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While security is an afterthought for many PC users, its a major priority for businesses of any size. It has to be when the Ponemon Institute tells us that security breaches are costing companies millions every year.
Even if you dont have millions to lose, protecting what you do have should be a high priority.
There are several forms of security technology available, but encryption is one that everyday computer users should know about.
Encryption is an interesting piece of technology that works by scrambling data so it is unreadable by unintended parties. Lets take a look at how it works with the email-friendly software PGP (or GPG for you open source people).
Say I want to send you a private message, so I encrypt it using either one of these programs. Heres the message:
Once encrypted, the message literally becomes a jumbled mess of random characters. But, equipped with the secret passcode I text you, you can decrypt it and find the original message.
Come on over for hot dogs and soda!
Whether its in transit like our hot dog party email or resting on your hard drive, encryption works to keep prying eyes out of your business even if they happen to somehow gain access to your network or system.If you want to learn more about how encryption helps protect business data,you can read our article on how encryption aids cloud security.
The technology comes in many forms, with key size and strength generally being the biggest differences in one variety from the next.
Triple DES was designed to replace the original Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm, which hackers eventually learned to defeat with relative ease. At one time, Triple DES was the recommended standard and the most widely used symmetric algorithm in the industry.
Triple DES uses three individual keys with 56 bits each. The total key length adds up to 168 bits, but experts would argue that 112-bits in key strength is more like it.
Despite slowly being phased out, Triple DES still manages to make a dependable hardware encryption solution for financial services and other industries.
RSA is a public-key encryption algorithm and the standard for encrypting data sent over the internet. It also happens to be one of the methods used in our PGP and GPG programs.
Unlike Triple DES, RSA is considered an asymmetric algorithm due to its use of a pair of keys. Youve got your public key, which is what we use to encrypt our message, and a private key to decrypt it. The result of RSA encryption is a huge batch of mumbo jumbo that takes attackers quite a bit of time and processing power to break.
Blowfish is yet another algorithm designed to replace DES. This symmetric cipher splits messages into blocks of 64 bits and encrypts them individually.
Blowfish is known for both its tremendous speed and overall effectiveness as many claim that it has never been defeated. Meanwhile, vendors have taken full advantage of its free availability in the public domain.
Blowfish can be found in software categories ranging from e-commerce platforms for securing payments to password management tools, where it used to protect passwords. Its definitely one of the more flexible encryption methods available.
Computer security expert Bruce Schneier is the mastermind behind Blowfish and its successor Twofish. Keys used in this algorithm may be up to 256 bits in length and as a symmetric technique, only one key is needed.
Twofish is regarded as one of the fastest of its kind, and ideal for use in both hardware and software environments. Like Blowfish, Twofish is freely available to anyone who wants to use it. As a result, youll find it bundled in encryption programs such as PhotoEncrypt, GPG, and the popular open source software TrueCrypt.
The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the algorithm trusted as the standard by the U.S. Government and numerous organizations.
Although it is extremely efficient in 128-bit form, AES also uses keys of 192 and 256 bits for heavy duty encryption purposes.
AES is largely considered impervious to all attacks, with the exception of brute force, which attempts to decipher messages using all possible combinations in the 128, 192, or 256-bit cipher. Still, security experts believe that AES will eventually be hailed the de facto standard for encrypting data in the private sector.
Cyber attacks are constantly evolving, so security specialists must stay busy in the lab concocting new schemes to keep them at bay. Expert observers are hopeful that a new method called Honey Encryption will deter hackers by serving up fake data for every incorrect guess of the key code. This unique approach not only slows attackers down, but potentially buries the correct key in a haystack of false hopes. Then there are emerging methods like quantum key distribution, which shares keys embedded in photons over fiber optic, that might have viability now and many years into the future as well.
Whether its protecting your email communications or stored data, some type of encryption should be included in your lineup of security tools. Successful attacks on victims like Target show that its not 100 percent bulletproof, but without it, youre offering up convenient access to your data. Find some tools that give you a piece of mind and stick with em!
