Category Archives: Encryption
Sophos Free Encryption is an intuitive application that you can use to protect your sensitive data from unauthorized viewing. It can be handled by all types of users.
The interface of the program is based on a standard window with an intuitive layout, where you can add files into the secured environment using either the file browser, folder view or “drag and drop” method. You can add as many items as you want.
In order to encrypt data, you have to specify a target for the archive with the Sophos Free Encryption format (UTI), and assign a password to it. Alternatively, you can apply a key file as a dependency.
A few options are available for the encryption process. Therefore, you can create self-extracting executable files, securely delete the original items after encryption, compress data and save passwords in a history list.
Furthermore, you can use the default email client to send the encrypted archives via email after the process is done, as well as change the default file path to the passwords history list.
Sophos Free Encryption carries out a task rapidly and without errors, while using a low-to-moderate quantity of CPU and system memory, thus it does not affect the computer’s overall performance. We haven’t come across any difficulties in our tests, since the tool did not hang or crash.
Although it has not been updated for a pretty long time, Sophos Free Encryption offers users a simple alternative to secure their files, by turning them into encrypted archives.
File Encryption File Encrypter Encrypt Folder Encryption Encrypt Encrypter Decrypt
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All Skype-to-Skype voice, video, file transfers and instant messages are encrypted. This protects you from potential eavesdropping by malicious users.
If you make a call from Skype to mobile and landline phones, the part of your call that takes place over the PSTN (the ordinary phone network) is not encrypted.
For example, in the case of group calls involving two users on Skype-to-Skype and one user on PSTN, then the PSTN part is not encrypted, but the Skype-to-Skype portion is.
For instant messages, we use TLS (transport-level security) to encrypt your messages between your Skype client and the chat service in our cloud, or AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) when sent directly between two Skype clients. Most messages are sent both ways, but in the future it will only be sent via our cloud to provide the optimal user experience.
Voice messages are encrypted when they’re delivered to you. However, after you have listened to a voice message, it is transferred from our servers to your local machine, where it is stored as an unencrypted file.
Skype uses the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard*), also known as Rijndael, which is used by the US Government to protect sensitive information, and Skype has for some time always used the strong 256-bit encryption. User public keys are certified by the Skype server at login using 1536 or 2048-bit RSA certificates.
*Skype is not responsible for the content of external sites.
To learn more about encryption, please visit our Security Center.
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Does Skype use encryption? | Skype Support
There are instructions at encrypt.stanford.edu that will walk you through the steps necessary to fulfill University security requirements for each of your devices. Before you begin, however, being prepared ahead of time for the following steps may help you streamline the encryption process.
In case something goes wrong during the encryption process, you should back up your computer before running the SWDE installer.
The School of Medicine recommends using CrashPlan: it’s asecure, monitored, convenient backup system and it’s free for School of Medicine affiliates. Additionally, the SoM can assist you in restoring your information from CrashPlan, in the event of a hard drive crash or lost computer. While it is not currently required, it is strongly recommended.
For instructions and help with installation, visit the School of Medicine’sCrashPlan Guide.
For desktop and laptop computers, Stanford Whole Disk Encryption (SWDE) installer makes certain that your computer has all the necessary requirements, and then guides you through the activation of your computer’s native encryption software (FileVault for Mac, and BitLocker for Windows).
(For mobile device encryption instructions, select your operating system:Apple/iOSorAndroid.)
Each time you access your system (on startup, after sleep/hibernation, etc), you use a “key” (password) to unlock your data. IF YOU CANNOT REMEMBER YOUR KEY, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS YOUR ENCRYPTED DATA.
In case of a forgotten key, it is likely that someone at ITS will be able to help you recover your data. However, we still recommend the following:
Once you have selected your login password and backup method, you are ready to move on to theencryption process.
Encrypting USB flash drives protects the data stored on the volume. Any USB flash drive formatted with FAT, FAT32, or NTFS can be encrypted with BitLocker. The length of time it takes to encrypt a drive depends on the size of the drive, the processing power of the computer, and the level of activity on the computer.
Before you enable BitLocker, you should configure the appropriate Removable Data Drive policies and settings in Group Policy and then wait for Group Policy to be refreshed. If you dont do this and you enable BitLocker, you might need to turn BitLocker off and then turn BitLocker back on because certain state and management flags are set when you turn on BitLocker.
To be sure that you can recover an encrypted volume, you should allow data-recovery agents and store recovery information in Active Directory. If you use a flash drive with earlier versions of Windows, the Allow Access To BitLocker-Protected Removable Data Drives From Earlier Versions Of Windows policy can ensure that you have access to the USB flash drive on other operating systems and computers. Unlocked drives are read-only.
