Encryption and What Is It Good for

When we hear the word encryption, we may think of ancient tombs, hidden treasures, or otherworldly secrets. Scrambled words, symbols, and mysterious ciphers fall under the domain of cryptography, but encryption is closely related. So, what exactly is encryption?

What is encryption?

Encrypted documents are encoded when the simple text undergoes reordering via special algorithms. Only a person with the key for decoding the message can decrypt the information. 

Just like with a lock, you won’t be able to access what is behind the door without a key. The document otherwise is just an unreadable scrambled mess that you won’t be able to decipher. This adds another layer of security, even when transferring data in a secure manner.

data encryption

What is data room encryption?

Data rooms provide their users with encryption inside of their online file repositories. The files transferred from folder to folder within the service are encrypted and safe from any outside attacks. 

Documents stored in a virtual data room are encrypted when in storage and when shared with other users. This way, the documents are both secure in the space and while being viewed due to end-to-end encryption. 

Types of encryption 

There are several ways to encrypt files, here are a few:

1. Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption 

When a file is encrypted through symmetric encryption, the same kind of key is used to both encrypt and decrypt the message. Asymmetric encryption requires the use of two different keys, one to encrypt and one to decrypt the file.

2. Data Encryption Standard (DES)

This is a type of symmetric encryption that is no longer deemed secure. It uses a 56-bit key and had been used by the U.S. government until the introduction of the Advanced Encryption Standard in 2001.

3. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

With a key that’s twice as long, the U.S. Government now uses the AES for file security. It uses symmetric encryption to make sure that the files are as safe as possible. Key lengths vary from between 128 to 256 bits.

Differences between encryption types

We keep mentioning bits. Why do they matter? What are the differences? Are more bits better?

Generally speaking, yes, the more bits in the encryption system, the greater security. However, bit count can also hinder the decryption process — as a longer key requires more processing power. 

What level of encryption does your business need?

It all depends on the type of data you store. Usually, when you are dealing with customers, they provide you with sensitive data that, if leaked, could be traced back to a specific person. As business people, we can’t let something like that happen. 

Normally, a 128-bit encryption system would be enough, but the rise of hacking attempts worldwide makes us realize that we may need 256-bit encryption to protect our sensitive data better. This way, even when sharing data with third parties, documents will have additional security due to end-to-end encryption.

Conclusions 

Document encryption leads to greater security of sensitive data. Whether you are sharing a monthly sales report or customer addresses with your support department, a sophisticated encryption system is a must-have. Thanks to better encryption methods, hackers find it more difficult to hack your files to snatch data.

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