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The Best Encryption Methods to Protect Business Data

Your business doesn’t need to handle top-secret information to require encryption. In fact, in 2020, over 155.8 million individuals were affected by data exposures in the United States alone, making digital security crucial. To maintain your business’s reputation and security, consider encrypting your sensitive data. Find out the best encryption method for your business below.

How Does Encryption Work?

Encryption is a vital tool businesses use to protect sensitive data. Pairing it with other security tools such as the cloud-based Fortinet Next-generation Firewall (NGFW) Solution, a network security appliance adding intrusion prevention and SSL inspection to the conventional firewall, gives you a better security system for your business.

Encryption utilizes complex algorithms in scrambling data. Then it decrypts the same data using a key given by the message sender. It helps ensure that only authorized people can access your business’s information. Ultimately, this security measure ensures that sensitive company information stays private and confidential, whether your data is being stored or in transit.

Asymmetric or Symmetric Encryption?

Learning more about the two types of encryption can help you develop better security for your business and see which encryption method is best for your business. These include symmetric and asymmetric encryption:

Symmetric Encryption

Symmetric encryption is a method that uses one symmetric key to encrypt and decrypt data. It’s the type of key that you need to share with authorized people in your business. It’s a faster and less resource-intensive method, but it’s less secure. The best time for symmetric encryption is when processing speed is vital for your business or if you don’t need to share data with other parties.

Asymmetric Encryption

Asymmetric encryption uses two different keys. One is made for public purposes while the other is for private use. You can use the public key to encrypt data and use the private one to decrypt it when needed. This method offers more security than symmetric encryption. However, it may be overkill for some purposes as its processes can slow down networks and machines.

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Common Encryption Methods

Encryption methods are based on keys used, key length, and the size of encrypted data blocks. Here are the standard encryption methods used in different encryption tools:

Twofish

The Twofish encryption method is license-free, ciphering data blocks around 128 bits. It always encrypts data blocks in 16 rounds, regardless of their size. However, the Twofish method works slower than other encryption methods. But despite this, Twofish is still used by many businesses as a file and folder encryption software solution.

Many consider Twofish to be the successor to the 64-bit Blowfish encryption method. However, it’s more versatile than its specified successor, Threefish.

Rivest-Shamir-Adleman

The Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RAS) encryption method is an asymmetric encryption algorithm. It’s based on the factorization of the product of large prime numbers. This method is complex and only individuals with knowledge of these numbers will be able to decode the message behind them successfully.

Because of its complexity, RSA is usually used when transmitting data between two endpoints, such as those from web connections. Although it works well for smaller blocks of data, RAS works slower when handling large volumes of data.

Triple DES

The Triple Data Encryption Standard¬†(DES) is a symmetric encryption method. It’s an advanced form of the standard DES method, encrypting data with a 56-bit key. The method follows the DES cipher algorithm 3x to each block of data. Overall, Triple DES is the most commonly used encryption method in encrypting ATM PINs or UNIX passcodes.

AES

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a symmetric encryption algorithm. It encrypts fixed data around 128 bits at a time. You can use the keys to decipher 128-, 192-, to 256-bit long texts. Each bit key can encrypt data in different rounds. The 128-bit key in 10 rounds, 192-bit key in 12 rounds, and 256-bit key in 14 rounds.

Each round has multiple steps of transposition, substitution, and mixing of plaintext. Overall, AES is the most commonly used encryption method in businesses today. That’s because it’s perfect for data at rest and in transit.

Blowfish

This is a newer encryption method developed to replace DES. It’s a symmetric cipher that can split messages into blocks of 64 bits, encrypting them separately. This method is known for its tremendous speed and overall efficiency. For this reason, vendors have taken advantage of its free availability in public domains.

You can find Blowfish in several software categories, including e-commerce platforms, securing payments to password managers, protecting passwords. Overall, Blowfish is one of the more flexible encryption methods available.

Cybercrime is continually evolving as the world goes digital. That’s why businesses are forced to develop new strategies to keep hackers at bay. And encryption is one of the best security measures for businesses. Adding any of the encryption methods mentioned in your lineup of security tools can ensure your business’s information safety.

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