches it seems surprising that while most of the data on our own phones is encrypted almost all of corporate data is left unprotected.

It gets worse, did you know that of the more than 7 Billion record that were breached in the last three years only 4% were encrypted! There is so much hype around cyber security; alleged hacking by everyone from individuals to government agencies; huge cost of breaches to business. It comes as a bit of a surprise that more is not done to protect our data. After all we recognise that attackers will find a way in, so data has to be the new perimeter.

Well there is a good reason why we find ourselves in this situation. When you consider how we use our phones, the texts and posts we send and receive, the amount of data involved is relatively small and often that data is only accessed once. This means that the processing overhead and cost incurred in encrypting and decrypting that data is very small.

Contrast that with the cloud. The majority of people have data stored and backed up in the cloud, but that is just a drop in the ocean of data that businesses and other organizations keep there. Much of their data is accessed on a regular and frequent basis, so encrypting it all would be a huge overhead, slowing everything down and adding huge cost.

Encryption is widely accepted as the best was to secure data and the technology has been available for years. Why is so much data unprotected? Well encryption is a trade-off.

The more data you encrypt the more processing power you need to encrypt and decrypt your data every time you want access to it. So this adds cost and time for each data access, two resources that are in short supply. So typically businesses only encrypt a small proportion of data because when you trade off future potential risk with extra cost today, we all know which generally wins out.

Now there is a new approach. It comes from IBM, it is unique to the mainframe and it’s called pervasive encryption. Now you can encrypt 100% of z application data with no impact on SLAs, no changes to applications and at minimal cost. It allows you to encrypt 100% of your application and user data on your mainframe, whether in flight or at rest. It does all this with negligible impact on performance and customer service, with no changes to applications and at minimal cost. And it’s easy to use, just like flicking a switch. This resets the bar for data protection, so if you have critical workloads or sensitive data in the cloud, or just want to simplify compliance and build trust with your clients, there is now a better way.

So now you can give your data the protection it deserves, that your customers expect and that regulators increasingly demand. When data is the new perimeter, pervasive encryption is the new standard.

100% Encryption -100% Mainframe

Editors Note – I would love to claim these words as my own, but I can’t… They belong to Simon Hares, who is part of the worldwide marketing team for IBM Z.  Simon is one of the most eloquent writers I know and that has nothing to do with him being British, I promise…