Encryption And Cryptography
Encryption And Cryptography
Encryption refers to the process of conversion of electronic data into a ciphertext. The ciphertext protects data from an unauthorized person. Only the authorized parties can only understand the data that has been converted into cipher text. The primary function of encryption is to ensure confidentiality of the digital data that is stored on the computer networks and the internet. The modern encryption system which uses algorithms is used to protect or secure the communication systems and the IT systems (Curtin, 2005). Algorithms provide confidentiality, integrity, and authentication of the data or the message.
Encryption is used by various organizations to protect data in transit and data at rest. The governments of different countries use encryption to protect their confidential information. Besides, encryption ensures that such state data is authentic. Commercial organizations such as banks also use encryption to protect their sensitive data. Encryption is also used by consumers to protect data stored on hard drive, Smartphone and flash drives. Devices such as modems, smart cards, SIM cards and set-top boxes rely on encryption to protect sensitive data. Data in transit is usually encrypted before it is allowed on the Internet by using encryption connections such as HTTPS, TLS, and SSL among others (Curtin, 2005). This ensures that the content of the data in transit is protected from unauthorized parties. On the other hand, data at rest is also encrypted before they are stored, or an enterprise may decide to encrypt the storage drive to ensure that sensitive data are protected.
Data in transit is protected using robust security networks and control systems. Various network security mitigations such as firewalls can be used to secure or protect the networks from intrusions or malware attacks. For instance, an enterprise can use data protection solutions that allow for automatic encryption and blocking for sensitive data which are in transit. This may be used for files which are attached to email messages, removable drives or on cloud storage. Organizations can adopt policies that allow for systematic classification of sensitive company data at rest. This would ensure that stored data always remain safe from unauthorized parties. Encryption is used to protect data across all networks and devices. For instance, it used while making phone calls, buying items online using Smartphone and on ATM when withdrawing cash or making payments. Besides, encryption is used to manufacture car locks to protect them from unauthorized parties.
Cryptography is the art of solving and writing codes to allow one to protect data while transferring information from or to an insecure source (Kahate, 2013). Cryptography uses various techniques to protect data in transit and data at rest. Such methods include microdots, scrambling of the plaintext into ciphertext and merging of images and words to protect sensitive information from unauthorized persons. Cryptographers use ciphertext to encrypt and decrypt information simultaneously. Cryptography is used to promote confidentiality, authenticity, and non-repudiation of information. Cryptography ensures that the information in transit is only understood by those who are concerned or the intended parties (Kahate, 2013). Besides, it protects alteration of information in transit and stored data.
Asymmetric cryptography may be difficult to maintain since it requires the creation of both public and private keys. The public keys are usually shared by different people working for an organization. At some point, dishonest employees can share such information with unauthorized parties thus interfering with confidentiality of sensitive information.
- Curtin, M. (2005). Brute force: Cracking the data encryption standard. New York: Copernicus Books.
- Kahate, A. (2013). Cryptography and network security. New Delhi: McGraw Hill Education.