To enable BitLocker encryption on a USB flash drive, do the following: 1. Insert the USB flash drive, click Start, and then click Computer. 2. Right-click the USB flash drive, and then click Turn On BitLocker. BitLocker initializes the drive. 3. On the Choose How You Want To Unlock This Drive page, choose one or more for the following options, and then click Next:
4. On the How Do You Want To Store Your Recovery Key page, click Save The Recovery Key To A File. 5. In the Save BitLocker Recovery Key As dialog box, choose a save location, and then click Save. 6. You can now print the recovery key if you want to. When you have finished, click Next. 7. On the Are You Ready To Encrypt This Drive page, click Start Encrypting. Do not remove the USB flash drive until the encryption process is complete. How long the encryption process takes depends on the size of the drive and other factors.
The encryption process does the following: 1. Adds an Autorun.inf file, the BitLocker To Go reader, and a Read Me.txt file to the USB flash drive. 2. Creates a virtual volume with the full contents of the drive in the remaining drive space. 3. Encrypts the virtual volume to protect it.USB flash drive encryption takes approximately 6 to 10 minutes per gigabyte to complete. The encryption process can be paused and resumed provided that you dont remove the drive.
As a result, when AutoPlay is enabled and you insert the encrypted drive into a USB slot on a computer running Windows 7, Windows 7 runs the BitLocker To Go reader, which in turn displays a dialog box. When you are prompted, enter the password, smart card PIN, or both to unlock the drive. Optionally, select Automatically Unlock On This Computer From Now On to save the password in an encrypted file on the computers system volume. Finally, click Unlock to unlock the volume so that you can use it.
Updated: November 23, 2015
Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) encrypts SQL Server and Azure SQL Database data files, known as encrypting data at rest. You can take several precautions to help secure the database such as designing a secure system, encrypting confidential assets, and building a firewall around the database servers. However, in a scenario where the physical media (such as drives or backup tapes) are stolen, a malicious party can just restore or attach the database and browse the data. One solution is to encrypt the sensitive data in the database and protect the keys that are used to encrypt the data with a certificate. This prevents anyone without the keys from using the data, but this kind of protection must be planned in advance.
TDE performs real-time I/O encryption and decryption of the data and log files. The encryption uses a database encryption key (DEK), which is stored in the database boot record for availability during recovery. The DEK is a symmetric key secured by using a certificate stored in the master database of the server or an asymmetric key protected by an EKM module. TDE protects data “at rest”, meaning the data and log files. It provides the ability to comply with many laws, regulations, and guidelines established in various industries. This enables software developers to encrypt data by using AES and 3DES encryption algorithms without changing existing applications.
Encryption of the database file is performed at the page level. The pages in an encrypted database are encrypted before they are written to disk and decrypted when read into memory. TDE does not increase the size of the encrypted database.
Information applicable to SQL Database
When using TDE with SQL Database V12 V12 (Preview in some regions) the server-level certificate stored in the master database is automatically created for you by SQL Database. To move a TDE database on SQL Database you must decrypt the database, move the database, and then re-enable TDE on the destination SQL Database. For step-by-step instructions for TDE on SQL Database, see Transparent Data Encryption with Azure SQL Database.
The preview of status of TDE applies even in the subset of geographic regions where version family V12 of SQL Database is announced as now being in general availability status. TDE for SQL Database is not intended for use in production databases until Microsoft announces that TDE is promoted from preview to GA. For more information about SQL Database V12, see What’s new in Azure SQL Database.
Information applicable to SQL Server
After it is secured, the database can be restored by using the correct certificate. For more information about certificates, see SQL Server Certificates and Asymmetric Keys.
When enabling TDE, you should immediately back up the certificate and the private key associated with the certificate. If the certificate ever becomes unavailable or if you must restore or attach the database on another server, you must have backups of both the certificate and the private key or you will not be able to open the database. The encrypting certificate should be retained even if TDE is no longer enabled on the database. Even though the database is not encrypted, parts of the transaction log may still remain protected, and the certificate may be needed for some operations until the full backup of the database is performed. A certificate that has exceeded its expiration date can still be used to encrypt and decrypt data with TDE.
The following illustration shows the architecture of TDE encryption. Only the database level items (the database encryption key and ALTER DATABASE portions are user-configurable when using TDE on SQL Database.
To use TDE, follow these steps.
Create a master key
Create or obtain a certificate protected by the master key
Create a database encryption key and protect it by the certificate
Set the database to use encryption
The following example illustrates encrypting and decrypting the AdventureWorks2012 database using a certificate installed on the server named MyServerCert.
The encryption and decryption operations are scheduled on background threads by SQL Server. You can view the status of these operations using the catalog views and dynamic management views in the list that appears later in this topic.
