Who, What, why, & How of Data Encryption

USD 4.35 million was the total cost of data breach across several million data set breaches as per an IBM report.

Information systems security has become an integral need for businesses to ensure protection from certain kinds of cyber-security threats.

It is paramount that businesses and users should focus on some relative measures that can support preventing any kind of information security breach.

Increasing conditions of network security breaches imply the need for relying on some strong IT security measures to improve the protection conditions.

One such practice is the application of data encryption. In this article, the focus is on highlighting why, where, and how data encryption works, and the best practices as to how the encryption patterns can be used by businesses and users to secure their information systems network.

What is Data Encryption?

Data encryption is the process of converting plaintext data into a coded, unreadable form called ciphertext.

The purpose of the data encryption measures is to protect the confidentiality of the data so that it can only be accessed by authorized parties.

To decrypt the data, a key is needed to convert the ciphertext back into its original form. Many different encryption algorithms can be used, each with its benefits and drawbacks.

In an illustrative scenario of data encryption, when a business sends its customers some important contract information or another kind of confidential information, in vice-versa when customers send some sensitive personal information to the customers, it is essential to secure such information correspondence.

The current network security challenges in data encryption are that any correspondence emails or data stored in its original forms are being compromised when the systems or network gets breached.

It could be the impact of malware or ransomware attacks, targeted or motivated attacks towards a user or an organization, etc. leading to complications.

As a fundamental step, if the actual data is stored in an encrypted pattern, the original data is managed in an encoded form, and thus, if some hackers breach the data, it could be very complex to decode the data without using the pattern used for data encryption.

Basis the general understanding of the security breaches taking place, it is significant that the encryption patterns can deal with more protection and can rest assured of securing the sensitive information in the business systems and offering the requisite data protection layers.

The process of data encryption is not new, and over time many encryption options have evolved.

Despite that the teams understand the need for data encryption, still, if adequate measures are not taken towards it, it could be challenging.

The Advantages of Data Encryption in Data Security

The most common application of data encryption is in protecting confidential information, such as customer credit card numbers or company trade secrets, or even in the new-age apps offering instant communication options like WhatsApp, etc.

Many of the new-age email solutions have integrated the encryption features between the sender and recipient emails with data encryption patterns to mitigate the risks of an information security breach.

Some of the key benefits of data encryption patterns are:

  • Confidentiality: Data Encryption helps to protect the confidentiality of the information so that it can only be accessed by authorized parties.
  • Security: Data Encryption helps to protect against unauthorized access, as the data is unreadable without the correct key.
  • Compliance: In some industries, data encryption is required by law to ensure the protection of sensitive information.
  • Privacy: Data encryption can help to protect the privacy of individuals, as it helps to prevent the unauthorized collection and use of personal information.
  • Trust: Data encryption can help to build trust with customers and other stakeholders, as it demonstrates a commitment to the protection of sensitive information.

While data encryption protects information stored on disk or in online databases, it also provides an added layer of security for e-mail messages and other electronic communications.

Encryption systems work by converting plaintext data into a coded, unreadable form called ciphertext.

This is done using a set of rules, called an algorithm, and a piece of information called a key to complete the data encryption process.

The key in the data encryption patterns is a series of numbers that is used to encrypt and decrypt the data.

The strength of the encryption depends on the length and complexity of the key. To encrypt data, the plaintext is input into the encryption algorithm along with the key.

The data encryption algorithm processes the plaintext and key and produces the ciphertext as output.

To decrypt the data, the ciphertext is input into the decryption algorithm along with the key. The data encryption algorithm processes the ciphertext and key and produces the plaintext as output.

There are two main types of encryptions: symmetric and asymmetric. In symmetric encryption structure of data encryption, the same key is used for both encryption and decryption.

In asymmetric encryption, a pair of keys are used: a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption.

Asymmetric algorithms use public keys to encrypt and decrypt data while symmetric algorithms use a shared key.

Cryptographic systems in the data encryption are divided into two broad categories based on their underlying mathematical principles: block ciphers and stream ciphers.

Block ciphers operate on blocks of the plaintext of fixed size whereas stream ciphers operate on a continuous stream of plaintext.

Block ciphers model of data encryption deals encrypts or decrypt one block at a time, usually of a fixed length. A block cipher performs encryption or decryption in a single step.

The most used block ciphers are Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Triple-DES.

A Few Risks You Might Face During a Data Encryption Process

There are a few risks to consider when implementing a data encryption process:

Key management: It is important to securely store and manage the keys used for data encryption and decryption. If the keys are lost or compromised, it may not be possible to access the encrypted data.

Performance: Encrypting and decrypting data can impact the performance of a system, as it requires additional processing power for data encryption process

Compatibility: The data encryption method used should be compatible with the systems and devices that will be accessing the encrypted data.

In addition to the above, it is important to mitigate the risks of weak or out date algorithms and any kind of human error issues that could affect the data encryption process.

For more information and any assistance on how to encrypt data, reach out to team Exabytes Singapore team for more details about Acronis Cyber Protect.

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Related articles:

Ultimate Guide to Data Security for Beginners Level

Anti-Malware Protection: How to Secure Client Sensitive Data

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