The Role of Encrypted Network Protocols in Data Protection

The Role of Encrypted Network Protocols in Data Protection

Encryption originally meant the ability to keep things hidden or secret, coming from the ancient Greek kryptós, meaning something concealed. Today, the meaning hasn’t changed, but the application has become far more digital. Organizations need to find ways to ensure the secrecy of communications and data transfer across disparate and widely distributed systems, including public networks. Encrypted network protocols are an essential set of tools and techniques for achieving this.

Encrypted Network Protocols Explained

Data encryption uses a variety of algorithms to safeguard your sensitive information by obscuring it. Encryption protocols are usually chosen for their ability to protect data in specific ways. There are two primary methods of encrypting data: symmetric and asymmetric.

Symmetric Encryption

Symmetric encryption protocols utilize a single key that must be present at both the point of sending and the recipient. This key encrypts the data as it’s sent and decrypts it once received.

Asymmetric Encryption

Asymmetric encryption utilizes a pair of keys, one public and one private. Anyone can see the public key but without the private key, there’s no way to decrypt the data. Asymmetric encryption is generally considered more secure than symmetric encryption.

Key Benefits of Encryption

Encryption algorithms and secure network protocols help stop sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands. As well as providing privacy for individuals and organizations, it helps companies stay compliant with the many stringent data protection laws they must follow.

Examples of Encrypted Network Protocols

Encrypted network protocols help businesses implement strategies that make communications more secure. Some of these protocols are used for email, some for web browsing, and others for increasing the resilience of VPNs.


TLS stands for transport layer security and SSL means secure sockets layer. It’s an encryption protocol for browsing the internet and is easy to recognize. When you visit a website secured by TLS/SSL, you’ll notice a padlock symbol and an “s” after “http” in the URL. TLS/SSL uses multiple algorithms to confirm that data is unchanged during transmission and authenticate users, among other tasks.


SSH stands for secure shell and creates virtual tunnels appropriate for secure data transfer. It’s a multilayer method of transporting data and utilizes asymmetric encryption as well as additional security, such as two-factor authentication or access passwords. SSH is often used for remote network administration, for example, supporting employees working from home or multiple locations.


PGP means “pretty good privacy” although it’s better than pretty good. It’s a popular way to send secure emails and digitally sign them for additional authenticity. PGP is usually used in combination with other encryption methods.

Encryption Protocol Implementation Considerations

Knowing what network protocols to use for the best data protection requires onboarding experts who understand the intricacies of each. Your team will consider:

  • What type of data do you need to encrypt?
  • What are the security requirements of your organization and industry?
  • Which network protocols offer the necessary protection to match these requirements?

Network engineers will choose the appropriate protocols, generate and store encryption keys, and continuously test the systems in place. This is vital to ensure the chosen protocols continue to provide the requisite level of network security.

Possible Challenges

As companies scale upward in size, generating and protecting multiple encryption keys becomes more difficult. It can also be tricky ensuring that keys only get distributed to systems and individuals that genuinely require that access.

Network experts also need to understand which encryption protocols work together and which don’t. Compatibility issues could cause sensitive information to become unprotected.

As encryption protocols become dated, security vulnerabilities can arise. Hiring cybersecurity specialists can help keep network administration ahead of the curve.

Takeaway — The Importance of Encryption for Maintaining Data Confidentiality

Data confidentiality is vital for business continuity. Loss or theft of data can bring harsh financial penalties but also irreparably damage a firm’s reputation. Consumers and clients lose trust in the systems put in place to safeguard their personal information. Stakeholders and investors are likely to shift their interest to competitors. In the first two months of 2024, four major data breaches occurred impacting over 15 million individuals. With numbers of malicious actors on the increase, it’s never been more important to secure static and in-transit data.

Utilizing the right encryption algorithms and network protocols is essential for preserving the integrity and security of sensitive data. Find out how MRINetwork’s talent advisors could upgrade your teams and help you source the best network specialists for assuring excellent data protection across your organization.