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To Go Native, Or Not To Go Native. A Cautionary Tale About Database Encryption

July 26, 2018

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Enterprise databases house some of the most highly-sensitive, tightly-regulated data—the very data that is sought after by malicious insiders and external attackers. As a result, database encryption has never been more crucial in order to protect the massive amounts of information that is held in the diverse mix of databases that large enterprises rely on today, including relational, SQL, NoSQL and big data environments. In fact, recent research by Aberdeen found that 86% of enterprises use multiple database vendors.

To Go Native, Or Not to Go Native. A Cautionary Tale About Database Encryption

The complexity associated with database encryption in multiple environments with a variety of vendors can result in significant operational costs, particularly around managing encryption keys. So what’s the answer to ensure the right level of protection without huge expenditures?

Aberdeen’s Derek Brink, CISSP, VP and research fellow, recently explored whether database encryption from a common platform is more secure and less costly than relying on the native encryption capabilities of multiple applications. In his report, “A Common Platform for Database Encryption: Lower Cost, Reduced Risk*,” he used survey responses from enterprises in the U.S., Europe and Asia to compare the use of native database encryption capabilities from leading vendors with the use of a common encryption platform.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Using a common encryption platform lowers the median annual operating expense by 46% - and as much as 70%;
  • Organizations can rotate encryption keys 12 times per year using a common encryption platform for the same cost as rotating them just three times per year with native encryption capabilities. Rotating keys more frequently is important when you consider the median attacker dwell time is 38 days; and
  • The mean time to recover databases and applications from a backup is 30% faster with a common platform versus using native capabilities.

To meet specific business objectives, most enterprises today must rely on a diverse database infrastructure, but delivering a sound security strategy to protect critical data within this environment does not come easy. To find out how a common platform for database encryption can help reduce risk and operational costs for your organization.

*A Common Platform for Database Encryption: Lower Cost, Reduced Risk, Derek Brink, Aberdeen 2018