What is Encryption in Computer Software?

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Every modern computer has a tool for encryption of data, making it impossible for anyone without the proper key. What exactly is encryption and how does it function? This article explains how encryption protects sensitive information from snoopers.

In simplest terms, data encryption converts readable information into coded encrypted text that can only be deciphered by authorized users with the right password. It is a vital element of cyber security that ensures data privacy and keeps sensitive information out of the fingers of users who are not authorized.

An encryption method that is commonly used uses cryptographic mathematical models to transform the original data into a garbled collection of characters that aren’t accessible (known as”ciphertext”). Encryption algorithms “scramble” bits of information in a random fashion, such that even with enormous computing power, it will take a very long time to try and determine the key needed to convert back to plain text.

For example, if you employ the most popular type of encryption known as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) for your digital files, each one of the zeros and ones that comprise it gets scrambled ten times to form an uni-random pattern. Without the correct key to understand it, computers would have to run for an extremely long time trying to arrange them into the proper order.

Encryption also serves to prevent data leaks and ransomware attacks. Hackers who steal encrypted information can’t read the information, and can’t threaten the company, or the person involved by threatening to release the stolen information to the dark web. Encryption also safeguards backup systems from hackers since they can’t access the data in its original format.


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