Data Encryption Defined
Data encryption is a security method where information is encoded and can only be accessed or decrypted by a user with the correct encryption key. Encrypted data, also known as ciphertext, appears scrambled or unreadable to a person or entity accessing without permission.
How Data Encryption is Used
Data Encryption is used to deter malicious or negligent parties from accessing sensitive data. An important line of defense in a cybersecurity architecture, encryption makes using intercepted data as difficult as possible. It can be applied to all kinds of data protection needs ranging from classified government intel to personal credit card transactions. Data encryption software, also known as an encryption algorithm or cipher, is used to develop an encryption scheme which theoretically can only be broken with large amounts of computing power.
Types of Encryption – Symmetric and Asymmetric
Encryption is often applied in two different forms, a symmetric key or an asymmetric key. A symmetric key, or secret key, uses one key to both encode and decode the information. This is best used for one to one sharing and smaller data sets. Asymmetric, or public key cryptography, uses two linked keys – one private and one public. The encryption key is public and can be used by anyone to encrypt. The opposite key is kept private and used to decrypt.
How to Protect Your Data
Data encryption is a given in today’s world of cybersecurity. Hardly any responsible security programs are without it. To be ensure your data is safe, educate your organization on best practices for data use and sharing.
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