The demand for data security has been at an all-time high in this age of electronic communications. With the increasing level of cyber crimes, people are turning to encryption as a way of protecting their data from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. The method of encryption itself is not new as information that needed decoding dates back to the olden times. The only disparity that perhaps exists today lies in our use of electronic devices to generate unique codes that never existed before.
Nearly every online platform is currently encrypted ranging from iMessage to Whatsapp and secure website connections. Encryption technology enables people to communicate secretly without their conversation getting leaked to the third party. What is this encryption?
What Encrypting means
Encryption refers to the process of encoding data to make it accessible only to authorized people. This is usually done by changing electronic information into a secret code that can only be accessed by those having the encryption key. People without the code key usually find it impossible to decrypt such information making it secure.
An encryption key is mainly composed of several algorithms that are made in such a way that they are distinct and cannot be predicted. This key is capable of scrambling and unscrambling data eventually decrypting the data to return it to a readable form.
When encrypting data, the person responsible generates the key that can decrypt the data then make ‘copies’ which can be sent to the individuals to whom the data is intended. This way, individuals without the relevant encryption key are barred from accessing the data.
Encryption offers several benefits. People encrypt their data with the primary purpose of protecting the confidentiality of the data they transmit either online or stored on their computer systems. Currently, several organizations recommend encryption of data to avoid scenarios where information falls in and is accessed by threat parties or wrong individuals. In the IT systems security assurance, encryption is used to provide confidentiality as well as authentication, integrity, and non-repudiation.
How Encryption Work
Generally, when a message is sent when encrypted using a messaging service, it gets wrapped in code by the service which then scrambles it and creates an encryption key which can only be decrypted by the person to whom the message is intended.
A good example of such encryption is the end-to-end encryption where information is encoded and scrambled in such way that it can only be seen by the sender and the receiver.
Encryption keys have the capacity of functioning as a pair where one is designed to lock the data and multiple ‘copies’ are generated which are passed to the recipient to help them in unlocking the encrypted data. However, in end-to-end encryption, the information can be unlocked only by two people who are the sender and the recipient.
To summarize, encryption simply entails encoding data to make it accessible to authorized people only. This is done by changing electronic information into a secret code that can only be accessed by those having the encryption key.