Data encryption keeps our personal, business, health and banking data online. But how is it really kept secure? Storing data that is confidential and of high value can be difficult and that’s why most apps and sites we use rely on data encryption to keep all of our information safe.
According to HP
While there are many kinds of encryption, the three most common types of data encryption are AES, RSA and Triple DES
What is data encryption?
When information or data is shared by all of us over the internet, it travels through multiple devices across the globe, all of which form part of the public internet network. As our data is carried over the public internet, there is a chance of the information being breached. In order to avoid the breach we can install relevant software/hardware that will transfer, share or store your data in a secured manner. This very process is known as encryption. To break it down and also getting a little bit technical, our data when shared is converted into an unreadable format i.e. encoded. When data reaches the desired person it is meant for, the unreadable data becomes readable to the desired individual only i.e. decoded. Encryption is considered as a secure way of transferring or sharing data to avoid third-party intervention. It can be done at any given point of the entire data flow; it is not an isolated process. You can encrypt your data while you are working at it or you are about to send it.
How does encryption work?
Hopefully by now we all understand or get the gist of encryption. Now let’s talk about how it works. To simplify the process, imagine having important documents that are kept in a box and need to be sent to a friend. You have secured the documents with the help of a key and your friend has the same key where he/she is able to unlock it and get access to the documents. The box is sent by you and is received by your friend and the process is completed. This same process in the digital world is done electronically. Encryption uses algorithms which jumbles up the data you want to encrypt. There is a randomly generated key which will be used prior to sending the data to the person at the receiving end, through which it then gets decrypted. There are two types of encryption keys: 1. Symmetric 2. Asymmetric
Types of Encryption
According to GOODCORE the types of encryption have evolved over time and with the advancement of technology. The new and modern ones have replaced the outdated ones. Triple DES, AES and RSA are the three most commonly used types of encryption. A bit about them below:
- Triple DES - Triple Data Encryption Algorithm or Triple-DES uses symmetric encryption and it works in three phases when encrypting the data. Since it has three phases, it is much slower as compared to the other types. Triple DES also has the higher risk of breach when compared to other types and hence it is phasing out. Having said that, organisations still use this encryption type around the world.
- AES - The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is also symmetric encryption. Developed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology it is widely regarded as one of the best encryption types.
- RSA - Rivest–Shamir–Adleman (RSA) encryption is an asymmetric that functions within two keys: a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption. Considered as the best encryption algorithm, it functions on the principal of larger the key size, the slower the encryption process.
Summary Secure data and encryption have become the focus of the entire digital world. It is really up to each one of us to determine which encryption type and technique works for us and our organisation. Knowingly or unknowingly your data is encrypted and should it not be, you must diligently ensure that it is to avoid breaches in the future.