With so much data being transferred and shared via technological systems and devices, it is important to make sure that this information is properly protected. One such method of protecting electronic messages and other types of data is encryption, which makes your information inaccessible to unauthorized users. While encryption is a valuable tool used for protecting a wide range of sensitive data, it is not entirely foolproof. Each type of encryption algorithm has its own set of pros and cons, making it very important for users to understand all of the details before picking a particular encryption type to meet their security needs.
What is encryption?
Encryption works by converting digital information into a coded form of data that only an authorized user can access. Encryption is often used as a means of protecting various types of data transferred between different parties, such as the information contained in an email or an instant messaging system. The encryption process works by using an encryption algorithm that changes the information into what is called ciphertext; a type of text that is only readable after being decrypted by an authorized user.
Encryption is useful in protecting banking information and other types of financial data, trade secrets shared between employees, emails sent between friends and family, and other forms of sensitive information. While passwords, cloud security, and other types of protective measures may be helpful, nefarious hackers can often bypass these standard measures, making encryption a necessary addition for protecting sensitive data. While encryption has been around for some time, it is becoming more accessible for a higher number of users due to the recent proliferation of affordable and easy-to-use encryption tools, like browser-based encryption platforms.
Technology moves at a rapid pace and encryption programs are no different. It is therefore important to understand the difference between the older and more current forms of encryption technology.
DES, which stands for “Data Encryption Standard,” is an early form of encryption technology. While the DES encryption method is now considered obsolete, it was an integral part of the overall early growth of modern encryption.
DES encryption is no longer considered a viable means of protecting electronic data, since it was not developed to handle the larger amounts of information that are more common with current technology. DES is historically significant, however, for being the first type of encryption approved by the government for public use. While computer users can now easily decode DES, DES was a critical tool during the 1970s, since it was used as a launching pad to develop new and improved types of encryption.
Developed in 2014, honey encryption is a newer form of encryption technology that is designed to overwhelm criminals with false information every time they try to hack into encrypted data. The false data appears as believable information, helping to fool the potential attacker.
The purpose of honey encryption is to provide so much false data that it is nearly impossible to tell which set of data is real. As more and more information is given out for each failed attempt at decoding the encrypted data, the hacker eventually becomes inundated with a mountain of data, making it near impossible to sort out the false information from the true.
Honey encryption is especially useful in stopping modern criminals from stealing information, since many hackers use software that makes a series of attempts at decrypting information until it is successfully decoded. Honey software protects against this software by giving out false decrypted data for each of these attempts, so criminals cannot tell the difference between real and false information. If criminals try to steal a credit card number, for example, they will be sent a series of fake numbers. Honey encryption is especially relevant in today’s world, since social media and other digital platforms are making it increasingly difficult to tell the difference between true and false information.
The Future of Encryption
Encryption, while certainly helpful, must undergo constant change. Unfortunately, each new form of encryption is likely to eventually be bypassed by various criminals, which makes it imperative for security teams to continually develop new and improved means of encryption. In the meantime, honey encryption is an effective means of protection against potential criminals. Whether the information pertains to your professional or personal life, you can never be too careful while storing or transferring your electronic data.
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