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- Amazon Engineer Leaked Private Encryption Keys. Outside Analysts Discovered Them in Minutes - Gizmodo - January 27th, 2020
- Deployed 82nd Airborne unit told to use these encrypted messaging apps on government cell phones - Military Times - January 27th, 2020
- The FBI doesn't need Apple to give it a backdoor to encryption, because it already has all the access it needs - Boing Boing - January 27th, 2020
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- How encryption could stop the exposure of personal data in the cloud - NewsDio - January 27th, 2020
- Bitcoin transactions will not be private even with Schnorr encryption - AMBCrypto - January 27th, 2020
- SSL Encryption: Making The Web A Safer Place - TechShout! - January 27th, 2020
- Review: SecureDrive BT, the encrypted external SSD you can unlock with Face ID - 9to5Mac - January 19th, 2020
- EncryptOnClick is a freeware tool that can encrypt files and folders - Ghacks Technology News - January 19th, 2020
- Trump and Comey Are United Against Encrypted Communications - Reason - January 19th, 2020
- Police Scotland to roll out encryption bypass technology - Glasgow Live - January 19th, 2020
- Encryption battle reignited as US govt at loggerheads with Apple - Times Now - January 19th, 2020
- Hardware Encryption Market Set To Register A CAGR Growth Of XX% Over The Forecast Period 2017 2025 - Fusion Science Academy - January 19th, 2020
- Malware Obfuscation, Encoding and Encryption - Security Boulevard - January 14th, 2020
- Microsoft CEO says encryption backdoors are a terrible idea - The Verge - January 14th, 2020
- Debate over access to encryption isn't going away - Washington Examiner - January 14th, 2020
- Over two dozen encryption experts call on India to rethink changes to its intermediary liability rules - TechCrunch - January 14th, 2020
- Encryption Software Market Booming by Size, Trends and Top Growing Companies- IBM Corporation, Sophos, Ciphercloud, Pkware, Mcafee - BulletintheNews - January 14th, 2020
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- Mobile Encryption Market Insights and Technology 2020, Forecasts to 2026 - Broadcast Offer - January 14th, 2020
- Garda needs new technology for online child abuse investigations - The Irish Times - January 14th, 2020
- IoT Security Solution for Encryption Market Research, Recent Trends and Growth F - News by aeresearch - January 14th, 2020
- Apple made a rare appearance at tech's biggest conference and defended encryption on the iPhone - Business Insider - January 8th, 2020
- Encryption Software Market to cross USD 20 Bn by 2026: Global Market Insights, Inc. - Yahoo Finance - January 8th, 2020
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- WidePoint Partners with KoolSpan to Offer End-to-End Encryption for Phone Calls and Text Messages - GlobeNewswire - January 8th, 2020
- Encryption Software Market 2020 Size, Growth By Top Companies, Forecast Analysis To 2027 - Citi Blog News - January 8th, 2020
- How to cope with a FileVault recovery key disappearing while you write it down - Macworld - January 8th, 2020
- Doing these 10 things on WhatsApp may land you in jail - Gadgets Now - January 8th, 2020
- Holistic encryption is one of the keys to California Consumer Privacy Act risk management - Continuity Central - January 6th, 2020
- Encryption Software Market 2020 Size, Share Metrics, Growth Trends and Forecast to 2026 - Food & Beverage Herald - January 6th, 2020
- New Informative Report of IoT Security Solution for Encryption Top Key Players are Cisco Systems, Intel Corporation, IBM Corporation, Symantec... - January 6th, 2020
- Maastricht University gets almost all of its Windows systems encrypted by ransomware - 2-spyware.com - January 6th, 2020
- Homomorphic Encryption Market Analysis, Industry Size, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Competitive Strategies And Forecasts (2020 2027) -... - January 6th, 2020
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- State Department Adds ITAR Definitions in Interim Final Rule for Activities that Are Not Exports, Reexports, Retransfers or Temporary Imports -... - January 6th, 2020
- Global Hardware-based Full Disk Encryption (FDE) Market Executive Summary and Analysis by Top Players 2020-2027: Seagate Technology PLC, Western... - January 6th, 2020
- Clop Ransomware Now Kills Windows 10 Apps and 3rd Party Tools - BleepingComputer - January 6th, 2020
- Scientists in Scotland help develop worlds first encryption system that is unbreakable by hackers - The Independent - December 21st, 2019
