Data breach being a serious crime in cyber world has reached on its peak level. Particularly, when data breach is related to Smartphone, it puts Smartphone user in a serious condition. Loss of device, illegal access, and data theft is some common issues related to mobile security. To avoid such data breach and other security issue, encryption is necessary to reduce data theft risk.
Overview of Encryption
Encryption with the help of a public and private key pair encrypts sensitive information carried by mobile devices. Encryption uses different keys to decrypt the data. There are programs help individuals to protect against personal identity theft by encrypting usernames, password, credit card numbers, etc. It does little impact on battery and device performance. The performance depends on what information a user wants to secure. There are two types of keys like symmetric and asymmetric key used for encrypt and decrypt the information. Hardware encryption works on symmetric encryption while software encryption works on asymmetric keys that includes two keys a private key and public key.
How encryption is beneficial?
Encrypting data on mobile devices removes the risks connected with loss or theft. The process builds data valueless to unauthorized users. Normally, by handing out data throughout a mathematical formula called an algorithm, encryption software converts data into “code text”. Following this exchange that data needs users to enter their matchless credentials to increase access to it. Those credentials will stay private; they build it almost impractical for others to approach the data.
What includes Encryption Policy?
Vendors provide an encryption product that requires consideration for selecting types of folders and files for encryption. For that, IT administrators should have a policy regarding application and file encryption for each device and group; it will provide a proper control over protected files. Encryption policy depends on the type of file, application, and ownership. Encryption policy draws attention of encryption method, types of device, violation policy, and key used in encryption, inactivity timeout, failed attempts, encryption strength, and rollout phase.
Types of Mobile Encryption
Stronger ciphers and longer keys are necessary for strong data protection. There seems two types of mobile encryption is available one is hardware encryption, and the rest is software encryption.
Many mobile fits out with hardware encryption like currently Android version 4.0 and tablets running on version 3.0, blackberry, and window phones carry hardware encryption. Hardware configuration differs by an operating system, device model. There are devices like Apple who keeps encrypted file system on flash memory and counts both operating system and data. The data on flash memory uses encryption and at last decrypt it into main memory. Until user enters passcode in device, the encryption remains for data. In Android device to enable hardware decryption, user has to lock device with a PIN or password helps to create encryption keys.
Hardware encryption encrypts the complete data written on flash memory while software encryption only secures decided applications. Hardware encryption uses same key to encrypt and decrypt the data while software encryption uses different key for various types of data. The reason to use software encryption is to provide double protection to data.
There are many software available in market through which hacker can break passcode and steal the data from your device. However, if your application has also a software encryption, then it lessens chance of data theft. Some applications encrypt their own confidential information but the rest cannot do this. Each application developer applies dissimilar methods of encryption. Software encryption is a second layer protection to individual applications.
Software encryption includes symmetric and asymmetric key encryption and use AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). Symmetric key uses one key to encrypt and decrypt the data while asymmetric key uses private key and public key to encrypt and decrypt the information. Asymmetric key is more powerful than symmetric key because it does not share a key.
Can you encrypt removable drive?
In Android, a facility to encrypt the SD card data is given while in Apple and window phone do not have this facility. With this facility, your memory card data will remain safe in your device. Even for USB drive encryption package is available by security providers. Encryption of removable drive can prevent illegal data access stored in encrypted files and folders or virtual drives and volumes.
Security Tips for Mobile
Beside mobile encryption, there are several security measures through user can secure his mobile device against loss or theft.
- Consider Geolocation tracking software that can track, locate, or wipe out the data against loss or theft of data.
- Block mobile device at the time of lost or stolen, blocking facility for mobile device does not allow data theft or loss.
- Never allow sensitive information by mobile devices without strong security.
- Educate employee about the mobile safety and security.
- Get anti-virus protection also for mobile device.
- Enterprise should have practical data management policy.
- From the developer side, technical review is must before implementation of any app.
In the end
To meet with rising demand of Smartphone in current time, many OS like Android, Apple, and Blackberry try to bring applications to user’s mobile desk. In this competition, many hackers try to manipulate this industry by data theft, hijacking user accounts, phishing activities. In this way, mobile encryption is necessary to cope up with rising malware.
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