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What is Encryption in the Modern World?
Encryption is the process of encoding sensitive information so that it can only be accessed by the intended recipient. In the modern world filled with electronic communication, encryption is critical to ensuring privacy on the web. For example, if you look to the left of the URL right now, you should see a lock symbol if the site you're on is considered secure (Sealit is). If you click on the lock symbol, it will give you a description explaining that your information shared with the website is safe and private. This is because of an implementation of encryption called HTTPS. Anytime you go to a website, you can type HTTP or HTTPS before going to that URL. If you use HTTPS, your communication with that website will be encrypted and considered secure. This is just one example of how we use encryption daily without even thinking about it. Another typical example would be if you ever use a VPN service. Most VPN providers encrypt the communications sent to and from machines running their service to help improve the privacy of those communications.
The Importance of Encryption
In the modern world, there is a lot of money to be made by people stealing other people's information. Cybercrime globally is worth over $3 trillion. This primarily comes from hackers stealing and reselling other people's information which can be used to commit fraud and other illegal activities for profit. One of the common ways they will do this is by intercepting communications between two people in what's commonly called a man-in-the-middle attack. This is when a hacker positions themselves in between a conversation between two people/systems. One way a hacker can do this is to go to a public place like an internet café, library, or hotel lobby and connect to the Wi-Fi. Connecting to the same Wi-Fi network that tens or hundreds of other people are connected to gives them access to all those people's electronic communications. Here's how it works: For anyone on that network to connect to the internet and send messages, emails, etc. the information must first pass through the Wi-Fi network. If the hacker is tech-savvy enough, they can try to intercept the communications before it leaves the Wi-Fi network and read the contents of the messages. Therefore it's advisable to always use a VPN, your data, or private Wi-Fi where possible rather than public Wi-Fi. These services help to secure your communications by encrypting them so that even if it's intercepted, the contents of the message will be safe.
Types of Encryption
Two primary types of encryption can be implemented, symmetric key encryption and asymmetric key encryption. Symmetric key encryption uses the same key for the encryption and decryption of a message. It is faster than asymmetric key encryption but less secure because the key needs to be shared with both recipients for it to work and that gives a hacker a chance to compromise the key and use it for themselves to decrypt messages. On the other hand, asymmetric encryption is slower than symmetric encryption but more secure because only the public key (encryption) is ever shared with the public. Even if this key is compromised, it cannot be used by a hacker to decrypt any messages.
Where Companies Need Encryption
Now that we discussed encryption in general let's look at encryption on a business level. There are two places where encryption is important in a business. This is encryption in transit and encryption at rest. Encryption in transit is using encryption when sending information from one place to another. For example, when sending an email to someone in another company. The second is encryption at rest when data is sitting ideally on a computer/server, not being used. The general rule of thumb is that only time-sensitive data should be unencrypted when in use, which helps limit the possibility of a data leak.
How Sealit Implements Encryption
Sealit is a cybersecurity company that specializes in data privacy and security. We provide companies with three primary services. First is email protection. We provide companies with state-of-the-art email encryption and protection without switching email providers. Simply use our add-on with Gmail or Outlook to improve email security. The second is file-level encryption. We help clients implement encryption at rest across your organization. Our solution allows you to encrypt and decrypt individual files as needed. Last is active monitoring. This allows you to see in real-time who is accessing your data and files so that you can be 100% certain that no unauthorized users are accessing your information. Together these three solutions give the best implementation of encryption and complete visibility into the sensitive data you will find in the cybersecurity market!
Encryption is a key part of an organization's overall security strategy. By encrypting information in transit and at risk, you significantly reduce the risk of a hacker getting unauthorized access to your company data. At Sealit, our products are designed to help companies implement encryption easily and quickly across your organization. Not only will you be able to encrypt your data, but through active tracking, we help organizations monitor their data and understand who is accessing it at any time!