The basics of effective data encryption

Encryption is a word that often doesn’t give a welcome feeling to many users in the computer world.

They always see Encryption as related to something with the military or war or government.

Users always are wary of this term and often think of World War II or top security operations etc., when they hear about Encryption.

Encryption is an invaluable tool for protecting essential secrets to businesses, like patented secrets, business-critical data, employee information, business data, etc.

But it seems that businesses cannot fully realize the potential of Encryption because they feel that it is far too complex to be used in day-to-day routine operations and fear that if something goes a miss, they might corrupt the data.

But the truth is Encryption of vital data is no more complicated or complex than running simple virus scanners or using backup software to backup data.

The Basics of Encryption

There are two basic methods through which data can be encrypted. One is through the use of symmetric Encryption.

The symmetric encryption technology used a single key to encrypt and decrypt the data. In this particular form of Encryption, the legend used to encrypt the data is used to solve the data, and the users or systems on the receiving and the sender side, if used in communication, should have the same key.

Symmetric Encryption is faster than asymmetric Encryption. Data encrypted through symmetric algorithms are easier to break, and so often, it is used to encrypt not such essential data.

The other methodology used for Encryption is to use of asymmetric encryption algorithms. In this particular encryption methodology, two sets of keys are used.

Encryption of the data is done with one key, and decryption of the information is done with another. During the communication of data, while using asymmetric Encryption, each user must have a pair of keys that they will use.

Each key pair will have one key called the private key, and the other called the public key. The whole infrastructure that uses this technology is called the Public Key Infrastructure.

How to apply Encryption?

There are several options through which Encryption can be applied. There is both free and commercial software available to encrypt/decrypt data. Mostly all the software and hardware in day-to-day use do not include encryption technology to keep their cost down and performance up. It is up to the business owners to decide on the technology and the vendor they may be going with to encrypt their data.

By using software means, the data can be passed on to the encryption software along with the key, and the output will be the encrypted data that can be stored or communicated as needed.

Considering the examples of operation systems, windows vista and seven come with bit locker encryption that can be used to encrypt the entire hard drive for protection.

On the other hand, there is software also available such as TrueCrypt, T3, Basic, Security, DESlock+, Name FileLock, etc.

What call can be Encrypted

The real question comes of what to do with the encryption technology that the business or the individual has acquired. Encryption can be applied to:

– Encrypt Emails. Encryption of emails is a safe option to prevent eavesdropping and sniffing emails while in transmission.

– Encrypt hard drives. This can limit data loss through data theft because of loss or theft of the laptops or computers.

– Encrypt individual files. This option is usually used when Encryption of the whole hard drive is an expensive option, and only a few essential data files need to be encrypted.

– Encrypt communications. Nowadays, there are options available for Encrypting the voice and data lines between two communicating parties. Voice lines like VoIP calls are encrypted to prevent eavesdropping.

– Encrypt instant messaging. Instant messaging has become one of the main communication mediums of present times. Many businesses worldwide use instant messaging for communications across remote branch offices. Encryption of these instant messages would help in securing these messages.

– Encrypting removable drives. The use of removable drives has increased over the last half a decade. Without removable drives, the mobile sharing of data seems unrealistic. The salesperson, traveling business persons, etc., use removal drives to carry their data around. Hence protection of these drives is of paramount importance as they may have business