With the sudden surge in the malicious activities performed on the internet over the past decade, breaches in our private data are more ubiquitous. Now, more than ever, encryption is vital. The most common example is a search engine, which relies entirely on encryption, meaning it converts all the data and information into codes. This is how search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Search Encrypt, protect their users’ information. Google collects tons of user data and is obligated to protect that information.
We shall begin with a very simple question, ‘What is the meaning of encryption?’
Encryption is the process that encodes confidential information so that cybercriminals cannot read it. An algorithm in encryption is called to scramble or encrypt data, which then uses a key for the receiving party to unscramble, or decrypt the information. In its encrypted, unreadable form, it is referred to as ciphertext.
When appropriately implemented, encrypted data could take a cybercriminal billion of years to hack because encryption codes function by using complex mathematical algorithms and long numerical sequences that are difficult to decrypt.
However, there are multiple types of encryption, each with varying levels of effectiveness. The two main encryption examples are symmetric encryption and asymmetric encryption. Asymmetric encryption is also known as ‘public key encryption.’ For symmetric encryption, there is only one key, and all communicating parties use the same (secret) key for both encryption and decryption. And for asymmetric, or public key encryption, there are two keys: one key is used for encryption, and a different key is used for decryption. The decryption key is kept private (hence the ‘private key’ name), while the encryption key is shared publicly, for anyone to use (hence the ‘public key’ name).
Encryption techniques allow organizations to confidently offer a more secure experience for employees, customers, and other stakeholders. It has become an enormous asset in the industry.
Encryption prevents data breaches. If an attacker gains access to a network through a device, and the device is encrypted, then the data remains secure. Encryption ensures no legible communication of data except the intended recipient or data owner. It prevents hackers from intercepting and accessing classified information.
Encrypting data enables organizations to protect data and maintain privacy following industry protocol and government policies. Several industries, especially those in financial services and healthcare, have explicit rules on data protection. It helps financial establishments comply with this action.
Encryption keeps users safe while browsing the internet. Previously, attackers used to find ways to hijack unencrypted information sent between users and web services over the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The pattern to encrypt web content by running HTTP over the Secure Socket Layer protocol emerged, soon to be replaced with the Transport Layer Security protocol, enabling enterprises, publishers, and e-commerce providers to offer a secure experience to their users. Encryption helps users feel safe when entering personal information into websites and carrying out e-commerce transactions.
Encryption will thrive on being a core security feature in everything from video chats to e-commerce to social media. If it can be distributed or stored, it can very well be encrypted. Security is no longer just the domain of a company’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) but the responsibility of every IT professional. Human error, insider attacks, and poor implementations are the challenges that companies have to face in developing increasingly sophisticated encryption technology.
Implementing data encryption and a cloud security plan isn’t easy. Both organizations and individual users should be keeping on top of encryption standards to ensure that both their personal and professional data is safe from misuse or compromise.
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