In essence, encryption is the process of encoding information and data into an unreadable form that can only be unlocked by those who hold the keys. It can be accomplished by using various mathematical models and is used to protect data and information in the everyday life of businesses and consumers.
Modern encryption algorithms play a critical function in ensuring the privacy of digital data stored on computer systems or transmitted via networks like the internet. It also supports security measures such as authentication (verifying the authenticity of a message) and integrity (ensuring that it hasn’t been altered) and non-repudiation (the ability to prove that an individual or company actually sent a message).
Encryption works by translating plaintext that is readable by humans into a encoded format known as ciphertext by utilizing mathematical models, also known as algorithms. The encrypted text can only be converted back into plaintext with a decryption code, which is a secret string of numbers or passwords that a recipient and sender agree on. The stronger the cryptographic key is, the more difficult it will be for third-party hackers to decipher using brute force methods such as trying every possible string of characters.
Many privacy and security laws require strict encryption to ensure that private data remains private and secure. Many individuals and businesses use encryption to protect files as well as entire computers using software programs like 7-Zip and CertainSafe. They can also secure the entire hard drive on the cloud using virtual private networks. Many companies offer multiple encryption solutions to provide the strongest security.