Modern computers have encryption tools, making it unreadable for anyone who does not have the correct key. What is encryption and how does it function? This article explains the fundamentals of encryption and how it helps protect sensitive information from hackers.
In simple terms, data encryption transforms readable information into coded ciphertext that can only be deciphered only by authorized users with the correct password. It is a crucial element of cyber-security that provides the security of data as well as keeping confidential information from being accessed by unauthorised users.
A common form uses mathematical models that are cryptographic, which convert the original information into a jumbled set of characters (also known as ciphertext). Encryption algorithms “scrambles” individual bits randomly in order to require a huge amount of computing power to determine the key and then convert it back to plaintext.
If you are using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) which is the most commonly used encryption method, on your digital files that means that each of the 0s and ones in the file is scrambled 10 times in a semi random pattern. Without the right key to read it, the computer will have to run for a very long time to rearrange them all in the right order.
Also, encryption is used to stop data leaks and ransomware. If hackers steal encrypted data, they won’t be able to read it, and they will be incapable of blackmailing the company or the individuals involved in the possibility of releasing stolen data to the dark web. Furthermore, encryption protects backup systems from hackers because they aren’t able to access the data in its original format.