3 top enterprise file encryption programs compared



Large or small, every company has secrets it needs to keep to stay in business. It might be its customer list, proprietary source code, next-gen product plans or even the secret sauce for its sandwiches, but they all need to be protected from hackers, snoops and industrial spies. The best way to keep these things—and every other confidential item—under wraps is to hide them in plain sight by encrypting them.

The mathematical magic of encryption means that only those with the correct key can unscramble its contents and open the file. The odds are heavily stacked against a hacker randomly guessing the key or using the brute-force approach to crack the encryption key. Take the popular Advanced Encryption Standard as an example. Using the variant with a 256-bit decryption key, a.k.a. AES-256, an astounding 3 followed by 76 zeros possible keys are available. So, even with a break-in, your company’s data would remain secure because the encrypted files will remain unreadable to the intruders. 

Encryption is becoming a popular way to protect company data. As recently as 2005, only about 15% of US companies surveyed by the Ponemon Institute had an encryption strategy. In 2020, that figure was up to 48%, with payment, financial, and personnel records the top choices for encryption. Still, it leaves the data at more than half of firms exposed and potentially unprotected.

Dozens of encryption packages are available, though many of the apps are aimed at consumers hiding compromising frat party pictures or legal documents. Others, like Microsoft’s BitLocker and Apple’s Data Vault, are meant for scrambling the entire disk of a computer, not individual files.

What to look for in a file encryption tool

First, a business-class encryption program has to, well, encrypt files efficiently, reliably, and quickly so that workers actually use it. If the app balks at encrypting large files or doesn’t consistently decode them, it won’t be used and the firm’s data will be just as vulnerable as if it didn’t have the software.

The best encryption packages not only provide a choice of encryption method but can scramble individual files so that employees can safely send and share key data with colleagues. Some even provide a secure sharing method for coworkers to collaborate without risking the company’s secrets.


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