What Is Data Encryption and How Does It Work?

Data encryption is a way to make the original data, known as plain text, undecipherable to anyone who doesn’t have a decryption key or password. All of the data is transformed into a formula made of only prime numbers, and both the encryption and decryption must utilize the same algorithm in order to properly perform this task. This prevents outside parties from accessing critical data. People access encrypted data every day when they use password accessible phones, emails, or software.

Although data is communicated through only prime numbers, it is almost impossible to unencrypt manually. These methods use 128-bit or 256-bit encryption. The 128-bit method would require 2128 combinations to be decrypted, which even the most powerful computers wouldn’t be able to complete. This means that data requiring 2256 would be even less likely to be deciphered. Most attackers instead try to decipher the key, which is why the security of these codes is critical.

The data is translated into another form through two main methods: symmetric and public-key encryption.  Symmetric encryption is the faster method; however it is less secure. Those who encrypt the information must communicate the encryption key to their selected recipients, which can pose a risk as that communication may not be secure. Asymmetric encryption, also known as public key encryption, has two different parts: the public and private key. The public key is available for anyone and can only encrypt data. Only the person with the matched private key can decrypt the data.

Some studies estimate that in 2016, 4,000 ransomware attacks occurred each day and that businesses are attacked every 40 seconds. We recommend using this method to ensure the security of your business’ and clients’ private information in order to prevent downtime, loss of profits, and loss of business. If you are interested in learning more about what threats your business faces and how to proactively defend yourself, give us a call today! Stay tuned to our blog for more information about security threats, industry achievements, and company highlights!