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Encryption and Decryption are the two most essential steps for successful communication. To transmit sensitive or confidential information, secrecy and privacy should be assured by a system. Before diving into Encryption and Decryption, let’s first learn about Cryptography.
What is Cryptography?
Cryptography is used to secure and protect data units during communication. It is an efficient step to prevent an unauthorized person or a group of unknown users from accessing or using sensitive information or data. Encryption and decryption are the two most common and essential functionalities of cryptography.
What is meant by Encryption?
Encryption is the process of transforming the original information into an unrecognizable form. Now, this new message is entirely different from the original message using various algorithms like:
Triple-DES algorithm was designed to replace the official and original Data Encryption Standard (DES) Algorithm. This algorithm uses three individual 56-bit keys, and their total key length adds up to 168 bits, but a more accurate key strength would be 112-bits.
The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the algorithm that many standard organizations most trust. It also uses keys of 192 and 256 bits for high-level encryption purposes.
Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) is a public-key encryption algorithm and is the standard for sending encrypted data over the internet. It is considered an asymmetric algorithm because it uses a pair of keys – a public key to encrypt a message and a private key to decrypt it.
Data is encrypted to make it safe and secure from getting stolen so that hackers can also not read the data using various vital algorithms.
What is meant by Decryption?
Decryption converts an encrypted or encoded message into a readable form and can be understood by the user or system. This process is performed manually by using keys to unencrypted text to the original data. The same algorithm with the same key (in the case of symmetric only) can be used for both encryption-decryption operations.
Why use Encryption and Decryption?
There are various reasons for using these processes, but a few important reasons are:
- It helps protect confidential and sensitive data like passwords or other credentials.
- It helps maintain the integrity of users’ data, as data won’t constantly change and can be frequently verified.
- Helps to ensure that an attacker or third party doesn’t alter the files or documents sent with the message.
- Prevents plagiarism and protects IP address.
- Helpful for proper network communication where an attacker can’t access encrypted data.
- Helps protect PII/PHI data and securely explore the internet while maintaining compliant standards.
Types of Keys used in Encryption and Decryption
Symmetric key encryption algorithms use duplicate cryptographic keys for both plaintext encryption and ciphertext decryption.
Asymmetric key encryption uses two different pairs of keys for encryption. A public key is available to the public, while a secret key is only made available to the receiver of the message, which in turn boosts security.
Public key encryption is based on two pairs of keys. These keys are used to encrypt messages for a receiver.
Private key may or may not be a part of the public/private asymmetric key pair. It can also be used in asymmetric encryption, as users can use the same key to encrypt and decrypt data.
Pre-Shared Key (PSK) is a shared secret that was previously shared between the two parties by using some secure channel before officially using it.
Difference between Encryption and Decryption
|It is a process of converting standard readable data into an unreadable form to prevent unauthorised access to data.||It is a method of converting unreadable or coded data into its original form.|
|When data is supposed to be sent between two different machines, it is encrypted using a secret key automatically.||The data receiver automatically converts the data from code to its original form.|
|The sender sends the data to the destination.||The receiver receives the data and then converts the following.|
|An employee sends essential information to their superiors.||The superior or manager receives crucial confidential information from employees.|
|The same algorithm having the same key is used for encryption-decryption processes.||A single algorithm is used for encryption and decryption using a pair of keys.|
|To transform humanly readable and understandable messages into obscure and incomprehensible forms to prevent interpretation by an attacker.||It converts a hidden message into an understandable form for the user and the system.|
Cryptography is used to secure and protect data, and encryption-decryption is two critical processes. Encryption methods help users protect their confidential information like passwords and so on. But decrypting these coded messages to be readable is also an important step.