How Hash and Encryption Algorithms Replaced Secret Messages to Protect Business Databases and fend off Cybercriminals

Cybercriminals continue to attack governments and companies around the world. It’s a global problem, and it’s growing. In the first quarter of 2021, companies in Australia, the US, Taiwan, and the UK got wounded by cyber crime.

How on earth do you protect your databases with all the sensitive information they hold? Fortunately, security technology works hard to keep up with the onslaught—new or improved older technologies supporting compliance and safety.

One of the simplest and best-known protection mechanisms is encryption. There are two common types, symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical encryption uses the same key to encrypt and decrypt data.

We began encrypting writing thousands of years ago to deliver secret messages. Modern encryption techniques build on this by using complex mathematical functions and not simple letter substitutions used in messages all those years ago.

Symmetrical encryption is widespread as it’s faster than asymmetrical, demands less computer power, and doesn’t affect internet speed. AES is the most widely used encryption algorithm. You’ll find it used in Wi-Fi, wireless, and website security.

Asymmetrical or “public key encryption” uses two keys to encrypt, one public, one private. The two keys approach offers greater security and the ability to authenticate. The drawback is less speed, and more computer power required.

Next, let’s discuss Hash. That’s Hash Function, not comfort food, although the security it offers can be comforting. A Hash Function is a mathematical process used in public cryptography.

It’s a one-way function. Its strengths are ensuring data integrity, protecting passwords in a database, and assuring authentication. Hash hangs out frequently in blockchain technologies, website certificates, and document signing certificates.

Author: Kris Keppeler, a writer who finds technology fascinating and loves humor. She writes for Crossing Genres on Medium.com and Does This Happen to You? on Channillo. Award-winning podcast producer who enjoys telling stories. Follow her @KrisKKAria on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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