Data encryption translates data into another form, or code, so that only people with access to a secret key (formally called a decryption key) or password can read it. Encrypted data is commonly referred to as ciphertext, while unencrypted data is called plaintext. Currently, encryption is one of the most popular and effective data security methods used by organizations.
Two main types of data encryption exist - asymmetric encryption, also known as public-key encryption, and symmetric encryption.
The purpose of data encryption is to protect digital data confidentiality as it is stored on computer systems and transmitted using the internet or other computer networks. The outdated data encryption standard (DES) has been replaced by modern encryption algorithms that play a critical role in the security of IT systems and communications.
These algorithms provide confidentiality and drive key security initiatives including authentication, integrity, and non-repudiation. Authentication allows for the verification of a message’s origin, and integrity provides proof that a message’s contents have not changed since it was sent. Additionally, non-repudiation ensures that a message sender cannot deny sending the message.
Data protection software for data encryption can provide encryption of devices, email, and data itself. In many cases, these encryption functionalities are also met with control capabilities for devices, email, and data.
Companies and organizations face the challenge of protecting data and preventing data loss as employees use external devices, removable media, and web applications more often as a part of their daily business procedures. Sensitive data may no longer be under the company’s control and protection as employees copy data to removable devices or upload it to the cloud. As a result, the best data loss prevention solutions prevent data theft and the introduction of malware from removable and external devices as well as web and cloud applications. In order to do so, they must also ensure that devices and applications are used properly and that data is secured by auto-encryption even after it leaves the organization.
Encryption software program encrypts data or files by working with one or more encryption algorithms. Security personnel use it to protect data from being viewed by unauthorized users.
Typically, each data packet or file encrypted via data encryption programs requires a key to be decrypted to its original form. This key is generated by the software itself and shared between the data/file sender and receiver. Thus, even if the encrypted data is extracted or compromised, its original content cannot be retrieved without the encryption key. File encryption, email encryption, disk encryption and network encryption are widely used types of data encryption software.
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F.A.Q. about Data Encryption
What is Encryption software?
Encryption software is software that uses cryptography to prevent unauthorized access to digital information. Cryptography is used to protect digital information on computers as well as the digital information that is sent to other computers over the Internet.There are many software products which provide encryption. Software encryption uses a cipher to obscure the content into ciphertext. One way to classify this type of software is by the type of cipher used. Ciphers can be divided into two categories: public key ciphers (also known as asymmetric ciphers), and symmetric key ciphers. Encryption software can be based on either public key or symmetric key encryption.
Another way to classify crypto software is to categorize its purpose. Using this approach, software encryption may be classified into software which encrypts "data in transit" and software which encrypts "data at rest". Data in transit generally uses public key ciphers, and data at rest generally uses symmetric key ciphers.
Symmetric key ciphers can be further divided into stream ciphers and block ciphers. Stream ciphers typically encrypt plaintext a bit or byte at a time, and are most commonly used to encrypt real-time communications, such as audio and video information. The key is used to establish the initial state of a keystream generator, and the output of that generator is used to encrypt the plaintext. Block cipher algorithms split the plaintext into fixed-size blocks and encrypt one block at a time. For example, AES processes 16-byte blocks, while its predecessor DES encrypted blocks of eight bytes.
There is also a well-known case where PKI is used for data in transit of data at rest.
How Data Encryption is used?
The purpose of data encryption is to deter malicious or negligent parties from accessing sensitive data. An important line of defense in a cybersecurity architecture, encryption makes using intercepted data as difficult as possible. It can be applied to all kinds of data protection needs ranging from classified government intel to personal credit card transactions. Data encryption software, also known as an encryption algorithm or cipher, is used to develop an encryption scheme which theoretically can only be broken with large amounts of computing power.
Encryption is an incredibly important tool for keeping your data safe. When your files are encrypted, they are completely unreadable without the correct encryption key. If someone steals your encrypted files, they won’t be able to do anything with them.
There different types of encryption: hardware and software. Both offer different advantages. So, what are these methods and why do they matter?
As the name implies, software encryption uses features of encryption software to encrypt your data. Cryptosoft typically relies on a password; give the right password, and your files will be decrypted, otherwise they remain locked. With encryption enabled, it is passed through a special algorithm that scrambles your data as it is written to disk. The same software then unscrambles data as it is read from the disk for an authenticated user.
Pros.Crypto programs is typically quite cheap to implement, making it very popular with developers. In addition, software-based encryption routines do not require any additional hardware.
Cons.Types of encryption software is only as secure as the rest of your computer or smartphone. If a hacker can crack your password, the encryption is immediately undone.
Software encryption tools also share the processing resources of your computer, which can cause the entire machine to slow down as data is encrypted/decrypted. You will also find that opening and closing encrypted files is much slower than normal because the process is relatively resource intensive, particularly for higher levels of encryption
At the heart of hardware encryption is a separate processor dedicated to the task of authentication and encryption. Hardware encryption is increasingly common on mobile devices.
The encryption protection technology still relies on a special key to encrypt and decrypt data, but this is randomly generated by the encryption processor. Often times, hardware encryption devices replace traditional passwords with biometric logons (like fingerprints) or a PIN number that is entered on an attached keypad
Pros.Hardware offers strong encryption, safer than software solutions because the encryption process is separate from the rest of the machine. This makes it much harder to intercept or break.
The use of a dedicated processor also relieves the burden on the rest of your device, making the encryption and decryption process much faster.
Cons.Typically, hardware-based encrypted storage is much more expensive than a software encryption tools.
If the hardware decryption processor fails, it becomes extremely hard to access your information.
The Data Recovery Challenge. Encrypted data is a challenge to recover. Even by recovering the raw sectors from a failed drive, it is still encrypted, which means it is still unreadable.
Hardware encrypted devices don’t typically have these additional recovery options. Many have a design to prevent decryption in the event of a component failure, stopping hackers from disassembling them. The fastest and most effective way to deal with data loss on an encrypted device is to ensure you have a complete backup stored somewhere safe. For your PC, this may mean copying data to another encrypted device. For other devices, like your smartphone, backing up to the Cloud provides a quick and simple economy copy that you can restore from. As an added bonus, most Cloud services now encrypt their users’ data too.