Imagine you wanted to send a text message and be sure that no one except the intended recipient could read it. How would you do it? In a word: encryption.

Encryption converts regular text into a coded language that only someone with the right key can decode. It is employed to ensure secure communication, safeguard sensitive data, and mitigate the risk of data breaches.

Encryption is routinely used in daily life in ways you may not even notice, such as securing your credit card information during online purchases.

This article will explore the fundamentals of “what is data encryption”, its importance, types, and much more. Let’s dive in.

What is Data Encryption?

Data encryption is the process of encoding information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. It transforms data into a different format or code, ensuring that only individuals with the appropriate decryption key or password can access it.

The encryption process, a fundamental step within the data processing cycle, uses an encryption algorithm and an encryption key to scramble data into an unreadable format. The decryption process runs the encrypted data through the decryption algorithm and the same encryption key to restore the data to its original, readable format.

Data encryption in cybersecurity is critical for protecting sensitive information transmitted over the internet or stored on computer systems. Without it, data is vulnerable to unauthorized access by hackers or cybercriminals.

Data governance vs data management is a key consideration in this – effective encryption requires comprehensive data governance that defines organization-wide policies and procedures, rather than ad-hoc data management.

What’s The Primary Purpose of Data Encryption?

Data encryption aims to safeguard the confidentiality of digital data, both when it is stored on computer systems and transmitted across the internet or other networks. Outdated ciphers like the Data Encryption Standard (DES) have given way to advanced encryption algorithms that now play an indispensable role in securing IT systems and communications.

Beyond just concealing information, these powerful encryption protocols enable essential security capabilities and initiatives centered around authentication, data integrity, and non-repudiation. Authentication mechanisms allow for verification of a message’s origin and ownership. Data integrity solutions provide concrete evidence that the contents of a message remain unaltered since its original transmission. Non-repudiation protocols ensure that the sender of a message cannot later deny dispatching that message.

By encrypting data into an indecipherable form, modern encryption algorithms do not merely obscure sensitive information – they drive critical security functions across authentication, safeguarding data payloads, and guaranteeing message source attribution. These robust encryption systems are pivotal for maintaining confidentiality, as well as ensuring system-wide verification and validation in today’s digital landscape.

Additionally, encryption serves as a cornerstone of a Data Management Service, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure and protected from unauthorized access or tampering.

Ponemon encryption trends strategy

Source: Ponemon encryption trends strategy

How Does Data Encryption Work?

Data encryption technology safeguards information in two key states – 

  • data in transit (in-flight data) as it traverses networks, and 
  • data at rest (stored data) residing on computer systems and in the cloud. 

With the rise of internet-based computing and the expansion of online systems, modern encryption algorithms (ciphers) have superseded the antiquated Data Encryption Standard (DES) to secure IT communications and infrastructure.

These advanced encryption protocols serve the dual purposes of fortifying confidentiality while enabling core security initiatives focused on integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation. 

  • First, authentication mechanisms verify the legitimate source and ownership of any given message. 
  • Then, integrity checks provide cryptographic assurance that the message contents remain unaltered during transmission. 
  • Finally, non-repudiation measures ensure that the original sender cannot plausibly deny dispatching their authenticated message.

Contemporary data encryption algorithms form the fundamental basis for ensuring digital information security across today’s distributed systems and networks by encrypting data at rest and in transit and by facilitating message authentication, payload integrity, and sender validation. These sophisticated ciphers are instrumental in preserving data confidentiality while also enabling verifiable system-wide trustworthiness. 

By understanding the Data validation techniques, you will have a better insight into data encryption processes, as they play a complementary role in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of encrypted data, further bolstering the overall integrity and security of digital information systems.

Types of Data Encryption

There are two main types of data encryption:

  1. Symmetric encryption uses the same key to encrypt and decrypt data. It is swift but requires secure key distribution.
  2. Asymmetric encryption employs a public key for encrypting data and a corresponding private key for decryption. It is slower but eliminates the issue of secure key distribution.

Data encryption algorithms range from simple ciphers to highly complex mathematical problems that would take modern supercomputers billions of years to crack through brute force.

Importance of Data Encryption

Data encryption is essential for maintaining data security and privacy in the digital age for reasons including:

  • Protecting confidential communications between businesses, government agencies, and individuals
  • Securing financial transactions and personal data like credit card numbers, passwords, and health records
  • Ensuring compliance with data protection laws and regulations
  • Preventing cyber-attacks, data breaches, and identity theft
  • Safeguarding intellectual property and sensitive business information

Moreover, encryption plays a crucial role in cyber security monitoring, providing an essential layer of defense against unauthorized access and data breaches, thus safeguarding sensitive information from potential threats and vulnerabilities.

Why Choose IntoneSwift?

To sum up, what is data encryption? It is the coding of data to prevent unauthorized access and maintain data security, integrity, and privacy in our digital world. Hence, robust encryption is necessary for the world’s digital infrastructure and economy to thrive due to the inability to trust data security. At Intone, we deeply recognize the paramount importance of safeguarding data integrity. Consequently, we proudly introduce “IntoneSwift,” an advanced data integration tool meticulously engineered to provide unparalleled security measures. It offers:

  • Knowledge graph for all data integrations done
  • 600+ Data, and Application and device connectors
  • A graphical no-code low-code platform.
  • Distributed In-memory operations that give 10X speed in data operations.
  • Attribute level lineage capturing at every data integration map
  • Data encryption at every stage
  • Centralized password and connection management
  • Real-time, streaming & batch processing of data
  • Supports unlimited heterogeneous data source combinations
  • Eye-catching monitoring module that gives real-time updates

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you!