Cybersecurity and protection of data have become a part of everyone’s life over the last couple of years. From business data to banking and health information, keeping information safe is on everyone’s to-do list. Now, more than 4.5 billion people use the internet, while the number of social media users has passed the 3.8 billion mark. More than 90% of global online users have had at least one significant concern about their data privacy. This is where the importance of data encryption comes into existence.
What Is Data Encryption? How does It Work?
Data encryption is the process of encoding information which can then only be accessed or be decoded by the person who has the correct encryption key. Data that has been encrypted is also known as ciphertext. Encryption of data is important as it allows us to send sensitive or private information over the internet without it being seen by unauthorized people. Only the person who is supposed to see the data will be able to decode it using the key. This process is usually used to prevents the theft of important data.
Data encryption works with the use of algorithms that are used to disorganize information and save it from the hands of a predator. Once the information is scrambled, it is transmitted using a medium to the end user who can use a key to decode the data.
What Are the Types of Encryption?
Below are some data encryption techniques that are used to make the information unreadable for an unauthorized user.
Triple DES or Data Encryption Algorithm is a type of encryption that uses symmetric encryption. It uses a 56-bit key thrice, instead of using a single 56-bit key that was used in the original version. The encryption of data takes places in three phases:
Similarly, the decryption of data also takes places in three phases –
- Decrypt again
AES or Advanced Encryption Standard, is also a type of symmetric encryption based on the Rijndael algorithm. This type uses a block-cipher to encrypt one fixed-size block at a time. It works on the 128-bit or 192-bit key, but the same can be extended up to the 256-bit key length.
RSA or Rivest–Shamir–Adleman, as opposed to the above two types of encryption, is an asymmetric cipher. It functions on two types of keys:
- A public key for encryption.
- A private key for decryption.
It is considered as the best encryption algorithm that functions on a 1024-bit key, and if need be, can be extended up to a 2048-bit key length. However, this also means that the larger the key size is, the slower will be the process of encryption.
A Blowfish encryption algorithm was designed to replace the original DES encryption. It is a symmetric block cipher that works on the key length that varies between from 32 bits to 448 bits.
A Twofish encryption algorithm is also a symmetric block cipher. This is an advanced version of the Blowfish encryption algorithm. It has a block size of 128-bits, but the same can be extended to up to a 256-bit key length. This encryption algorithm is used to break data into fixed-length blocks.
How Can Data Be Encrypted?
Encryption is used to make data unreadable to anyone who is not meant to read it. So, in order to do it, the data is passed through a cipher, which is an algorithm that encodes information according to a key. Once data is encoded, it can be decoded only by using the same key that was used to encrypt it in the first place. The strength of the encryption process depends on the strength of the key that was used. So, any encrypted information is safe as long as the key is not discovered.
Learn Data Encryption In-Depth From EC-Council University
EC-Council University offers a number of courses in its Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security degree as well as its Master of Science in Cyber Security degree. Here are a few courses that delve into the encryption and security of data:
Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security (BSCS)
- CIS 303 – Security Policies and Implementation (TestOut Security Pro certification)
This course provides an overview of designing security architectures. It details the concepts about how to implement secure access through authentication and encryption.
- CIS 404 – Hacker Techniques, Tools, and Incident Handling + [Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification]
This course provides new information about cryptography and data encryption in network protocols, supplying all the details a professional needs to know about computer criminals and hackers who break into networks to steal information and corrupt data.
Master of Science in Cyber Security (MSCS)
The Security Analyst specialization under ECCU’s MSCS degree offers a course that talks about securing wireless networks. The ECCU 509 Securing Wireless Networks course concentrates on the various methods of securing wireless networks, including encryption, authentication, and authorization.