Today, the internet has become the way to communicate, do business, shopping, study, etc. The covid pandemic has soared its usage even amongst those who did not use it earlier. Given that, it has also become the place for storing your most sensitive data. Simultaneously, the threat to our security and invasion of privacy has become a big concern. This is where cryptography and encryption come into the picture.
Here, we need to understand what cryptography is and why it is heavily used in internet communications.
What is Cryptography?
Cryptography is a technology that embraces coding and increases digital information and physical assets security. Through it, resources like network connections, computer time, and access to databases are accessible only to those individuals, systems, software processes, etc., authorized to access them.
In the term Cryptography, ‘Crypt’ stands for ‘hidden/vault.’ In contrast, ‘graph’ stands for ‘writing.’ The process involves using encryption and a key to transfigure a plaintext input into an encrypted ciphertext as output. A specifically used algorithm always generates the same ciphertext for the same plaintext and the same key.
Important Reasons for Using Cryptography Heavily in Internet Communications
Traditionally, encryption and cryptography use was limited to government and military organizations. But the rise of visualization and computer networks changed the scenario completely.
Computers were initially connected over an open network that made it pathetically easy for anyone to snoop on data traveling across it.
This resulted in the spread of encryption and cryptography over computer networks. Today, Cryptography has become such an integral part that it is included in almost all leading data protection software like Acronis, AWS, Arcserve, Asigra, etc. AWS data protection services undoubtedly lead the pack. We list out a few important reasons for using Cryptography in almost all internet communications.
Privacy and Confidentiality at its Best
Privacy and confidentiality of data is the most significant advantage and importance of cryptography. It lends security to your private key, making it virtually impossible for any unauthorized person to access any of your data and your virtual identity.
All messages, information, and data are encrypted with a cryptographic algorithm and a key. The key is revealed only to the recipient and the sender. An interceptor or a hacker can at the most access the encrypted message but cannot decipher it. Because of this stronghold on privacy and anonymity-related issues, all criminal activities and fake surveillance entities’ efforts to decode sensitive information are successfully averted.
Maintaining Data Integrity
Data integrity is nothing but ensuring that the data’s consistency, legitimacy, and accuracy remain intact when transmitted over an untrusted medium like the internet. It blocks all opportunities for data tampering or accidental alteration. Hence, everybody remains confident that no hacker can misuse their data. If any qualified professional has altered the data, both parties know about it immediately. This is generally achieved using digitally signed message digest codes.
Identification and Authentication
Cryptography utilizes authorization techniques to determine the identity of the participant in a particular transaction. It provides a path to the sender and receiver to identify and confirm the data’s identity and origin. The security procedures allow all to protect and store information across devices with highly specialized procedures like advanced authentication to prevent unauthorized access or customers.
Generally, cryptography employs two types of authentications. They are:
This is a means of verifying that no unauthorized change in the data has occurred from its creation to transmission to storage. A digital signature or message code created for that data helps achieve this. Key agreement techniques are also used here. MAC or HMACS are leading examples of it.
This is the process of confirming the information creator’s identity, like the system or the user. It is mainly established using an SSL certificate. Whenever you try to connect to any website, the browser only allows it after verifying its SSL certificate.
This implies that none can deny the validity or authenticity of the data under the radar. Cryptography prevents the disclaiming of the creation/transmission of any message and transaction, thereby lending it digital legitimacy and traceability. The process uses a service, which provides both proof of origin and integrity of information. Hence, none can refute it.
Non-repudiation bears a solid resemblance to data integrity but with a difference. Instead of verifying if the message was changed during the transit, non-repudiation focuses on knowing who sent the information. A digital signature algorithm is used here to ensure that neither the sender nor the receiver can deny their roles in the message transmission.
Other Benefits of Cryptography
The above four benefits are touted as the primary goals of cryptography. Other advantages that highlight the benefit of cryptography are:
Usability across devices
Modern cryptography has easy applicability across devices and operating systems. Hence, your data remains secure on all devices. You can even encrypt your SD card or any other external storage device. This makes it easy and safe for both online business owners and their clients and customers. Moreover, you can access the same data on any device by following the protocol.
Provides a competitive advantage
Today, thanks to the covid pandemic, most businesses are forced to move online. Cryptography protects all information at rest and in transit. This makes all-important handling information feel secure. Given that, most companies have an encryption plan implemented for working. It also helps them avoid regulatory fines.
There are plenty of reasons that make cryptography a must-have tool whenever interacting online in any way. It offers you privacy and security and builds trust for your business, and lends absolute peace of mind.
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