What is Encryption in Computer Software?

Modern computers include tools to secure data, making it unreadable for anyone who does not have the correct key. What is encryption and how does it function? This article explains the basics of encryption and how it can help protect sensitive information from hackers.

In simple terms, data encryption transforms textual information into ciphertext that can only be deciphered by authorized users who have the right password. It is an essential element of cyber security, which ensures security of data and keeps sensitive information out of fingers of users who are not authorized.

The most common type of encryption uses mathematical models that are cryptographic, which convert the original data into a jumbled set of characters (also called ciphertext). Encryption algorithms “scramble” individual bits in a randomized fashion so that even with massive computing power, it will take a very long time to find the key to convert back to plain text.

If you’re using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) which is the most widely used encryption method for your digital files that means that each of the zeros and ones within the file is scrambled 10 times in a semi-random pattern. Without the right key to read it, a computer would have to run for an extremely long time in order to sort them into the proper order.

It also helps to stop the leak of information and attacks by ransomware. If a hacker steals encrypted data, they can’t access it and will be unable to blackmail the company or the individuals involved in the possibility of releasing stolen information to the dark web. Furthermore, encryption protects backup systems from hackers since they aren’t able access the data in its original form.

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