Secure Encryption- Data security is a growing global concern. Starting from the banking solutions to the transfer of confidential documents, data security is the fundamental question one asks about. Data encryption is the only way to comply with the standards of data security. Encryption is the method of translating the subjected data into the form by which another person can access it with the help of a secret key. This access key is normally known as the decryption key. Encrypted data is known as the ciphertext, whereas decrypted data is known as the plain text.
The sole purpose of the data encryption is to digitally protect the data along with the confidential transmission. Owing to such confidentiality and security, many organizations use data encryption techniques to protect their data.
How Encryption is Done?
Generally, data is encrypted with the help of an encryption algorithm and subsequently, an encryption key is generated. The correct key is a prerequisite to decrypt the data. There are two types of data encryption, symmetric encryption and asymmetric encryption.
In symmetric key encryption, the same key is used for both encrypting and decrypting the data. This key is usually exchanged between the sender and the recipient. This is the most classic practice to encrypt sensitive data.
On the other hand, asymmetric algorithm-based encryption uses two different keys for encryption and decryption. Out of these two keys, one is public and one private. The public key will usually be shared with everyone, while the private key is kept for confidential data decryption.
We have established that encryption is the only way to ensure data protection. But there is a question that how can encryption be done and how encryption can be made secure? Well! An encryption algorithm is an answer and different algorithms have their own vitality and information security level. Following is the description of different encryption schemes:
It is basically a modified version of the former algorithm, commonly known as the Data Encryption Standard (DES). Hackers learned how to crack the DES algorithm and that was the reason due to which the Triple-DES algorithm was designed. Modifications are so rich that it is one of the most trusted and widely used data encryption standard.
It uses three individual keys, each of 56 bits. The total key length reaches up to the 168 bits. But usually, experts suggest that 112 bits of encryption will be enough.
However, triple DES is now very less being brought up in use, but still, it is a very common hardware encryption solution. Various financial services and allied industries use the Triple-DES algorithm for the secure encryption of their vulnerable data.
RSA is a standard public-key encryption algorithm. It has widely been used to encrypt the data that is to be sent over the internet. Its popularity can be guessed from its induction in PGP and GPG programs.
RSA is an asymmetric algorithm. Owing to this, it uses two keys. The public key is used to encrypt the messages and the private key is used to decrypt them.
RSA encrypted data is such a huge mumbo jumbo that it becomes quite hard for the hackers to crack it. Furthermore, a lot of processing power is required to break this sort of encryption.
Blowfish was designed to replace the vulnerabilities in the DES algorithm. It follows the symmetric mode of encryption. Blowfish splits the subjected message into the different blocks of 64 bits and then encrypt these 64-bit split sets individually.
This algorithm is known for its exceptional speed and security features. The Blowfish algorithm has not yet been cracked. This algorithm is available free of cost in the public domain. With all these features, many vendors take full advantage of Blowfish.
Common application areas span over e-commerce platforms and various password management tools. So, it can be said that it is an ideal choice for those thinking about making secure payments and password protection available for their clients. This makes Blowfish one of the most flexible public key cryptography methods of modern times.
This encryption algorithm is basically a successor of Blowfish. Both, Twofish and Blowfish, have been developed by the same computer security expert, named Bruce Schneier. Twofish’s encryption key employs 256 bits of encryption. Being a symmetric technique, only one encryption key is required for secure data encryption.
Twofish is known as one of the fastest encryption algorithms. Owing to its excellent speed, this algorithm is ideal to be used in both software and hardware applications. Twofish is also publicly available and there is no subscription for public domain-based usage. It has been bundled in many encryption utilities such as PhotoEncrypt, GPG, and the very famous open-source software, named as TrueCrypt.
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
AES is a standard and official encryption algorithm of the U.S.A government. Furthermore, AES is also trusted by many organizations. It is exceptionally efficient in its 128-bit format. For heavy-duty encryption purposes, it also offers 192 bit and 256-bit encryption.
AES is so secure that it is said that it has the capability to defeat all sorts of cyber-attacks. But recently it has been noted that AES bows in front of brute force attacks. Brute force attacks have the ability to decipher any sort of messages, employing 128,192 or 256-bit encryption.
Despite this loophole, critics still think that AES will continue to be the de-facto encryption standard in the private sector.
Challenges for Secure Encryption
Brute force is the most vulnerable threat of today’s encryption technology. The length of the key is the main determinant in ascertaining the possibility of an attack. Encryption strength is directly proportional to the length of the key. But it must be noted that, as the key size increases, the required number of resources also increases and so does the computation time. Finding the trade-off amongst these two determinants is the fundamental and key challenge being faced by secure encryption methods.