In the world of IT where cases of cybercrimes are on a surge, it’s relieving to know that various methods can help to protect to network security of an organization. It is important to decide on the technique that can best suit the organization’s specific situation.

Encryption is a process of transforming plaintext (unencrypted data) to ciphertext (encrypted data) so that only people having a secret key (formally known as the decryption key) can have access to that encrypted data and will be able to decode the information.

Data encryption is a popular security method used by organizations for protecting an organization’s data. However, there are several different encryption techniques available, so how do you decide which one to choose?

Here we are going to discuss the three most effective data encryption techniques available to protect an organization’s security network.  Before we proceed with effective data encryption techniques, let’s have a brief overview of the basics of data encryption, how it works and the need for data encryption.

In this article let us look at:

  1. What is Data Encryption in Network Security?
  2. How does Encryption work?
  3. Why do we need Encryption?
  4. The Three Important Types of Encryption Techniques
  5. Specific Encryption Algorithms
  6. More About Cybersecurity

1. What is Data Encryption in Network Security?

Encryption is all about transforming intelligible numbers or text sounds or images into jumbled messages that are not easy to decipher.

Encryption is the process of transforming data from a readable format into an encrypted format that can only be read by authorized users who can convert the encoded data back to original data and access the original data. The process of converting an original message into an encoded format by the sender is known as encryption and the process of converting the encoded message back to its original format is known as decryption

As the risk of cybersecurity threats is increasing day by day, it is important to know at least the basic encryption technique by the users using the internet to safeguard their security at the very least.

2. How does encryption work?

Whenever you send a secure text message using your smartphone. Here’s how end-to-end encryption works to keep your data private while on transit. Smartphone has two keys 9public key and private key) that encrypt and decrypt the texts. The public key is a shared key and is used as a part of the encryption protocol while a private key is only on the device and is never shared with other people. A combination of public and private keys is used to create a temporary shared key while sending a secure text. Let’s look at how this works-

Mr. A sends a message to Mr. B which at the same time causes an exchange of public keys. Both Mr. A and Mr. B use the other person’s public key along with their private key to create a temporary shared key. They then use the shared key to encode their messages and their public keys are used to verify that those shared keys are authentic.

The shared keys are being deleted and regenerated continuously which makes sure that Mr. B’s chat cannot be decrypted in the future. An intruder could see that Mr. A and Mr. B exchanged messages but because the intruder doesn’t have the shared key of Mr. A and Mr. B, these texts cannot be decoded by the intruder. 

3. Why do we need encryption?

In this era of technology, encryption is a necessity. It is one of the most powerful ways to keep our data safe. Here are some reasons as to why there is a need for data encryption-

  • Authentication– In today’s world where so many fraudulent websites are running on the internet, authentication is an important feature to protect sensitive data. This feature ensures that only the intended user gets access to the shared information.
  • Security- Encryption is a method using which you can put a digital lock on an electronic record in such a manner that the set electronic record cannot be accessed by anyone other than an intended user. It enhances the security of messages or files by scrambling content making it unreadable by anyone other than those who have the keys to decode it.
  • Confidentiality– Encryption ensures the confidentiality of personal data. It ensures that no one can access our data except the intended recipient. This prevents hackers, intruders, attackers from accessing our sensitive data.
  • Statutory Compliance–  In many countries, there are certain legal and regulatory requirements for the organization dealing with the personal information of the users to keep the user’s data encrypted. The main purpose for encrypting the data stored in our computer or devices is to ensure privacy and protect our data and secure intellectual property. 

Let’s discuss some common and important encryption techniques.

