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Encryption is the action of encoding information so that no one can read it except for the correct recipient. The process of encryption typically involves three steps. First, the plaintext message (the original message) is encoded and turned into ciphertext (an encoded version of the original message). Next, the message will be sent from the sender to the recipient. Lastly, the recipient will decode the message using an encryption key to convert the message from ciphertext back into the original plaintext message. By encrypting communications while traveling from one destination to the next or even when it is being stored, you help prevent unauthorized users from accessing that data.
History of Encryption
Encryption is based on the practice of cryptography, which is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication. The usage of codes and ciphers to protect secrets is thousands of years old and has existed long before the internet existed. The development of cryptography has been mirrored by the development of cryptanalysis, which is the study of breaking codes and ciphers. One significant use case of cryptanalysis was during World War 1.
In World War 1, the decoding of the Zimmermann telegram greatly impacted rallying support for the United States to join the war against Germany. The Zimmermann telegram was a secret government communication where the German government proposed a military alliance with Mexico if the United States entered World War 1 against Germany. Germany promised to help Mexico recover Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. The message was intercepted and decoded by British Intelligence. This information helped to enrage the US and eventually contributed to the US joining the first world war.
What are The Different Types of Encryptions?
There are two primary types of encryptions: symmetric and asymmetric encryption. Symmetric encryption (secret key) is encryption that uses the same encryption key for encryption and decryption. This type of encryption requires the key to be shared between both parties before communication begins. Asymmetric key encryption uses a public and private key combination, the public key is used for encryption and the private key is used for decryption. Each type of encryption has its pros and cons:
Speed: Symmetric cryptography is faster to run for encryption and decryption because the keys used are much shorter than those in asymmetric cryptography. Also, symmetric cryptography uses only one key, which makes it faster than asymmetric cryptography.
Security: In terms of security, asymmetric cryptography is the better option. Symmetric cryptography carries the possibility of the key being intercepted, and then the adversary would have the ability to decrypt any of the communications between recipients. However, in asymmetric encryption, only the public key is shared with the recipient. This means that even if the key is intercepted, the hacker would have no way of decrypting any messages they intercept. Since the private key, which is used for decryption, is never shared, it poses no risk of being used by the hacker to decrypt important messages.
Why is Encryption Important for Email?
In the modern-day environment, email is one of the most important places to use encryption. The average person receives roughly 121 emails each workday, and they send roughly 40 per day. As much as 86% of professionals name email as their preferred communication method. As professionals, we send tons of sensitive information via email daily, including attachments with PII, bank information, social security numbers, and much more. To adequately protect that information, encryption should be an essential aspect of our everyday lives. Proper encryption helps to ensure that this information cannot be intercepted and stolen.
Best Email Providers for Secure Communications
If you're extremely conscious of privacy and security, you would be better off investing in a secure email solution rather than using regular services like Gmail and Hotmail. Here are some of the best email services for encrypted communications:
Sealit Trust Email & File Encryption: Here at Sealit, our business is centered around file and email encryption services. Sealit is built on a Zero Trust security model that ensures that no one, not even Sealit can access your data without authorization. Not only do we enable encryption, but we offer services such as:
· Control where and how your data will be stored, including what country your encryption keys will be hosted in.
· Encrypting data at rest or in transit
· Actively monitor your data with alerts and analytics to understand exactly who is accessing your data, when, and where.
· Ensure compliance with regulations like GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and Schrems II.
Email providers like Protonmail, Hushmail, and Zoho mail specialize in secure and private email solutions if you're looking for a simpler, less comprehensive email platform.
Encryption is the process of encoding communications to ensure that no one other than the intended recipient can access and read that information. Encryption has been in practice for hundreds, if not thousands of years, for as long as people have used written communication.
Cryptanalysis is the practice of breaking codes and has been used throughout human history, including during World War 1, to intercept and understand enemy messages.
In modern-day society, encryption is used mainly over the internet to secure communications such as email. This can be done with two types of encryptions, symmetric and asymmetric.
Symmetric encryption is faster because it uses only one key, and the key lengths are typically much shorter.
On the other hand, asymmetric encryption is slow but more secure than symmetric encryption because the private key used for decryption is never shared, reducing the chances of it being compromised.
If you want to ensure you have an environment that properly uses encryption to protect your emails and files, sign up for a demo of Sealit's secure services to ensure proper encryption, compliance, and active monitoring of your digital communications.