Introduction on How Data Encryption Works
Data encryption history dates way back to the time of ancient Romans and Greeks when they sent messages using secret keys. These secret keys substitute letters of what their message is all about. Thus, data encryption translates data and converts it to another form or code. This way, only those who have access to a secret key or password will know what it says. Encrypted data is normally called a ciphertext, and the encrypted data is referred to as plaintext. Today, data encryption is an effective and popular data security method that organizations use. There are two main data encryption types – asymmetric encryption, and symmetric encryption.
How Data Encryption Works and What is it?
When starting the encryption process, the sender must choose which cipher best disguises the meaning of the message, and which variable to use. This is important because the variable is used to give uniqueness to the encoded message. The types of ciphers that are more widely used are the symmetric and asymmetric ciphers.
The symmetric ciphers are also called the secret key encryption and have only one key. Sometimes, the key is called a shared secret. It is because the sender with the encryption must let all authorized entities know what the secret key is so it can decrypt the message. Normally, symmetric key encryption is a lot faster compared to asymmetric encryption. The symmetric key cipher that is most widely used is known as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). This was designed so the government can protect classified information.
The asymmetric ciphers are also called public-key encryption that uses two logically-linked keys. Most of the time, this kind of cryptography involves the use of prime numbers to create keys because it is harder to include large prime numbers. it is difficult to reverse-engineer encryptions. The most used public-key algorithm is the Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA). By using RSA, the private or public key can be for encrypting a message. This applies to whichever key is used as the encryption.
The Purpose of Algorithm Encryption
Encryption schemes were utilized by important people during the war or for sending political messages. Even if encryption was mostly used before the 1970s by the government and major corporations, it all changed in 1976. This was when Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman introduced the “New Directions in Cryptography.”
The work they did has introduced the RSA algorithm to personal computers. Eventually, data encryption is used in data servers and web browsers for data protection.
Today, encryption is used globally to protect data in banking, online payment, e-commerce, cryptocurrency, email software, and a lot more. In addition, top-up boxes, SIM cards, and Wi-Fi modems use encryption algorithm protocols for protecting data.
Data encryption also protects the communication between two parties. For instance, a customer’s credit card details when they are buying online. Even if data interception is still possible, spies and hackers cannot use them.
All kinds of devices on different networks encrypt data for communication in transit. Internet transits, mobile phone calls, and ATM transactions all use encryption. Thus, the encryption algorithm protects transmitted data.
Contemporary Encryption Challenges
Today, the most basic data encryption attack is by trying random keys until they find which one it is. Of course, the key length determines how many keys are used and plausibility effects of this attack. It is crucial to remember that the strength of encryption is proportional to the key size. However, while key size increases, the number of resources also increases.
Other methods of cipher breaking include cryptanalysis and side-channel attacks. The side-channel attacks target the cipher implementation instead of the actual cipher. These attacks become successful if the system design or execution has an error. In addition, cryptanalysis means looking for any weakness in the cipher so it can be exploited. Cryptanalysis normally occurs if the cipher has a flaw.
Data Encryption Benefits
The main purpose of encryption is to give confidentiality to digital data so it can be protected. These are stored on computers or they are transmitted over any network or the internet.
Aside from security, adopting encryption is usually caused by compliance regulations. Organizations and standard bodies recommend or even require the encryption of sensitive data. This is to prevent third parties from accessing the data. For instance, the standard data security of payment cards requires merchants to encrypt the payment card data of customers when it is stored and transmitted over public networks.
Solutions for Data Encryption
Solutions can provide data, email, and device encryptions. Most of the time, the functionalities of these encryptions have control capabilities used for data, email, and devices. Businesses and organizations face data protection challenges. They also must prevent data loss because employees use external devices, web applications, and removable media regularly. The employees used them to perform business procedures. Sensitive data might be beyond what the company can control because employees copy data and transfer them to removable devices.
Sometimes, employees also upload them to the cloud. Therefore, the best way to prevent data loss also keeps data from being stolen. This also prevents the malware introduction to removable and external devices and applications. To make this possible, they should make sure that people use devices and applications properly. In addition, there is an auto-encryption process to secure the data once it is no longer in the organization.
Encryption of Key Management and Wrapping
Encryption effectively secures data, but cryptographic keys must be managed carefully to make sure that data stays protected, but accessible if necessary. Encryption key access must be closely monitored and limited only to those who must use them.
Key encryption management strategies during their lifecycle and theft protection, misuse or loss begins with an audit. This is to establish a mark for organization configuration, control, management, and monitoring of their keys access.
The management of key software helps in centralizing key management, and protection of keys from being accessed, modified or substituted.
Key wrapping is a part key management software suite that encrypts organization encryption keys in bulk or individually. There is also an unwrapping process to decrypt keys. Normally, the wrapping and unwrapping of keys are carried out together with symmetric encryption.
The encryption works depending on the data you are encrypting, but the majority of people know how to use encrypted connections online. If you require another layer of security like if you are checking out to purchase an item online, your browser needs this. It will either use a Transport Layer Security (TLS), or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) so your connection is encrypted.
Upon checkout, your computer sends information to its connection server, asking for its identity verification. The server will then send back code in the form of a digital certificate that has the public key and an encrypted signature. This is to prove that the server is not a fake.
The attached public key to the certificate will be used for sending encrypted messages to the server. However, it cannot be used for decrypting the same messages. For this to be done, a private key is needed that only the server knows.
Data encryption protects us more than we think, and they must be fully understood.