Digital Data Security A Few Things You Should Know
File transfer services is one of the most important features of the Internet. Whether it is sending a simple email or sharing a 20 gigabyte file, file transfers are what make the Internet tick. There are a variety of data delivery methods available such as FTP, SFTP, PGP, etc. However, all of these data delivery services have at least one thing in common: they use encryption services in one way or another. Encryption, above all else, is what protects the Internet and its contents from serious harm.
Encryption, in principle, is simple. Encryption is the process of translating readable data, known as “plaintext,” into unreadable data, known as “ciphertext,” in order to protect its contents from unwanted users. Encryption doesn’t hide the data necessarily. It is still possible to receive encrypted files. However, without a method of deciphering the encryption code, a user cannot gain access to the actual content. Encryption codes use algorithms to create the ciphertext.
In order for encryption to work, both the receiver and sender must have a “key”; that is, a manual of sorts that translates ciphertext back to plaintext. Without a key, encrypted files are worthless to the receiver. There are two main kinds of keys (and, in consequence, encryption methods): private and public. “Private” or “secret keys” are used for symmetric encryptions. Private keys are those that are only known to authorized users. They use the same algorithm to encrypt and then decrypt the text. Private keys are good for users who want to keep keys strictly to themselves. Although this enhances security, problems can arise when one or more parties lose the key. Symmetric encryption was the first of its kind and is still well-known.
In contrast, “public keys” are used for asymmetric encryption. Public keys, as its name suggests, are available for any users, meaning that any user can use the encryption code to protect their data. However, public keys are often paired with a private key, which is only known to the receiver. That way, users can send encrypted data to receivers with more ease than they would with private keys. However, problems can arise when the public key becomes compromised, fooling the receiver and potentially risking the content.
In 2011, approximately 535 data breaches were reported and more than 30 million customer records were stolen. This, if anything else, should motive businesses and individuals alike to adopt data loss prevention solutions and encryption codes for their data. Managed file transfer services are incredibly important but without proper security measures, they lose their importance considerably.
What do you think about data delivery methods and cyber security? Do you or anyone you know have any experience with data delivery methods? Feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom. Read more.
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