Encryption in Today's Information Systems

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In today’s world of instant connectivity and information at users’ fingertips, it’s vital that sensitive information is safeguarded against those who seek to do personal harm and profit from gaining access to the data. The key behind keeping information safe is the method in which it’s protected and encrypted. In order to appreciate how information is secured, users must understand the encryption concepts behind it. To do this, one must comprehend the current encryption standards, the trends and developments in encryption technology, the importance of securing data, the government’s regulations pertaining to encryption, the companies involved in research and implementation, the implications of leaked or stolen data, and a brief look into…show more content…
When a fellow general received the message, he would wrap the paper around his corresponding scytale to decipher the message (Tyson 2014). Since the advent of computers though, encryption has become increasing important and relies almost solely on cryptographic means to secure information. When speaking about encryption today, it refers more to the process rather than the mathematical formulas used to scramble data. The basic idea behind encrypting a computer message is such that it is scrambled with a sequence of random bits, known as a key, and only parties with the corresponding key can transpose it back into a comprehensible format. These keys are created via a cipher, otherwise known as an algorithm. When a user sends a message, known as the plaintext, across a network, the computer applies an algorithm to the information to encode it, resulting in a ciphertext (Encryption Basics 2014). This method can be best summarized visually: Plaintext message + encryption algorithm + secret key = Ciphertext Ciphertext + corresponding key + decryption algorithm = Plaintext message Generally speaking, modern encryption techniques fall into one of two categories - symmetric (homogeneous) and asymmetric (heterogeneous). Symmetric encryption is a system of communication whereby both parties share the same key to encode and decode a message. The Spartan generals used this method with their scytales.
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