It is never a good news when you hear that your vital information such credit card details are compromised or all of your life savings are gone. The biggest breaches in cyber-security that affected prominent companies like eBay, JP Morgan Chase, Yahoo and many others are lessons for us to learn on the need for adequate data encryption for our devices and files.
With hackers and cybercriminals on the trail of businesses, the subject on the right algorithm for data encryption is much important.
When thinking of data security, you should have basic knowledge of what algorithm and encryption are all about.
Encryption algorithms are basically a mathematical approach to carrying out encryption on sensitive data. The algorithm methods turn transmitted information into an unreadable ciphertext. This is encryption. Encrypted data will require a secret key for the recipient to transform it back to the original plain-text. The receiver decrypts the ciphertext that is in the gibberish form with his secret key. Even if the data is intercepted by an intruder, the information will be of no use since he has not got the key to decrypt the message. With this end-to-end encryption, no third party can have access to information transmitted between two parties.
This process is commonly used in file transfer protocols and computer communications. With advancement in technology, it can easily be applied by anyone on his documents.
All Algorithms Are Not The Same
There are many algorithms for data encryption. You need to find out of the algorithm is implemented on the software you intend going for. When in search of a reliable software for data encryption issues of reliability, functionality, and strength of the algorithm applied should be considered.
Some of the common algorithms used are AES, Twofish, Blowfish, Triple DES, RSA, IDEA, MD5, among others. Each algorithm has its own peculiarity and level of efficiency.
Types Of Encryption
Keys are the core of encryption, the more difficult and lengthy the key, the stronger the algorithm and better encryption implementation. Every algorithm applies any of these two forms of encryption for data transmission:
Symmetric Or Private Encryption
Symmetric encryption utilizes one single key in the encryption process. Both the sender who encrypts and the recipient who decrypts use this key in the process. Twofish, Triple DES, and Blowfish algorithms, for instance, use Asymmetric encryption.
Public Key Or Asymmetric Encryption
For this encryption, a pair of keys is involved. The public key is held by both the sender and the receiver while the second and private key is held by the recipient. For instance, RSA algorithm uses public key encryption.
Level Of Efficiency Can Be Determined By Key Length
The higher the key length for an encryption, the better secured the document. Encryption algorithms come with different encryption key lengths, for instance, AES which is America's standard has in addition to its efficient 128-bit keys, a 129 and 256-bit encryption types. Twofish uses 256-bit key length. And Triple DES uses 56 bits each making 168-bits in total in its triple pattern design.