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What is Encryption? | Cybersecurity Awareness Month

When a cyberattack happens, organizations can face significant financial losses. During the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in cyberattacks targeting businesses. As recommended by the CISA, from the top of funnel leadership to the newest employee, cybersecurity requires vigilance and action from everyone to keep data, networks, customers, and capital safe and secure. A part of that vigilance from an IT team is that they use encryption to protect critical network data.

What is Encrypted Traffic?

bigEncryption attempts to make the information unreadable by anyone who is not authorized to view it. It provides two guarantees to an organization: authentication and privacy. 

With network-level encryption, all network traffic between two tested sites is encrypted at one end and then decrypted at the other end. The increased adoption of encryption in network traffic in organizations presents a challenge for network defenders. Specifically, the introduction and adoption of encrypted network protocols are causing the decrease of network visibility for security teams. Encryption is primarily used for protecting user privacy but can also, unfortunately, provide cover for cybercriminals as well. 

See Past the Blind Spots

The increases in encryption will continue in the future and network defenders are not without hope even as the use of encryption increases. The threat that encrypted network traffic poses is actually simple – it is pretty hard to see. It creates security blind spots for IT teams and can render most security devices useless, including deep packet inspection techniques to examine the packet’s payload to detect threats. Cybercriminals take advantage of encryption transmitting malware, exfiltrate data, evade detection, and render other cyberattacks. Encryption has gradually over time become a popular means for cyber threats in organizations.

Encryption vs. Decryption

Decryption transforms encrypted information into its original format. It means hackers have more of a challenge intercepting and reading what they are not authorized to have access to. Even though encryption protects the data, decryption accesses all original details. How data is decrypted is by using unique keys, passwords, codes, or decryption software – done manually or automatically.

As the world becomes more and more digital, it has become accustomed to encryption as a part of most processes, but it’s also highly dependent on it. Large organizations and government entities have been affected by breaches thus resulting in a lack of confidence in these institutions. The solution to these problems is to make sure that encrypted traffic is accessible even if it falls into the hands of hazardous parties and use decryption technology.

Real-Time Traffic Analysis

encyrpt Network visibility is crumbling as the adoption of encrypted protocols increases. The most efficient way to fight off cybercriminals is to find an NDR solution that can be proactive by monitoring and analyzing encrypted data. Our recent acquisition of CounterFlow AI helps our partners and customers gain end-to-end network visibility into encrypted traffic. Their platform ThreatEye, combines enhanced flow data with streaming machine learning-based traffic analysis for insights into encrypted traffic. Unlike traffic analysis solutions built on DPI technologies, the ThreatEye platform leverages Deep Packet Dynamics (DPD) to analyze traffic flows. DPD provides high-fidelity flow records with over 100 features for each flow—all without payload inspection. Packet Dynamics, coupled with machine learning, enables unique capabilities for regaining visibility into encrypted traffic.

If you’re interested in learning more about CounterFlow AI’s ThreatEye Platform, email their team of experts to schedule a demo today!