Encryption Algorithms & Methods
Nowadays, few things are as important as internet security. With the ever-present threat of hackers and phishers, finding a way to keep your files and messages safe online is a necessity. Encryption software is your best bet to keep your information safe from prying eyes.
What is digital file encryption?
Encryption is a security process that hides data until you are ready to use it by digitally jumbling the information. The software then unscrambles it once someone with the proper passwords tells it to, like a digital code breaker. Encryption is one of the best ways to maintain your privacy and send sensitive information securely like bank routing numbers, private client information, or yet to be announced product launch details.
What are the main encryption types & algorithms?
- Triple DES
Triple DES is the most common encryption software out there, and is a reliable choice for businesses trying to keep sensitive information safe. Triple DES is widely used by many financial institutions.
If you’ve ever used encryption over the internet, it’s likely you have used RSA; it’s the most common form of encryption on the web. RSA uses two pieces of information, called keys, that allow the encryption and decryption processes to take place. The “public key” encrypts messages, and the “private key” decrypts them.
Blowfish is known for its speed and widespread availability. It is an open source software without patents, meaning anyone can use Blowfish for free. Developed in 1993 by Bruce Schneie as an alternative to DES, Blowfish is capable of running on many devices, including older computers. It is a block cypher, meaning its key and algorithm is applied to a block of data at once instead of one at a time.
In many ways, Twofish is the “sequel” to Blowfish. Like Blowfish, it was created by Schneie and is an open source system. It was made in response to Blowfish aging and becoming more vulnerable as hackers and malware systems figured out how to get past it. Twofish runs on a symmetric system, meaning only one key is needed (like a lockbox that can only be opened with one key that fits exactly). Twofish is the fastest encryption software of its class, and is recommended by Schneie today.
AES is the encryption software used by the US government. It is considered impossible for hackers to get past AES unless they are using a brute force method. A brute force method is using all possible combinations of character space by trial and error, instead of using an intellectual guess at a password.
The future of encryption
AES is expected to eventually trickle down to the private sector and become the standard in encryption until Quantum computers make their way onto the market.
Quantum computers are powerful enough to use quantum-mechanical properties to solve problems more quickly than any computer currently in existence, and are expected to be in use by 2025. In the journal Nature, Tanja Lange and Daniel J. Bernstein wrote about the need for Post-Quantum encryption to secure files against faster computer processes. These are still theoretical, but will likely be the wave of cyber security in the future.
eServe can help you with all of your encryption needs.