Encryption is often touted as one of the most effective safeguards against data breaches. Whether storing or transferring their data, many businesses rely on it to protect against breaches. When data is encrypted, it’s virtually immune to breaches. No one will be able to decipher the encrypted data unless they have the appropriate key. How does data encryption work exactly?

What Is Data Encryption?

Data encryption is the process of scrambling data with a cryptographic algorithm so that it can’t be deciphered. It’s performed using software that encodes data by running it through this algorithm. While encoding the data, the algorithm creates a digital key. Known as a cryptographic key, it’s used to decode the encrypted data. The cryptographic key is sent to the individual or individuals who’ve been authorized to access the encrypted data.

How Data Encryption Works

With data encryption, software converts the data into special characters. A database may originally consist of all text, for example. After being encrypted, though, it will no longer contain legible text. Rather, the data will consist of special characters.

It’s important to note that encryption won’t stop hackers or otherwise nefarious individuals from accessing data. If you store encrypted data on a cloud-based server, for example, a hacker may be able to log in to the server. He or she may then access the encrypted data. Nonetheless, the hacker won’t be able to read the data while it’s encrypted. The encrypted data will be encoded, and since he or she doesn’t have the cryptographic key, the hacker won’t be able to read it.

Benefits of Data Encryption

For the highest level of protection against data breaches, look no further than encryption. There are other ways to protect against data breaches. Using a strong password, as well as multi-factor authentication (MFA), can lower the risk of unauthorized users breaching your data. The problem is that most of these alternative safeguards don’t change the format of data. A hacker may still be able to download or otherwise access the data, after which he or she will be able to read it.

Data encryption is a solution to this problem. It ensures that only the authorized individual or individuals will be able to read the data. Encryption won’t prevent hackers from breaching a database (or a connection ). It will, however, prevent them from reading the data. There are multiple types of encryption, but they all scramble or encode data so that it can only be read with a cryptographic key.



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