Protecting your private information in today’s digital world has not only become important but a strong necessity too due to the sudden rise in cyberattacks. On today’s date, all of us store our personal or professional details on our digital devices so that they can be accessed instantly without any hassle. But did you ever wonder why this method is now trusted by millions of users across the globe? Well, that’s the supreme power of encryption and its strongly equipped security features. According to ExpressVPN’s recent research, encryption holds the basic foundation of protecting user’s data and with time will evolve with highly advanced digital protection measures.
Unrevealing Encryption’s Historical Background
The roots of encryption belong to the Ancient Greeks and Spartans from the ancient times. They formed a tool named “Scytale Cipher” which had a parchment wound strip that contained a secretive message. This technique was a hit throughout their military campaigns for sending and receiving messages. The major success of this technique led to the evolution of other ancient encryption practices such as Caesar Cipher, Smoke Signals, Pigpen Cipher & Flag Semaphore. Times changed and it called for a change in encryption practices. It was then the innovation of the Telegraph happened in the 19th century which was later followed by “The Enigma Machine” in the 20s.
However, there was the absence of digital encryption and usage of secure network protocols which was fulfilled in the mid-20th century. The progressive development of symmetric-key encryption and public-key encryption led to the configuration of modern cryptography. The former implemented the practice of securing messages through a single secret key whereas the latter used a key pair (public and private) for the same. Later, multiple platforms (social networking apps, payment apps, banking apps) were launched which allowed individuals to connect and function accordingly. The launch of these apps called for the embedment of end-to-end encrypted messages to keep the information intact between sender and receiver.
Though standards of modern encryption increased still there were many prying eyes wandering around to seek personal data. Henceforth, Quantum Cryptography and Post-Quantum Cryptography came into the picture which is now enforced by government, law agencies, and other industries to protect their salient information.
What Measures Should You Take To Safeguard Your Crucial Data?
Even though we have the best data security measures, there are still a few tips that cyber experts suggest to implement to safeguard data from online predators. In the upcoming sections of this article, we have described effective practices that people should follow to protect their delicate information.
- Use a Strong Combination Password: You should always create a password that is a mix of small letters, capital letters, numerals, and symbols. Ensure that you have separate passwords for all your social media apps, banking apps, and professional apps like Microsoft Teams, Gmail, etc. It’s advised so because the more complex your password is, the more difficult it’ll be for cybercriminals to crack it.
- Consider Using 2FA or MFA: Two-factor authentication acts as an encryption shield for your data. It’s an additional protective layer that strictly prohibits unwanted access and guarantees smooth data security. Once you opt for it you’ll be asked to enter two or more identification details every time you want to access the app, website, or device.
- Avoid Clicking Anonymous Links: Cybercrime has become common in today’s generation hence to fraud people now cybercriminals use practices that look genuine and not fake. They send spam links to the users and if you accidentally click on these links then your entire device is at risk. Also, never share your personal information, card details, or email address even if someone requests you. If they force you to do it then immediately register a complaint to cyber police.
- Use a VPN: Almost 35% of the population uses open Wi-Fi. When using Wi-Fi at the airport or other outer space you should always use a VPN. If you use a VPN the respective ISP server won’t be able to track your data flow. Apart from this you should also use a VPN at home and office and connect all your devices
- Take Complete Data Backup: The masterstroke practice that always helps the users. Those who regularly take a data backup are less prone to cyberattacks. When creating a backup always do it on multiple devices and have separate locations like cloud storage etc for more safety.
How do Different Industries Use Encryption?
The need for digital encryption started with government, law, and financial agencies but now has become a fundamental criteria to secure records for other sectors too. As a large amount of data is stored digitally it’s necessary to implement digital encryption to maintain the data confidentially. Here’s a short breakdown of how distinct industries employ encryption to prevent eavesdropping.
- Healthcare: Hospitals have patient details which consist of personal address, phone number, medical history, and alternate information that needs to be kept confidential. Thus, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have given strict instructions to healthcare departments that patient details should be encrypted when stored, accessed, and transferred.
- Finance: In 2023 online payments through bank apps, and digital payment apps have become a savior. People can easily add their debit/credit card details to make a payment anywhere worldwide. Cybercriminals keep a keen eye on the industry to breach data and get access to card details etc. That’s the reason a double layer of encryption is necessary for protecting a customer’s financial details.
- Education: Colleges, Schools, and other learning institutions handle student data, their address, parent details, mobile numbers, bank account details, etc which need to be kept private. To maintain confidentiality educational firms use digital encryption to protect their data from illegitimate sources.
- IoT Business Sectors: IT companies have global clients and according to their contract it’s mandatory to encrypt client data safely. Business data includes financial budget, marketing strategy, and potential leads which when encrypted are not easily attainable by cybercriminals.
Government and Law Agencies: They have sensitive data stored in bulk that are relevant to new rules and regulations, taxes, country finance, and development, wanted criminals information which needs to be treasured into deep storage. Thus to maintain the authenticity digital encryption is implemented which acts like a digital locker.
Merits & Demerits Of Digital Encryption
|Helpful for private & secure global communication through borders between government officials.||When backdoors are made mandatory for surveillance purposes by the government then data’s security gets compromised in no time.|
|Beneficial technique for data integration and can easily detect whether original data has been corrupted during transmission or not.||Slightly complicated to manage encryption keys. If there’s zero planning and the key gets tampered then it’s no longer effective.|
|Offers solid protection from insider threats and updates if data has been tried to be misused or stolen by someone.||Encryption has no immunity power and is easily prone to vulnerabilities. Even with the strongest encryption, your data can face threats.|
|Adheres to significant regulatory standards and maintains legal compliance.||Users sometimes don’t understand encryption, and key management which results in security threats.|
AI-powered encryption, blockchain technology, homomorphic encryption, and post-quantum cryptography are the future of digital encryption. The future will likely be more leveraged by spectacular anomaly identification techniques, instant response, and quick threat detection practices. Though as digital encryption grows so will the launch of more challenging circumstances. Quantum Cryptography could be easily used by cybercriminals to outbreak ongoing encryption methods which is a huge risk. To resolve this and other alarming digital threats cybersecurity teams should build a strong plan to tackle those hurdles with highly advanced encryption solutions. The solutions must be simple, and user-friendly and should resist all sorts of attacks. Nevertheless, being cautious is the most prominent requirement for the utmost data protection.