Threat Tuesday: The Future of Encryption

Serdar BankaciNews

In the last few years, data-at-rest (DAR) encryption has exploded in popularity. Most smartphones now come with chips dedicated to encrypting the data stored on them. And after some high-profile data thefts involving external hard drives and laptops, more companies are now making use of technologies like BitLocker to secure data on devices that could be lost or stolen. Companies are now encrypting data stored on desktop hard drives and storage arrays in the datacenter.

But does having all of your data encrypted mean that you don’t need a secure solution for disposal of disks and other equipment at end-of-life?

A number of factors will affect whether a particular encryption scheme continues to be secure. But none of these factors are under your control — they are all part of the evolution of technology and computing power.

Advances in raw processing power have made cracking certain types of encryption trivial, and so encryption has had to evolve to keep up. Just a few years ago, a 128-bit key was essentially unbreakable. But now, a 2048-bit key is considered bare-minimum for proper security. And advances in parallel computing and quantum computing could make even modern encryption obsolete in just a few years.

Additionally, flaws can be discovered in encryption algorithms that allow for easy decryption no matter how secure they initially were thought to be. Plus, the software that implements these algorithms could have bugs that weakens the encryption they provide. For example, TrueCrypt was a popular full-disk encryption program that abruptly shut down in 2014, citing “potential unknown security flaws”.

Even devices that are using what is now considered strong encryption could be vulnerable in the future. So, it’s important to dispose of obsolete devices in a secure manner — such as physical destruction. CyberCrunch can help you to do that. Contact us today, and we’ll pick up your old equipment and securely dispose of it in a way that’s unrecoverable both now and well into the future.