The process of turning data into an unrecognisable or “encrypted” form is known as encryption. By encoding and transforming information into unreadable ciphertext, this cryptographic approach secures sensitive data such as credit card numbers.
Encryption is one of the most significant approaches for ensuring data security, especially when it comes to end-to-end protection of data sent over networks. It is the most efficient method of ensuring data security.
You must have access to a secret key or password to decode an encrypted file in order to read it. Its key is a set of algorithms that are supposed to be completely unique. These can scramble and unscramble data, effectively unlocking it and converting it back to usable data.
It’s commonly used on the internet to secure user data exchanged between a browser and a server. Typically, the individual encrypting the data will have access to the key that locks the data and will make ‘copies’ and distribute them to others who need access.
This is known as public-key cryptography. It’s also used to protect data transmitted through wireless networks and the Internet. Many Wi-Fi networks, for example, use WEP or the significantly stronger WPA encryption.
Connecting to a secure Wi-Fi network requires entering a password (and occasionally a username), but once connected, all data exchanged between your device and the wireless router is encrypted.
Types of encryption
- Symmetric Key Encryption: It encrypts and decrypts ciphertext using the same cryptographic keys. Symmetric-key systems are simpler and faster, but their fundamental disadvantage is that the key must be exchanged in a secure manner between the two parties. Secret-key cryptography is another name for symmetric-key cryptography. The Data Encryption Standard is the most widely used symmetric-key system (DES).
- Encryption with public keys: It makes use of a pair of keys, one of which is secret and the other public. Encryption and decryption are done with different keys. This is a feature that distinguishes this system from the asymmetric scheme.
How encryption works
It is based on the old technique of cryptography, which involves converting plain text into unreadable, jumbled code using computers and algorithms. The key, a series of bits that decode the text, is required to decrypt the ciphertext into plaintext. The key is something that only you or the intended receiver has.
This technique generates ciphertext that can only be decrypted with the correct key to reveal its original form. You may have heard about end-to-end encryption, or you may have received a notification from WhatsApp stating that this sort of encryption is now supported.
It is the technique of encoding and scrambling data so that only the sender and recipient can see it. End-to-end encryption, on the other hand, allows only the sender and recipient to unlock and read the data.