Data encryption has become an essential tool for protecting sensitive
Increase the data backup server's processing power
This can be accomplished through a CPU upgrade or an outright server replacement. For example, an existing single-processor backup server may be replaced with a multiprocessor server. Remember that added processors may involve licensing changes to the backup software.
Reduce the volume of backup data that is actually encrypted
A company may only need to encrypt customer databases or other sensitive files that only comprise a small percentage of the total backup job. If only those sensitive files are encrypted and the bulk of remaining files are left unencrypted, the total performance impact from data encryption is greatly reduced -- yet the company meets its regulatory or privacy obligations.
Experiment with a variety of data encryption tools and settings
Different products will impose different penalties, so test several different backup/encryption packages in a lab setting, and see which ones offer the least performance impact. Also, test a variety of data encryption schemes and key complexities. For example, compare the performance of AES, Triple DES and Blowfish encryption using moderate and strong key strengths. Find the best performing combination that will still meet the security needs of your industry.
This was first published in November 2007