IBM Inc said on Monday that it has accomplished a breakthrough in cryptography technology that will allow all companies to encrypt their consumer data on a huge scale using maximum if not all of their digital data into jargon that is unintelligible to Hackers with its new mainframe.
“The last production of mainframes did encryption remarkably well and really fast, but not in a lot,” Ross Mauri, general administrator of IBM’s mainframe industry, said in an interview. Mauri predicts that only 4% of data taken since 2013 was ever encrypted.
As a number of data breaches hitting U.S. entities regularly grow to result in the leakage every time of millions of people’s private information IBM claims that universal encryption could be the solution to the epidemic of hacking.
The key, according to IBM executives, is an update to the processor chips driving the robust mainframe servers that house corporate or institutional data and concoct millions of transactions a day worldwide, such as ATM withdrawals and credit card installments and flight tickets.
Cryptography, the art of converting readable information into coded cipher, is now commonly applied by several email providers and storage companies. But because of the huge computational capability required to quickly encrypt and decrypt data as it moves from one object to another, many companies use encryption simply selectively if at all. A December statement by the security firm Sophos discovered that while three out of four companies routinely encrypt customer data or invoicing information, far further do not encrypt their intellectual property or HR reports. Sixty percent of companies also leave work files generated by employees unencrypted, the research found.
All of these represent events for digital criminals, said Austin Carson, managing director of the technology think tank TechFreedom.
“Way too much data is collected in clear text,” he said. But common or pervasive encryption, he continued, could help secure that even if hackers broke into a business network, any data they found would be difficult to decode. “That would be a tremendous step forward simply in terms of defending a much greater body of information,” Carson said.
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