4. The Three Important Types of Encryption Techniques

The data encryption techniques can be divided into three types. These are as follows-

  • Symmetric Encryption Techniques– It is also called private key cryptography. In this method, both sender and receiver have access to the same key and the receiver uses the same key to decrypt the message sent by the sender. So, the recipient should have a key before the message is decoded. 
  • Asymmetric Encryption Techniques– It is also known as public-key cryptography. In this method, two keys are used that is, the public key and the private key. The public key, as the name suggests, is publicly available. The most interesting part of this new system is that the text can be encoded with a public key but the same key cannot be used to decode the text. To decode it you have to use the corresponding private key. No other users’ private keys or public keys will be able to decode the text. With this system, the data transfer is highly secure.
  • Hashing- Hashing is the process of converting an input of any length into a fixed-size string of text, using a mathematical function. Hashing is a method of storing and retrieving data from hash tables. Hashing can be used to verify a document.

5. Specific Encryption Algorithms

Here are some common encryption algorithms –

  • AES – AES stands for “Advanced Encryption System”, is the most popularly used and trusted symmetric encryption algorithms which were developed to replace the DES algorithm. It is faster as compared to the DES algorithm. It is used in various applications such as wireless security, Wi-Fi security, VPN, SSL protocol, etc.  Many government organizations confide in the AES encryption algorithm to protect their confidential data
  • TDES – TDES stands for triple data encryption algorithm and is one of the types of the symmetric encryption algorithm. Tripple data encryption algorithm succumbs to the power of time like any other encryption algorithm. It is an upgraded version of the DES encryption algorithm. TDES is a part of cryptographic protocols such as SSH, OpenVPN, TLS. It put in the DES algorithm thrice to every data block and is a widely used encryption algorithm in payment systems, technology in the finance sector which is used to encrypt ATM PINs, UNIX passwords.
  • RSA–  RSA is an asymmetric encryption algorithm for encrypting data transmitted across the internet. It takes a lot of time and energy for a potential hacker to crack into the systems because it creates a huge bunch of babble that can frustrate them. So, it is a strong and reliable encryption algorithm that can be used to protect the network security of an organization.
  • Blowfish–  It is another symmetric encryption algorithm and was designed by Bruce Schneier, as an alternative to DES. It is well known for its speed and flexibility. It can be used by anyone as this algorithm is placed in the public domain. This is a cipher with a key size of 32- 448 bits and a block size of 64 bits. Blowfish is widely used on e-commerce platforms and password management tools.
  • Twofish- Twofish is another symmetric key block cipher that was developed as a successor of Blowfish. The key feature of Twofish is that it uses a pre- compared key-dependent S- boxes, and a complex key schedule. The twofish is also not patented and is placed in the public domain to be used by anyone. It is considered as fastest and is used in both hardware and software environments.  This method is commonly used in many files and folder encryption software solutions.
  • RSA (Rivest Shamir Adelman)– It is an asymmetric cryptographic algorithm. It relies upon the prime factorization of two large prime numbers. Another large number is created using these two random prime numbers. The message can be decoded by only the recipient knowing these two prime numbers. It would be difficult for the hacker to determine the initial prime number from this large multiplied number. But while encrypting a large volume of data, the algorithm can slow down. RSA is commonly used in various applications such as  SSL/TLS certificates, crypto-currencies, digital signatures, and email encryption.
  • ECC Encryption Algorithm– ECC stands for Elliptic Curve Cryptography. It is quite a complex method as it uses a curve which is a diagrammatic representation of points that satisfy a mathematical equation. It uses shorter keys which require less networking load. It provides a similar level of protection as RSA, but it offers greater security and is faster in performance. 

6. More About Cybersecurity

As cyber threats are growing in their number and their complexity, there is a huge demand for cybersecurity professionals. The job in this field offers you a lot of diverse, interesting, and challenging roles to keep you growing and learning. If you want to pursue a career in network security you can go for various certification courses offered by various institutions. To gain advanced knowledge and skills, one can go for CISM, CISA, CompTIA, and COBIT 2019 enterprise-level security training courses. 

Conclusion

We hope this article would be useful for explaining to you encryption techniques for protecting the network security of your organization.

So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Cyber Security Courses for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.

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