is a generated from a Greek word kyrptos, which means secret or hidden. Encryption
is the process of converting unencrypted data into cipher text which cannot be
easily understood by others except for the authorized parties. Unencrypted data
is called plain text and encrypted data is called cipher text. The purpose of
encryption is to protect the data stored on computer systems or broadcasted
through internet or other networks. It protects the sensitive information which
others are unable to access until they have a code to decrypt it. Nothing is
secure without encryption and data can be easy stolen by the hackers. It helps
us in securing health records, credit card information, passwords and other
important information as well. Modern encryption algorithms play a vital role
in securing the IT systems and communications through providing us the security
elements which are the following:
Authentication: The process in which message
Data Integrity: It ensures us that the data
is not changed and is uncorrupted since it was sent.
Non-repudiation: It is the assurance that the
person who has sent message cannot deny on it.
Plain text is encrypted by encryption algorithm and
encryption key. This process creates cipher text that is only viewed in its
original form by the user if it’s decrypted with the correct key. Decryption is
the opposite of encryption in which data is un-encrypted through the proper
code or key so that the user can see the particular information again.
Following are the types of encryption algorithms
Symmetric key (single key)
Asymmetric key (two keys)
Symmetric key encryption is also known as private encryption because it is
using the same algorithms and key for encrypting and decrypting the data. The
unencrypted data is called plain text and encrypted data is called cipher text.
The keys represent a hidden secret which is shared between two or more
authorized parties. Here, it is necessary for both parties having access to the
secret key and the single key is kept secret. For example: you select a key and
encrypt it. The key and cipher text is given to the receiver. Then the user
uses same key to decrypt cipher text which you used for encrypting data
Asymmetric key encryption is also known as public key encryption. It uses both
private and public keys to encrypt and decrypt the data. The keys are large
numbers which are paired together but are not same. One key is the public key
which is shared with everyone. Other key is private key which is kept hidden.
One of the key is used to encrypt data and the other key from the one which is
used for encrypting data is used for decryption. For example: you give your
public key to the sender. The sender is encrypting plain text with the help of
public key. He gives the cipher text to you and you are using private key to
decrypt the data.
3. Applications Of Encryption
It is the process of presenting
information in such a manner that the person’s identity is proven. A common
example of authentication is the use of user id and password to connect to a
system or network. The user id and password is the combination referred to as a
person’s credentials and is sent over the network. Encryptions are protecting
these credentials. If encryption is not used for protecting information, hacker
can easily steal those credentials.
It assures us that the sender’s identity
is original and that message/document or file is not modified. Encryption is
used to provide validation by making a digital fingerprint of that information
containing a message.
The businessmen are
encrypting their files and emails for protecting data. Encryption of files
protects the data that is written to the hard disk on computer. File encryption
becomes difficult to use when there are multiple of employees. Each of the
employees needs encryption key for the protection of their data. The more the
encryption keys, the less effective encryption becomes. Email encryptions can
be used more easily in offices as private key encryptions are not generally
shared among the users.
It is the valuable
security resource for the web based information. E-commerce website uses SSL (secure sockets
layer) to protect important information such as credit card numbers as they
travel across the network. SSL creates a private communication path between the
web browser and web server.
Encryption provides a secure path for
users to connect to their employer’s system from outside the home or
office. Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
allows remote users to connect to the home and small office network through
internet by creating an encrypted path. It allows remote users access to the
local network. This can be helpful and useful while co operating with other
4. Real life examples
Electronic money is
also called electronic cash or digital cash. It includes transactions carried
out electronically between two parties. Encryption is used to protect
transactional data like account numbers and amounts.
Disk encryption is encrypting
the data of hard disk by converting it into the unreadable code that cannot be
easily understood by unauthorized people and non-expertise.
Time stamping is a
technique through which we can check that a document was delivered on certain
time or any electrical document existed. It uses an encryption which is called
blind signature scheme. It allows the sender to get a message by another party
without revealing any information to another party.
Pretty good privacy
also known as PGP is a program used to encrypt and decrypt the emails, files,
texts and directories etc.
In my opinion,
encryption is very useful because it protects and secures our data and files
etc. It is a way of communication in a hidden manner. Nowadays, encryption is
used everywhere. It saves millions of data from being stolen. It is used