Encrypting emails, files and even your entire data storage prevents unauthorised people from accessing them. Encryption provides protection against breaches of confidentiality for both company and personal data.
How Encryption Works
There are a number of methods and tools available, all of which rely on having an encryption and a decryption key which are related to each other. The information (plain text) is transformed into code using an algorithm (mathematical formula) by use of a code that prevents it from being understood by anyone who is not authorised to read it.
Encryption and decryption takes place using software that may be loaded on the computer where the files reside or emails are sent from – and opened from – or by the encryption key accompanying the data itself. Some modes of encryption provide higher levels of protection than others, the level used typically corresponding with the sensitivity of the data involved. As a general rule the more bits used for the encryption the stronger it will be, so 128-bit encryption is stronger than 64-bit.
Using encryption techniques can also be used to verify the source of an email and the integrity of its content.
Encryption is also used on ecommerce websites and for wireless networking security and remote access, to prevent eavesdropping and spoofing.
Using and Choosing Encryption
Use of encryption software is generally fast and straightforward. The implementation of encryption software, however, can be technically challenging depending on your IT infrastructure and the software itself. Care should be taken to choose your encryption software according to your specific needs and level of risk. You may wish to consult a third party IT support provider or security specialist.