Backup files of databases that have TDE enabled are also encrypted by using the database encryption key. As a result, when you restore these backups, the certificate protecting the database encryption key must be available. This means that in addition to backing up the database, you have to make sure that you maintain backups of the server certificates to prevent data loss. Data loss will result if the certificate is no longer available. For more information, see SQL Server Certificates and Asymmetric Keys.
The TDE certificates must be encrypted by the database master key to be accepted by the following statements. If they are encrypted by password only, the statements will reject them as encryptors.
Altering the certificates to be password-protected after they are used by TDE will cause the database to become inaccessible after a restart.
The following table provides links and explanations of TDE commands and functions.
The following table shows TDE catalog views and dynamic management views.
Each TDE feature and command has individual permission requirements, described in the tables shown earlier.
Viewing the metadata involved with TDE requires the VIEW DEFINITION permission on the certificate.
While a re-encryption scan for a database encryption operation is in progress, maintenance operations to the database are disabled. You can use the single user mode setting for the database to perform the maintenance operation. For more information, see Set a Database to Single-user Mode.
You can find the state of the database encryption using the sys.dm_database_encryption_keys dynamic management view. For more information, see the “Catalog Views and Dynamic Management Views”section earlier in this topic).
In TDE, all files and filegroups in the database are encrypted. If any filegroups in a database are marked READ ONLY, the database encryption operation will fail.
If a database is being used in database mirroring or log shipping, both databases will be encrypted. The log transactions will be encrypted when sent between them.
Any new full-text indexes will be encrypted when a database is set for encryption. Previously-created full-text indexes will be imported during upgrade and they will be in TDE after the data is loaded into SQL Server. Enabling a full-text index on a column can cause that column’s data to be written in plain text onto the disk during a full-text indexing scan. We recommend that you do not create a full-text index on sensitive encrypted data.
Encrypted data compresses significantly less than equivalent unencrypted data. If TDE is used to encrypt a database, backup compression will not be able to significantly compress the backup storage. Therefore, using TDE and backup compression together is not recommended.
The following operations are not allowed during initial database encryption, key change, or database decryption:
Dropping a file from a filegroup in the database
Dropping the database
Taking the database offline
Detaching a database
Transitioning a database or filegroup into a READ ONLY state
The following operations are not allowed during the CREATE DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, ALTER DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, DROP DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, or ALTER DATABASE…SET ENCRYPTION statements.
Dropping a file from a filegroup in the database.
Dropping the database.
Taking the database offline.
Detaching a database.
Transitioning a database or filegroup into a READ ONLY state.
Using an ALTER DATABASE command.
Starting a database or database file backup.
Starting a database or database file restore.
Creating a snapshot.
The following operations or conditions will prevent the CREATE DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, ALTER DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, DROP DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY, or ALTER DATABASE…SET ENCRYPTION statements.
The database is read-only or has any read-only file groups.
An ALTER DATABASE command is executing.
Any data backup is running.
The database is in an offline or restore condition.
A snapshot is in progress.
Database maintenance tasks.
When creating database files, instant file initialization is not available when TDE is enabled.
In order to encrypt the database encryption key with an asymmetric key, the asymmetric key must reside on an extensible key management provider.
Enabling a database to use TDE has the effect of “zeroing out” the remaining part of the virtual transaction log to force the next virtual transaction log. This guarantees that no clear text is left in the transaction logs after the database is set for encryption. You can find the status of the log file encryption by viewing the encryption_state column in the sys.dm_database_encryption_keys view, as in this example:
For more information about the SQL Server log file architecture, see The Transaction Log (SQL Server).
All data written to the transaction log before a change in the database encryption key will be encrypted by using the previous database encryption key.
After a database encryption key has been modified twice, a log backup must be performed before the database encryption key can be modified again.
The tempdb system database will be encrypted if any other database on the instance of SQL Server is encrypted by using TDE. This might have a performance effect for unencrypted databases on the same instance of SQL Server. For more information about the tempdb system database, see tempdb Database.
Replication does not automatically replicate data from a TDE-enabled database in an encrypted form. You must separately enable TDE if you want to protect the distribution and subscriber databases. Snapshot replication, as well as the initial distribution of data for transactional and merge replication, can store data in unencrypted intermediate files; for example, the bcp files. During transactional or merge replication, encryption can be enabled to protect the communication channel. For more information, see Enable Encrypted Connections to the Database Engine (SQL Server Configuration Manager).
FILESTREAM data is not encrypted even when TDE is enabled.
Files related to buffer pool extension (BPE) are not encrypted when database is encrypted using TDE. You must use file system level encryption tools like Bitlocker or EFS for BPE related files.