- Apple Bows Down To Google As 2019 Most Trustworthy Recognition - International Business Times - December 21st, 2019
- Facebook , Apple being threatened by US senators over data encryption - Gizmo Posts 24 - December 21st, 2019
- How To Secure Microsoft Windows 10 In Eight Easy Steps - Forbes - December 21st, 2019
- Examine Mobile Encryption Market expected to obtain $2,917.9 million by 2022 - WhaTech - WhaTech - December 21st, 2019
- Facebook's end-to-end encryption will enhance user privacy but its not good news for law enforcement - Firstpost - December 21st, 2019
- Future of Encryption Software Market Reviewed in a New Research Study 2019-2025 - Daily News Reports 24 - December 21st, 2019
- Fortanix expert on how European companies are taking back control of their data in the cloud - Intelligent CIO ME - December 21st, 2019
- What's that? Encryption's OK now? UK politicos Brexit from Whatsapp to Signal - The Register - December 20th, 2019
- NYPD radio encryption most likely wont happen in 2020 but will soon - amNY - December 20th, 2019
- If You Think Encryption Back Doors Won't Be Abused, You May Be a Member of Congress - Reason - December 20th, 2019
- The decline of passwords, the rise of encryption and deepfakes cybersecurity predictions for 2020 - BetaNews - December 20th, 2019
- Facebook's Push for End-to-End Encryption Is Good News for User Privacy, as Well as Terrorists and Paedophiles - Nextgov - December 20th, 2019
- Internet of crap (encryption): IoT gear is generating easy-to-crack keys - The Register - December 20th, 2019
- What Is Snatch Ransomware and How to Remove It - Guiding Tech - December 20th, 2019
- Hardware-based Full Disk Encryption Market Executive Summary, Introduction, Sizing, Analysis and Forecast To 2025 - Market Research Sheets - December 20th, 2019
- NYPD Eyeing Encrypted Radios to Protect Criminal Investigations - Officer - December 20th, 2019
- Volunteer firefighters, EMTs worry they won't have NYPD radio access to help public - amNY - December 20th, 2019
- What We Learned About the Technology That Times Journalists Use - The New York Times - December 20th, 2019
- The Senate Judiciary Committee Wants Everyone to Know It's Concerned About Encryption - EFF - December 14th, 2019
- The Defense Department Says It Needs the Encryption the FBI Wants to Break - Free - December 14th, 2019
- Congress wants to regulate encryption for big tech - The Burn-In - December 14th, 2019
- Facebook says it won't break end-to-end encryption - TechRadar - December 14th, 2019
- Encryption spat sees backdoor back-and-forth between tech firms, Congress - TelecomTV - December 14th, 2019
- Michael Hayden Ran The NSA And CIA: Now Warns That Encryption Backdoors Will Harm American Security & Tech Leadership - Techdirt - December 14th, 2019
- Large, diverse coalition of civil society groups tell the US, UK and Australian governments not to ban working encryption - Boing Boing - December 14th, 2019
- U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman of Ohio says agents need access encrypted devices, apps for the sake of public s - cleveland.com - December 14th, 2019
- Google makes it safer to text on Android phones, but end-to-end encryption is still MIA - PCWorld - December 14th, 2019
- Priti Patel bids to create end-to-end encryption apps' back door - The National - December 14th, 2019
- Encryption can't put tech giants beyond the reach of the law, Minister says - The Age - December 14th, 2019
- Chrome 79 includes anti-phishing and hacked password protection - Naked Security - December 14th, 2019
- Hardware Encryption Technology Market : Analysis and In-depth study on market Size Trends, Emerging Growth Factors and Forecasts to 2027 - Downey... - December 14th, 2019
- Encryption back on the congressional agenda - Politico - December 9th, 2019
- Police radios blocked from the public in southeast Denver metro area - The Denver Post - December 9th, 2019
- Encryption Software Market Innovations, And Top Companies - Forecast To 2029| Microsoft, Sophos Ltd., Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. -... - December 9th, 2019
- Did You Hear That? Securing Communications in 2019 | Insight for the Connected Enterprise - No Jitter - December 9th, 2019
- 'Government broke their promise': Labor seeks to amend encryption legislation - Sydney Morning Herald - December 9th, 2019
- Global Hardware-based Full Disk Encryption Market 2019 Innovation and Technological Developments, Industry Analysis & Outlook 2023 - Weekly News... - December 9th, 2019
- Privacy vs public safety - the pros and cons of encryption - World Economic Forum - December 8th, 2019