Director of Community at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
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What is the difference between "data protection in transit" vs "data protection at rest"?

Hi infosec pros,

How are these two terms different? What modern tools and techniques should you use to protect each data?

PeerSpot user
6 Answers
Real User
Mar 2, 2022

Data protection at rest - data storage has encryption applied, at the OS, Container, or DB level.  a bad actor cannot defeat the security controls and read the data by accessing copying the drive, container, or other storage 

Data protection in transit - data being transported "outside" of, or between, trusted home environment(s) has encryption applied, such as an SSL tunnel, VPN, or IPSec-enabled route.  "trusted" in this definition is wherever the data is stored, or processed, and assumes that such an environment has sufficient controls to block 3rd party access. 

Data protection in use (even though you didn't ask :) )  - data is encrypted or otherwise protected (such as pseudo anonymization for privacy data) while being processed, within an application or service (e.g. AWS Lambda).  the intent is that malicious software with access to the service/process RAM or temp storage cannot discover meaningful data through that access.

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IT Consultant & Trainer at ReallySimpleTech, Inc.
Real User
Top 5
Mar 4, 2022

"Data protection at rest" means when it is stored on the hard drive, tape backup, USB dongle, external drive, or anything where the data is stored to be retrieved later it is encrypted.  However, when you access that data to use the file it is unencrypted so that it can be utilized.  

"Encryption in transit" means that as you transfer a file from one drive to another, Email, FTP, etc. it is also encrypted so that it can not be intercepted while being moved.  

I use Microsoft BitLocker full disk encryption for local storage and IPSEC between my computers at home. When connecting externally I use SSL, HTTPS VPN. I use Outlook for email and connect to Office 365 using IMAP/SMTP using SSL encryption protocols.  



Ofir Dahan - PeerSpot reviewer
Marketing Operations at Flow Security
Nov 23, 2022

Flow's data security platform is the only solution that protects data at rest and in transit.

Remy Ma - PeerSpot reviewer
Network Security Services at ACE Managed Securty Services
Real User
Top 5
Sep 2, 2022

“Data in transit” is data that actively moves from one location to another, either within a private network or through the internet. Protecting data in transit needs additional encryption like access control and firewalls so that it can’t be intercepted during transit and reaches the destination uncompromised. Organizations prefer encrypted connections like HTTPS, SSL, TLS, or FTPS to protect moving data.

“Data at rest” is data that is not actively moving from one location to another. Data stored on a laptop, hard drive, flash drive, or archived data is considered at rest. “Data protection at rest” is the security of static data. While securing data at rest is easier than securing data in transit, data at rest is targeted more frequently. Encryption and strong passwords are used for protecting data at rest.

Eitan Greenberg - PeerSpot reviewer
VP Marketing of Sasa Software at Sasa Software
Apr 17, 2022

Looking from a perspective of trust - "data at rest" is presumably trusted, whereas "data in transit" is of questionable reputation - for the receiving side. 

Encryption of the data transfer itself does nothing to upgrade the trustworthiness of the incoming data. This is the basis of a zero-trust approach to all incoming data regardless of its source.

Operator at Halliburton
Real User
Apr 9, 2022

By Darren Chaker - wonderful distinction between in transit and in rest! Thank you for taking the time provide so much detail in your post.  

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