What is Encryption? How Encryption works?
If we are going outside from our house in order to protect our house we simply lock it. When we come back we open it with a key but do you really think how we can lock our digital information? Well that’s what encryption does. Encryption helps to protect our digital data such as emails, transactions, passwords, personal information etc.
Encryption is a process to convert readable plain text to unreadable format so other than authorized people no one can understand what exactly is inside it.The conversion of plain text to unreadable text is known as cipher text. This helps to protect the confidential data. The process of unlocking the locked (encrypt) file is known as decryption. The science of encrypting and decrypting the data is called cryptography.
Encryption uses various algorithms in order to produce a number of variables which makes the cipher text more unique and different types of algorithms can be used such as AES, 3-DES, SNOW, RSA etc . The variables provide a key which will help to decrypt the message.
In simpler terms, Once the information is encrypted it will generate a key to the sender. If an authorized receiver wants to look at an encrypted message he/she needs to have the key in order to decrypt it. Now if a third person wants to read inside the encrypted message he/she will not be able to read it without the key.
Where Encryption is used?
- Nowadays encryption is used everywhere, let’s take an example. https://networkingmania.com , In this website “S” after http represents “Security” which means everything on this website is encrypted.
- Any registration going on online websites, the majority of websites do encrypt the data so it will be unreadable to read by attackers.
- Some messaging platforms such as Whatsapp and Facebook provide End to End encryption (E2E) which usually means every message that a sender is sending will be encrypted on the internet but the receiver will see the original text which was sent by the user.
- Any ATM, online transactions we are doing are also encrypted in order to protect personal as well as card details.
- Bitlocker is also a type of encryption which is usually available in case someone is got the un-authorized access to laptop/desktop and they tried a different password and fortunately he/she is un-successful to crack the password windows will encrypt the hard drive. In order to decrypt it the laptop owner needs to enter password that was setup by the owner if its personal laptop/desktop.
- Phone wallets such as Apple Pay, Google pay uses encryption which usually do not share the actual credential of the card with the card machine but share different text or numbers. Using this technique card machines will receive the payment from out card but our card details will not be shared with them.
How Encryption works? Types of Encryption.
Different types of encryption algorithm is used in order to encrypt the data but specifically encryption is divided into two types :
- Symmetric Cipher
- Asymmetric Cipher
1. Symmetric Cipher
In Symmetric Cipher a sing;e key is used to encrypt and decrypt the message. This key is shared among the sender and receiver. Encryption algorithm Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) use symmetric cipher as both sender and receiver share the same key.
2. Asymmetric Cipher
In Asymmetric Cipher uses two different keys one for encrypting the data and other is for decryption but both keys are logically linked with each other. RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) is widely used asymmetric cipher. Asymmetric cipher is slower than symmetric because symmetric uses only one key for both encryption and decryption.
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