Encryption is a means by which information is turned into a secret code that hides its true meaning. What this means in practice is that data gets scrambled so only authorised parties can access it. So, if you write a message, it gets converted into indecipherable text that makes it impossible for anyone who attempts to access it to decipher it. It’s used by banks, online retailers and other services where you are required to provide financial and other sensitive information.
How does encryption work?
Encryption makes use of an algorithm to scramble data. The receiving party uses a key to unscramble, or decrypt, the scrambled information. The information contained in the encrypted message is known as plaintext. When it’s in its encrypted and unreadable form, it’s known as cipher text.
The cipher will include a particular variable as part of its algorithm. This variable is known as the key, and it’s this which makes each cipher unique. If an encrypted message is intercepted by an unintended and unauthorised recipient, they would need to guess which cipher was used, as well as which key keys were used as variables.
This makes trying to decrypt the message incredibly challenging for any unauthorised party. The length of time it would take, even if it were possible, makes encryptions a highly valuable security tool, particularly when it comes to online transactions.
Why is encryption so important?
Encryption plays a key role in providing security across a range of information technology applications.
It ensures confidentiality, ensuring that the original content of the message cannot be accessed by unauthorised parties. It also provides a valuable authentication tool, allowing the recipient to know that the information is genuine and is from the genuine sender, not someone else hijacking the branding of the expected sender.
At the same time it locks in the concept of ‘non-repudiation’, meaning that the sender cannot later deny that they sent the data. It also protects the integrity of the data meaning that no one can hijack it and tamper sent data before it’s received.
Encryption fulfils a vital role in ensuring digital data is safe and that users don’t inadvertently give away sensitive financial and personal information. It also helps to build trust and confidence.
Encryption helps companies to the cloud
Encryption allows companies to confidently move their data to the cloud without fear of it being compromised. It ensures that data is secure in transit and remains secure in storage. Because the company will have control of the encryption keys, even if the service provider makes a copy of the data, they will only make a copy of the encrypted version. This allows companies to enjoy all the advantages of the cloud without having to worry about the security of any information.
Encryption is the first line of defence against fraud and data theft
Fraud, scams and data theft cost businesses billions every year, and can even endanger national security. Encryption is the first line of defence against fraud, helping to ensure that consumers remain confident with online purchases. Were this to be lost, the consequences for online businesses could be severe.
Taking security seriously
At InTeck, we have an experienced team of software development professionals who can create bespoke software solutions where security and data protection are taken seriously.
Why not Contact Us today to find out more?