#WhatsIs: What Is Data Encryption And Decryption?

Encryption is the process of transforming information so it is unintelligible to anyone but the intended recipient.It is the process of translating plain text data (plaintext) into something that appears to be random and meaningless (ciphertext).

To encrypt more than a small amount of data, symmetric encryption is used. A symmetric key is used during both the encryption and decryption processes. To decrypt a particular piece of ciphertext, the key that was used to encrypt the data must be used.

By Marvelous Chibagidi

The goal of every encryption algorithm is to make it as difficult as possible to decrypt the generated ciphertext without using the key. If a really good encryption algorithm is used, there is no technique significantly better than methodically trying every possible key. For such an algorithm, the longer the key, the more difficult it is to decrypt a piece of ciphertext without possessing the key.

If you and your friends have the latest version of Whatsapp then your messages are encrypted. WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.

Your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read your message. For added protection, every message you send has a unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages.

Each of your chats has its own security code used to verify that your calls and the messages you send to that chat are end-to-end encrypted.

When you encrypt something, the computer will ask you to set up a password. After that, no one will be able to make sense of the information unless they have the same password.

Encryption hides your data from curious eyes. This is a process of encoding data to prevent unauthorized person from viewing or modifying it. The main features of data encryption are that it prevents unwanted access to documents and e-mail messages, strongest levels of encryption are very difficult to break.

The process of data encryption consists of certain steps. The data passes through a mathematical formula called an algorithm, which converts it into encrypted data called ciphertext. These algorithms create a key and then encapsulate the message with this key.

There are two types of encryptions that is asymmetric and symmetric.In public key (asymmetric) encryption, two mathematically-related keys are used: one to encrypt the message and the other to decrypt it. These two keys combine to form a key pair.

What is Encryption

What is Encryption

Asymmetric encryption provides both data encryption and validation of the communicating parties’ identities and is considered more secure than symmetric encryption, but is computationally slower.

The asymmetric data encryption process has the following steps:

The process of encryption begins by converting the text to a pre-hash code. This code is generated using a mathematical formula.

  1. This pre-hash code is encrypted by the software using the sender’s private key.
  2. The private key would be generated using the algorithm used by the software.
  3. The encrypted pre-hash code and the message are encrypted again using the sender’s private key.
  4. The next step is for the sender of the message to retrieve the public key of the person this information is intended for.
  5. The sender encrypts the secret key with the recipient’s public key, so only the recipient can decrypt it with his/her private key, thus concluding the encryption process.

The Decryption Process

The asymmetric data decryption process has the following steps:

  1. The recipient uses his/her private key to decrypt the secret key.
  2. The recipient uses their private key along with the secret key to decipher the encrypted pre-hash code and the encrypted message.
  3. The recipient then retrieves the sender’s public key. This public key is used to decrypt the pre-hash code and to verify the sender’s identity.
  4. The recipient generates a post-hash code from the message. If the pos~-hash code equals the pre-hash code, then this verifies that the message has not been changed enroute.

Symmetric Encryption

Private Key encryption (Symmetric), also referred to as conventional or single-key encryption is based on secret key that is shared by both communicating parties. It enquires all parties that are communicating to share a common key. The sending party uses the secret key as part of the mathematical operation to encrypt (or encipher) plain text to cipher text. The receiving party uses the same secret key to decrypt (or decipher) the cipher text to plain text.

An encryption scheme has five major parts:

  1. Plaintext – This is the text message to which an algorithm is applied.
  2. Encryption Algorithm – Iperforms mathematical operations to conduct substitutions and transformations to the plaintext.
  3. Secret Key – This is the input for the algorithm as the key dictates the encrypted outcome.
  4. Cipher text -This is the encrypted or scrambled message produced by applying the algorithm to the plaintext message using the secret key.
  5. Decryption Algorithm – This is the encryption algorithm in reverse. It uses the ciphertext, and the secret key to derive the plaintext message.

So one has to do the above mentioned that is encryption,to protect your sensitive data say your laptop is stolen,  If your laptop is stolen, encryption will prevent a thief from booting it up and looking through your sensitive data for financial information and other sensitive things. Realistically, your average laptop thief probably just wants the hardware and will probably wipe the drive quickly. But, if you have sensitive documents on your computer, encryption does make sense.

For businesses, there may be various commercial guidelines or rules requiring the use of encryption. These are intended to prevent the terrible stories we hear about business laptops being stolen out of cars, and those laptops having massive databases containing millions of customer credit card numbers on them.

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