Updated by Candice So Apr. 24, 2014 at 4:05pm ET: We ran a Twitter chat on encryption under the @itworldca Twitter account. Read on for a quick recap of the tweets from today’s discussion.

With all of the data breaches making headlines today – like the Canada Revenue Agency’s loss of 900 Social Insurance Numbers due to Heartbleed this week - it’s becoming clearer than ever that businesses and organizations need to closely guard their data.

One of the easiest ways to do that? Encryption, or encoding data and communications so hackers and malicious actors are barred from reading it.

Here at IT World Canada.com, we want to help business owners and IT professionals tackle the issue of encryption through our latest Twitter chat, exploring how they can protect their data – and their reputations – from falling into the hands of hackers.

Using the hashtag #EncryptITWC, we’ll be gathering for a Twitter chat on Thursday, April 24 at 1pm ET to 2pm ET for anyone who wants to learn about safeguarding their data.

For the chat, we’ll be bringing on guest experts who are knowledgeable in data security and encryption. We’re excited to welcome:

 

  • Claudiu Popa, president and CEO of Informatica Corp. For more than 20 years, Popa has advised his clients on risks to their security and to their data, keeping up with the shifts in the information security and privacy landscape. He is also the author of the books “Managing Personal Information” and “The Canadian Privacy & Data Security Toolkit.” Find his tweets at the handle @datarisk.

 

  • Brad Haines, director at Renderlab.net and security specialist. For more than 10 years, he has done security consulting for clients on wireless, system administration, and technical training. A past speaker at SecTor, one of Toronto’s biggest security conferences, he has also co-authored “RFID Security,” “Kismet Hacking,” and authored the “7 Deadliest Wireless Technology Attacks.” Haines tweets from @ihackedwhat.

 

For the questions we’ll be covering during our chat, check out this list:

  1. Why is it so important for businesses to encrypt data and to do it right?
  2. As many participants noted, it’s important to protect customer data from breaches – not only does this protect customers’ personal information and their privacy, but it also protects businesses’ reputations.

     

  3.  What kind of data should businesses be encrypting? How much should they encrypt?
  4. Haines and Correia defined “data in motion” as data that is in flight, like network traffic and data sent via email. On the flip side, data at rest is data that stays on a system drive.

     

  5.  What kinds of encryption tools can businesses use to safeguard their data?
  6. Some vendors, like Symantec Canada, also offer encryption tools to their customers.

     

  7.  How can businesses find out if their encryption is broken? How can they keep it up to date?
  8. Haines also recommended that businesses protect themselves by checking out peer review for cryptography systems, as well as by having migration plans in place in case of a major breach.

     

  9.  How can an organization’s company culture adapt to an encrypted environment, without frustrating employees?
  10. Correia adds it’s also possible to run less intrusive encryption tools, especially those that are location-aware implementations. That makes it much easier for employees to adapt, he says.

     

  11. What effects will encryption have on speed and productivity in the workplace? Will it slow down business performance?
  12.  

  13. How does the rise of big data and unstructured data affect encryption?
  14.  

  15. If a business uses a cloud provider, what questions should it ask about the provider’s encryption practices?
  16. Correia also added that businesses need to ask their cloud providers if they have an SLA on performance.

     

  17. How can businesses use encryption as part of their mobile device management and BYOD strategy?
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