Encryption is based on the remarkably ancient concept of cryptography. It makes use of algorithms to produce an unreadable code which will further need an encryption code in order to be decrypted or understood. The encryption key is very important and essential because only the person who has it can ultimately understand the code.
Data encryption is the term used to describe the concept of processing and transforming electronic information into a new form that is not discernable to anyone but experts who have knowledge of translating and understanding the code. Even in the early civilizations, encryption has been used especially by famous historical personalities such as Julius Caesar during the reign of the Roman empire in order to transmit confidential messages and information.
In modern times, encryption has taken new shapes and sizes as it has become electronic. It is an essential part of business and finance for companies thriving in this age. It also proves to be the most efficient and convenient way to protect data that is being stored or transmitted. With encryption, electronic commerce has been made possible with the utilization of credit cards while protecting personal and private information. Sensitive documents, confidential data, and classified information are also kept intact, private, safe and secure with the help of the art and science of encryption. It has indeed come across a wide variety of institutions and industries as a trusted tool with its many uses.
One can protect data that are either at rest such as full disk encryption, servers and databases, and mobile devices which means that data is currently being stored or data in transit such as email, chat and SMS, browser-based encryption, mobile apps or the cloud which means that the data is already moving around through various connections.
There are many ways to encrypt data. Encrypting data with a USB key is one way. Through full disk encryption (FDE) any data stored on a disk are automatically encrypted. Encrypted email servers allow users to send and receive encrypted messages and not just plain text. File encryption is a way to encrypt at-rest data on a file-by-file basis so that it cannot be read or intercepted. Encrypted web connections, on the other hand, use secure sockets layer (SSL) or transport layer security (TLS) protocols. End-to-end encryption hides the content of messages so that only the senders and the receivers can read it, famous social media sites such as Facebook Messengers and Apple’s iMessage.
There are many kinds of encryption to protect various activities.
Secret-key algorithms or symmetric algorithms use the same key for encryption and decryption.
Blockchain cryptography is usually used to protect data related to financial transactions. It is a form of cryptocurrency which uses public-key encryption which provides direct, trustworthy transaction that cannot be affected by fraud.
Public key algorithms are also known as asymmetric algorithms, it is consist of two public-key encryption, one for encryption itself and the other for decryption. The public key is how the information is sent to the receiver while the private key is used to decode the encryption. Although it requires more computer processing power thus it tends to be a bit slower.
Elliptic curve cryptography is a form of public-key encryption that is practically unbreakable and is deemed to be up to best standards.
Block ciphers such as the triple data encryption standard (DES) encrypt data and is a viable encryption option for financial institutions who need business security.
Stream ciphers is a symmetric algorithm which uses keystream which encrypts plaintext one character at a time.
A few popular algorithms include Ring Learning With Error or Ring-LWE, a protocol which ramps up elliptic curves by adding encryption that cannot be invaded by quantum computers.
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a block cipher which offers 128, 192 and 256-bit encryption which requires extra-strong encryption.
Blowfish and Twofish are both block ciphers that are free for everyone and is very popular among e-commerce platforms when protecting payment information. It uses symmetric encryption featuring keys with varying length and strength.
RSA is an asymmetric algorithm which uses paired keys and has become a standard for encrypting information sent over the internet.
The International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA) is a block featuring a 128 bit key with a remarkable track record of being unbroken. Signal Protocol is an open source encryption protocol is employed for messaging such as email. Business must immediately invest in innovative software with the best performance in order to further develop, improve and optimize their operations.