What Is Encryption in Computer Security?
Encryption is the process of scrambling data and information into a format which can only be decoded by the parties who hold the keys. This can be done with an array of mathematical models and is used daily to protect the information and data that consumers and businesses utilize in their everyday lives.
Modern encryption algorithms are vital to protect the confidentiality of digital information stored on computers or transmitted through networks such as the internet. It also provides security initiatives like authentication (verifying the source of a message) as well as integrity (ensuring that the message hasn’t been altered) and non-repudiation (the ability to prove that an individual or company actually sent an email).
Algorithms are used to convert plaintext into encrypted text. The ciphertext can only be transformed back into plain text with a decryption key, which is a secret string of numbers or password that a recipient and sender agree on. The more secure the cryptographic keys, the harder it is for third parties to decipher using brute force methods.
Many privacy and security regulations require the use of strong encryption to ensure that private information remains private and secure. Many people and businesses use encryption to safeguard their folders, files, and entire computers using software applications such as 7-Zip and CertainSafe and they can also protect their entire hard drive in the cloud through virtual private networks. Many companies offer multiple encryption options which provide the most secure security.