TDE can be enabled on a database that has In-Memory OLTP objects. In-Memory OLTP log records are encrypted if TDE is enabled. Data in a MEMORY_OPTIMIZED_DATA filegroup is not encrypted if TDE is enabled.
Move a TDE Protected Database to Another SQL ServerEnable TDE Using EKMTransparent Data Encryption with Azure SQL DatabaseSQL Server EncryptionSQL Server and Database Encryption Keys (Database Engine)Security Center for SQL Server Database Engine and Azure SQL DatabaseFILESTREAM (SQL Server)
The encryption software market size is expected to grow from USD 3.87 Billion in 2017 to USD 12.96 Billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.4%.
The demand for encryption software is likely to be driven by various factors, such as proliferation in the number of cyber-attacks and the stringent government regulations and compliances that mandate the adoption of encryption among various verticals.
The encryption software market has been segmented on the basis of components (solution and services), applications, deployment types, organization sizes, verticals, and regions. The services segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period and the solution segment is estimated to have the largest market size in 2017 in the market.
Professional services have been widely adopted by organizations, as these services involve expert consulting, support and maintenance, and optimization and training for cybersecurity. However, the managed services segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period, as managed security vendors provide extensive reporting capabilities for validating the regulatory compliance with internal security policies for the users.
The disk encryption application is estimated to hold the largest market share in 2017. The importance of encrypting a disk is that, if the encrypted disk is lost or stolen, the encrypted state of the drive remains unchanged, and only an authorized user will be able to access its contents. The cloud encryption application is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period.
Encryption solutions and services have been deployed across various verticals, including Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI); aerospace and defense; government and public utilities; healthcare; telecom and IT; retail; and others (manufacturing, education, and media and entertainment). The telecom and IT vertical is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. However, the BFSI vertical is estimated to have the largest market size in 2017.
The global encryption software market has been segmented on the basis of regions into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America, to provide a region-specific analysis in the report.
Key Topics Covered:
2. Research Methodology
3. Executive Summary
4. Premium Insights 4.1 Attractive Opportunities In Encryption Software Market, 2017-2022 4.2 Encryption Software Market, Share Of Top 3 Applications And Regions, 2017 4.3 Encryption Software Market, By Service, 2017-2022 4.4 Encryption Software Market, By Professional Services, 2017 4.5 Encryption Software Market, By Deployment Type, 2017-2022 4.6 Encryption Software Market, By Organization Size, 2017-2022 4.7 Market Investment Scenario, 2017-2022
5. Market Overview 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Market Dynamics 5.2.1 Drivers 220.127.116.11 Growing Concern Over Critical Data Loss In On-Premises Environment 18.104.22.168 Exploitation Of Big Data Analytics Poses Risk To Cloud Environment 22.214.171.124 Regulations To Increase Adoption Of Encryption Solutions 5.2.2 Restraints 126.96.36.199 Lack Of Budget For Adopting Best-In-Class Encryption Solutions 188.8.131.52 Lack Of Awareness About Encryption And Performance Concerns Among Enterprises 5.2.3 Opportunities 184.108.40.206 Surge In Demand For Integrated, Cloud-Based Encryption Solutions Among Smes 220.127.116.11 Large-Scale Adoption Of Encryption Solutions In Bfsi Vertical 5.2.4 Challenges 18.104.22.168 Complexities In Management Of Encryption Keys 22.214.171.124 Lack Of Skilled Workforce Among Enterprises 5.3 Regulatory Implications 5.3.1 Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard 5.3.2 Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act 5.3.3 Federal Information Security Management Act 5.3.4 Sarbanes-Oxley Act 5.3.5 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act 5.3.6 Federal Information Processing Standards 5.3.7 General Data Protection Regulation 5.4 Innovation Spotlight 5.5 Use Cases 5.5.1 Large-Scale Adoption Of Email Encryption By Financial Organizations In The Uk 5.5.2 Adoption Of Encryption Solution By A Clinical Research Company 5.5.3 Reliance Of Small And Medium Financial Companies On Data Encryption 5.5.4 Large-Scale Adoption Of Encryption By It And Telecom Company 5.5.5 Need For Best-In-Class Encryption Solutions For Government Sector In Canada 5.5.6 Healthcare Vertical Relying On Cloud-Based Encryption Solutions 5.6 Type Of Encryption Algorithms 5.6.1 Data Encryption Standard 5.6.2 Advanced Encryption Standard 5.6.3 Triple-Des 5.6.4 Blowfish Algorithm 5.6.5 Homomorphic Encryption 5.6.6 Rsa 5.6.7 Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange 5.6.8 Quantum Cryptography 5.6.9 Post Quantum Cryptography
6. