Encryption helps protect the data you send, receive, and store using a device. Protecting confidential information with codes and ciphers is thousands of years old. This practice is a technical art form that protects digital data being sent, received, or stored, called encryption.

Encryption is a method of protection that masks digital information so that only those with the correct encryption key can decrypt it. It protects data from cyberattacks so that hackers and other online snoopers do not have access to your data and messages, even if they intercept them before it reaches the intended recipient.

This includes text messages stored on your smartphone, running logs saved on your smartwatch, and banking information transmitted through your online account. Understand in the following article how this security method works.

What Is Encryption?

Encryption is a process that scrambles human-readable text so that it can only be read by the person who has the secret code or decryption key. It helps protect sensitive data. 

It’s nearly impossible to do business without your data ending up on an organization’s networked computer system, so knowing how to help keep that data private is important. Encryption plays an essential role in this task.

How Does Encryption Work?

Encryption takes plain text, such as a text message or email, and scrambles it into an unreadable format – called “ciphertext.” This helps protect the confidentiality of digital data stored on computer systems or transmitted over a network such as the Internet. 

When the intended recipient accesses the message, the information is translated back to its original format. This is called decryption. To unlock the message, both the sender and recipient must use a “secret” encryption key – a collection of algorithms that scrambles and unscrambles the data into a readable format.

How Important Is Encryption?

Why is encryption necessary? This question is quite common and extremely important to understand the primary function of this technology. Understand now what the reasons are why encryption is so important these days.

Encryption: Internet Privacy Concerns Are Real

Encryption helps protect your privacy online by turning personal information into messages intended only for the parties that need it – and no one else. Through encryption, you improve the security of your website and gain a competitive edge.

Also, make sure that your emails are being sent over an encrypted connection or that you are encrypting each message. To do this, access the menu -> Settings of your email. If you check your email with a web browser, take a moment to ensure SSL encryption is available. 

Hacking Is Big Business, And Your Company Cannot Be A Victim

Cybercrime is a global business, often run by multinational companies. Cybercriminals often steal personal information for financial gain. Data breaches cause reputational damage, and encryption protects, so that doesn’t happen.

Regulations Require Encryption

Businesses demand secure websites and apps that protect their customers’ data, systems, and brands. Keeping security in mind from the beginning of the design or development phase is essential because each industry requires specific compliance regulations for data protection.

What Are The Types Of Encryption?

Several different encryption methods are used through algorithms or ciphers in encoding data. To encrypt data, you need a key to change it. There are thus two types of keys:

Symmetric Encryption Key: 

The symmetric key uses a single, randomly generated private key that the sender shares with the recipient. 

Asymmetric Encryption Key: 

The asymmetric key uses a public key to encrypt the data or message and a private key to decrypt the message. Choosing the ideal encryption method will depend on the sensitivity of the information sent or stored, the data file size, how the data will be sent (email, FTP, etc.), and the encryption standards your receiver prefers.

Encryption Examples: When Do You Use It?

There are several encryption standards to understand and when it’s best to use them.

AES ( Advanced Encryption Standard ): 

It is one of the most popular file encryption methods in the world. It is a symmetric block cipher and protects sensitive data shared in closed systems and stored in large databases. It’s a good choice for emailing information that isn’t extremely sensitive, like your new product catalog and price list or emailing a large ZIP file.

Open PGP (Pretty Good Privacy): 

It uses a symmetric key to encrypt and an asymmetric key to decrypt the data. Private keys can also verify the authenticity of the sender. This adds a layer of protection when sharing information over open networks. Open PGP is a good choice when transmitting sensitive information such as payroll deposit data with your financial institution.

SFTP ( Secure File Transfer Protocol ): 

SFTP communicates over a secure connection. It uses public-key cryptography and password authentication. SFTP encryption is most commonly used in server-to-server file transfers, such as information exchanged with healthcare providers.

FTPS Or Secure File Transfer Protocol: 

FTPS uses two data connections. A public key encrypts data, a general key certificate provides authenticity, and a private key decrypts data. Legal, government, and financial services entities rely on secure file transfer via FTPS.

The Secure Mail

This uses asymmetric encryption. It protects personally identifiable information in the body of an email, such as proprietary business information, or personal information, such as an account number.

AS2 or AS4

Also known as applicability standard 2 or 4, AS2 or AS4 use digital certificates and various encryption standards. With AS2 or AS4, you can request a message disposition notification or receipt that verifies that the recipient has received and decrypted the message. 

You still get legal proof that you sent the message and received it (also known as non-repudiation of receipt). AS2 and AS4 are commonly used in EDI transfers for business information such as invoices or purchase orders.

Also Read: When Does Technology Help To Reduce Costs In Companies?

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