How does data encryption work?

Encryption is the phase of taking plain text, such as text message or email, and scrambling it into an unreadable structure known as “cipher text.” This helps secure the confidentiality of digital information either stored on computer systems or sent through a network like the internet. When the pre-determined recipient accesses the message, the data is translated back to its original form. This is known as decryption.

Data encryption is the phase of transforming information from a readable format to a scrambled element of data. This is done to avoid prying eyes from reading confidential information in transit. Encryption can be used to documents, files, messages, or some other form of connection over a network.

The data that required to be encrypted is defined as plaintext or cleartext. The plaintext required to be passed through some encryption algorithms, which are generally mathematical calculations to be completed on raw information.

There are multiple encryption algorithms, each of which alter by application and security index. Because the ciphertext reaches the pre-determined receiver, it can use a decryption key to transform the ciphertext back to its original readable structure i.e. plaintext. This decryption key should be maintained secret at all times, and may or not be same to the key used for encrypting the message.

Portable devices including laptops, tablets, and USB storage are most at risk for being misplaced or robbed. If a device is lost or robbed, encryption avoids unauthorized users from accessing information saved locally on the device. Without encryption, unauthorized users can use several approaches to bypass the accounts and permissions in order to create the local drive contents.

An encryption algorithm takes the original, unencrypted message and a key and thus change the original message mathematically depends on the key's bits to make a new encrypted message. A decryption algorithm takes an encrypted message and restores it to its original form using multiple keys. Some cryptographic algorithms use an individual key for both encryption and decryption. This type of key should be kept protected, or else anyone with knowledge of the key used to send a message can supply that key to the decryption algorithm to read the message.

There are different algorithms need one key for encryption and a second key for decryption. The encryption key can remain public in this method, because if the decryption key is unfamiliar, no one can read the message. There are famous internet security protocols use this known as public-key encryption.

Encryption is important because it enables us to send relevant and often-responsive data over the internet and through digital means without unauthorized person seeing it.

For the information to be decrypted, it required a key, which authorized users will have. However, consider that even encrypted information can frequently be decrypted by those with adequate skills or resources, some of whom can have malicious intent.

Updated on: 14-Mar-2022


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