What is Encryption?

Encryption is a technique employed for keeping sensitive and private information safe, such as passwords, identity information, credit card details. In this article, we will explain what encryption is in detail.

As a member of the society in the 21st century, you must have accounts on some online platforms or done online shopping at least once in your life. Have you ever wondered how your sensitive information like credit card details, passwords and such are kept safe in such platforms? The answer is short and quite straightforward: encryption!

In this article, we will take a closer look at what encryption is and how it can be very crucial for your organization’s cyber security operations.

What is encryption?

Simply put, encryption refers to the practices that aim creating ciphertexts from plaintexts. Plaintexts are the texts that can be read and understood by the third parties, on the other hand ciphertexts are scrambled texts that cannot be understood by the third parties if they somehow managed to get their hands on this piece of information.

In order to decipher a text, you need to use a cipher or an encryption algorithm that will sort out the ciphertext and recreate the plaintext.

To the plain eye, encrypted data may seem very random or even chaotic. In fact, it is ‘scrambled’ in a very rule governed, predictable way.

How is encrypted data deciphered?

The intended receiver of the encrypted data can decipher it with the help of a key, an algorithm, a decoder or something similar. If the data and the encryption technique are on the digital realm, the intended receiver can use the corresponding decryption tool and acquire the information they need.

The thing used for decryption purposes can be called as the key, cipher or algorithm. Below you can find detailed information on each.

Cipher: The term cipher refers to the algorithm that is specifically used for the encryption purposes. A cipher consists of a set of successive steps at the end of which the encrypted information is decrypted. There are two main kinds of ciphers: stream ciphers and block ciphers.

Algorithm: Algorithms are the procedures that are followed by the encryption processes. There are numerous types of algorithms that are specifically used to decipher encrypted files and information: blowfish, triple DES and RSA are some of these types.

In addition to the algorithms and ciphers, brute force can be used to decrypt an encrypted text.

What are the different kinds of encryption?

There are various techniques employed for encryption. As a result, one can opt for various types of encryption. Below you can find detailed information on these different kinds.

Symmetric encryption: In this kind of encryption, all the communicating parties have the same key for encryption and decryption purposes.

Asymmetric encryption: In this kind of encryption, two different keys are used. One is for the encryption purposes and the other is for decryption purposes. One of these keys are shared publicly while the other one is kept private. That is why asymmetrical encryption is also known as the public key encryption. This specific kind of encryption is also of pivotal importance for SSL (TLS).

References:

https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/ssl/what-is-encryption/

https://medium.com/searchencrypt/what-is-encryption-how-does-it-work-e8f20e340537

https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/encryption

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encryption

https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-privacy-what-is-encryption.html

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