Apply data loss protection safeguards

To mitigate the risks of application information loss and bring them to a more acceptable level (from high to low), apply practical data loss protection safeguards. To determine which tools are cost-effective, conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine their return on investment (ROI).

The data loss protection safeguard options having the highest positive ROI should be considered. The options having a negative ROI are not cost-effective and therefore should not be considered. From this list, select data loss protection safeguards for implementation, such as mandating stronger passwords and data encryption.

If a new protective technology emerges for the same threat, resulting in data loss implementation costs that cost less, this step must be repeated to find out if the safeguard will result in a positive ROI. This may change the order of priority of all protective tools with respect to their ROI.

The Data Encryption Standard (DES) was once a predominant symmetric-key algorithm for the encryption of electronic data. It was highly influential in the advancement of modern cryptography in the academic world. Developed in the early 1970s at IBM and based on an earlier design by Horst Feistel, the algorithm was submitted to the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) following the agency's invitation to propose a candidate for the protection of sensitive, unclassified electronic government data. In 1976, after consultation with the National Security Agency (NSA), the NBS eventually selected a slightly modified version (strengthened against differential cryptanalysis, but weakened against brute force attacks), which was published as an official Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) for the United States in 1977. The publication of an NSA-approved encryption standard simultaneously resulted in its quick international adoption and widespread academic scrutiny. Controversies arose out of classified design elements, a relatively short key length of the symmetric-key block cipher design, and the involvement of the NSA, nourishing suspicions about a backdoor. The intense academic scrutiny the algorithm received over time led to the modern understanding of block ciphers and their cryptanalysis.

DES is now considered to be insecure for many applications. This is mainly due to the 56-bit key size being too small; in January 1999, distributed.net and the Electronic Frontier Foundation collaborated to publicly break a DES key in 22 hours and 15 minutes (see chronology). There are also some analytical results which demonstrate theoretical weaknesses in the cipher, although they are infeasible to mount in practice. The algorithm is believed to be practically secure in the form of Triple DES, although there are theoretical attacks. In recent years, the cipher has been superseded by the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Furthermore, DES has been withdrawn as a standard by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly the National Bureau of Standards).

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