If you want to keep your business’s data safe, encryption is essential. By encrypting files directly, you ensure that they can’t be opened without a password — protecting the files from hackers and unauthorized access.
While the two provide similar benefits, their feature sets are different enough that you’ll want to choose your software carefully based on your business’s particular needs and preferences.
Why encrypt your data?
Cybercrime is on the rise, and research suggests that hackers are targeting almost everyone — from individuals to small businesses to government agencies.
Businesses with staff who work from home or store valuable information (likely personally identifying information or financial details) may be targeted by hackers more frequently, but just about everyone can fall victim to a cyberattack.
With an encryption tool, you can lock important business files. While encrypted, a file can only be accessed by users who have a secret key that can decrypt the file and make it readable. Even if hackers gain access to a business device, the business network or cloud storage, they won’t be able to use encrypted files without their associated secret key.
Encryption is distinct from hashing, which is a nonreversible process that many businesses use to secure and manage login information, like passwords. Free and open-source hashing tools are available to both businesses and individual users, but will likely provide less utility than encryption software.
SEE: Google Chrome: Security and UI tips you need to know (TechRepublic Premium)
NordLocker vs. VeraCrypt: The major differences
NordLocker and VeraCrypt are both popular encryption software, marketed to individuals and businesses — but the two tools appeal to very different audiences.
The biggest difference between the two tools is usability. NordLocker, developed by the company behind virtual private network (VPN) software NordVPN, is built from the ground up for ease of use.
This usability comes with a cost, however. NordLocker offers a free version of the software, but it is limited compared to the premium version. While local encryption is unlimited with NordLocker free, you’ll only be able to encrypt 3GBs worth of cloud-stored data, according to the NordLocker website.
The paid version of the software offers unlimited file extension and size support, but it will cost you $10 a month — more than almost every other encryption software on the market. For a business, this cost may not seem particularly high, but this plan is also intended for use by individuals.
NordLocker also offers a business version of their software, which may have significantly different pricing.
If you want an easy-to-use encryption tool with a dedicated support line, however, the potential cost of NordLocker may be worth it.
VeraCrypt, by contrast, is completely free and open-source. The team behind the tool accepts donations but charges no monthly subscription fee to use their software.
The tool, which is based on the popular-but-discontinued encryption software TrueCrypt, is not built for casual users, however. It lacks many of the ease of use features you’ll find in more mainstream encryption software, like NordLocker.
If the idea of paying each month for encryption software is too much, you may find that the learning curve associated with VeraCrypt is worthwhile. Employees and managers with a technical background will likely be able to learn VeraCrypt faster than team members without that same experience.
When choosing between VeraCrypt and NordLocker, you should consider the experience of your business’s IT team and general staff.
NordLocker vs. VeraCrypt: The less obvious differences
While price and usability are the two areas where NordLocker and VeraCrypt differ most, both tools also offer slightly different feature sets.
VeraCrypt allows users to create encrypted file containers, encrypt disk volumes or partitions and even encrypt the entire operating system of a computer.
The tool also comes with a variety of security customization options that let users set the number of iterations for secret keys and choose from multiple ciphers (including AES, Serpent and Kuznyechik).
VeraCrypt, however, is not explicitly designed for cloud storage. You can use VeraCrypt to encrypt files you want to back up on the cloud, but implementation may be challenging.
SEE: Password breach: Why pop culture and passwords don’t mix (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
NordLocker is built to secure cloud data. While it lacks some of the fine-grain encryption customization features that VeraCrypt offers, it’s likely the better choice for businesses that need cloud encryption.
While both VeraCrypt and NordLocker offer documentation and support, NordLocker’s paid support team is likely to provide a quicker response and more in-depth troubleshooting than the VeraCrypt devs. If your business needs a tool that works out of the box, but the specifics of encryption don’t matter to you, NordLocker will be the right option.
Nordlocker and VeraCrypt: Which is Right for Your Business?
While NordLocker and VeraCrypt are both common recommendations for encryption software, the two appeal to very different audiences.
NordLocker is easy to use and includes cloud encryption features that will make the tool useful for individuals and businesses that need to encrypt cloud data. The cost of the tool may be an issue, however.
VeraCrypt is free, open-source, and features in-depth encryption customization. The software’s learning curve may make it less of a practical option, however, compared to a user-friendly tool like NordLocker.
Subscribe to the Cybersecurity Insider Newsletter
Strengthen your organization's IT security defenses by keeping abreast of the latest cybersecurity news, solutions, and best practices. Delivered Tuesdays and Thursdays