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Encryption: Everything you need to know…

As online threats become ever more sophisticated and malicious, people want to know that they are protected by the most up-to-date encryption technology.

What is encryption?

Encryption is a means of protecting data so that only people with a specific key or password can read and understand it in its original form.

Encryption can be applied to anything from a single document, an image, folders or even an entire drive. In fact, the latest Microsoft operating system Windows 10 now includes an encryption system as standard.

Encryption can also be used in the transmission of data. For example, WhatsApp creators Brian Acton and Jan Koum joined forces with leading cryptographer, Moxie Marlinspike, to introduce end-to-end encryption for everything transmitted on the service.

However, as you may have guessed, there are different levels of encryption. After all, you wouldn’t expect a free-to-use web based email server to employ the same level of costly encryption as the US military.

Practical examples:

You can find practical examples of encryption all around the modern workplace. For instance, most modern laptops have encryption systems built in. Therefore if the device is lost or stolen, sensitive company data will remain secure and uncompromised.

Websites use encryption to ensure data capture is secure and e interception doesn’t occur. You will see that URLs are prefixed with HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) and will display a small padlock in the top address bar, which means you can disclose financial information as part of an online purchase with confidence.

Another common use of encryption is on USB flash drives. Once again, the encryption ensures your information remains secure should it fall into the wrong hands.

Key fact to take away

No matter what type of encryption you choose, quality encryption will always follow a single fundamental rule. This is that while the actual process of how the information is encrypted (the algorithm) doesn’t need to be kept secret, the key does. As a result, even the most skilled and knowledgeable hacker will be unable to decrypt your data as long as the key remains secret.

If you would to know more about what encryption options may be available to you, talk to your Enhanced account manager or any of the Enhanced technical team by calling 01202 308000. 

Author: Scott Rogers, 4 July

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