I have yet to encounter a business owner who doesn’t wish to keep their proprietary business information protected. The need to maintain strong control over intellectual property is typically near, or at, the top of what our clients seek from us when they make the decision to partner with us under I-SUPPORT. In our efforts to educate on the options available to for IT security, the topic of encryption always arises.
Over the last few months, the public has been sitting on the sidelines watching as the debate on encryption unfolds. It’s an emotionally charged subject that has the public divided. Despite your stance on the issue, though, some people are confused because they aren’t entirely sure how encryption works or what it even is. So, here’s a little background for you.
Encryption turns your ‘stuff’ into other ‘stuff.’
When you make a purchase online, send a text message, or email another person, this data is considered to be ‘in transit.’ During this period, a hacker can drop in and swoop your data up for themselves. Encryption takes your ‘data in transit’ and scrambles it with a sophisticated mathematical algorithm to prevent this swooping from occurring. This algorithm creates an unintelligible combination of your data that can be incredibly difficult and near impossible to unscramble.
There are levels of encryption.
There are different types of encryption, namely asymmetric and symmetric. Symmetric encryption involves a single key to encrypt and decrypt information while asymmetric encryption involves both a public and private key. Asymmetric encryption is often used for messaging, and the decryption process only takes place after the private key gives permission to the public key.
It isn’t just for the internet… or phones.
Encryption wasn’t just created to protect your online accounts and purchasing activity. Encryption is also used to protect your information in other instances, like when you use an ATM or if you rely on a Wi-Fi-connected device to secure your home. Another good example is your health records maintained by your physician or hospital.
It isn’t meant to hide bad things.
One of the main reasons encryption exists, and continues to exists, is to protect and preserve your privacy. It’s not designed to hide illegal activities. In fact, quite the opposite. Encryption is partially intended to hide your life from people attempting to carry out illegal activities against you—like identity theft, stalking and fraud. That’s not all it’s meant for, though. Encryption is also intended to keep your conversations and daily activities as private as you want them to be. Just because you aren’t doing anything worth hiding doesn’t mean people should be able to watch or hear you live your life.
Interested in learning how encryption may help serve the security needs at your business? Please complete the form on this page, and one of our team members will be in touch with you shortly to discuss how best to get started!