The Importance of Encryption

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Encryption and its Importance

Encryption is a method of securing digital data so that it can only be read by authorized users. Encryption works by sending a message in code. Only those with the appropriate key can decode the message, and the resulting message looks like a random sequence of letters, numbers, and characters. Encryption is particularly important for email, which is typically sent over the internet, where it can be intercepted by hackers. Therefore, encryption is essential to keeping sensitive information safe.

The Process of Encryption

The process of encryption requires a key, which is a long sequence of bytes generated by a complex algorithm. These keys are unique to each message, and an intruder cannot decrypt it unless they can guess the key or the variables used. It is a traditional security measure, and is used by governments and militaries alike to protect sensitive information. Encryption is a popular choice because it is effective in securing data stored on computers and in transit over networks.

Protecting Sensitive Information Online

Encryption is an important privacy tool when you're sharing sensitive information online. When an email is sent, the encryption process scrambles the plain text so that the sender or recipient can't read it. Encrypted messages are sent to a recipient with their own unique key, making them inaccessible to anyone else. Furthermore, it is a great way to protect information stored on a personal device, such as text messages on a smartphone or a fitness tracker. Even banking information can be protected through an online account.

Ancient and Modern Encryption Techniques

The ancient Greeks developed encryption techniques based on the Polybius square. The Greeks used a five by five grid to reference letters. Each letter was assigned a coordinate, and the first letter was coded as 11 and the fourth letter was coded as 42. The ancient Greeks were not the first to use polyalphabetic substitution to encode messages. It's not hard to understand how such methods were developed.

Modern encryption techniques were invented to protect digital information from hackers. However, they are not sufficient for the protection of sensitive information. Most encryption applications protect information only during the transit or at rest, leaving sensitive information vulnerable to disclosure during processing. New techniques for securing data have emerged, including homomorphic encryption and secure multi-party computation. But all of these techniques require large computational costs. And even with all the advancements, encryption hasn't yet reached its full potential.

Common Criteria and Encryption

Common Criteria is not an encryption standard, but a set of international guidelines to verify security claims. The goal of Common Criteria is to provide vendor-neutral oversight over security products. Products are evaluated voluntarily and according to a set of standards for different types of products. While encryption was traditionally outside the scope of Common Criteria, it's increasingly included. And if you're concerned about the privacy of your private information, consider using Dashlane.

Symmetric Encryption and its Advantages

To ensure that no one else can read your messages, symmetric encryption is the preferred choice. This type of encryption uses two keys, called a private key and a public one. The private key is kept confidential by the owner of the message, while the public key is made available to authorized recipients. Moreover, symmetric encryption is more secure and faster than the asymmetric one. But you'll have to keep your private key safe. This is an important consideration when you send sensitive data over the Internet.

June 27, 2022
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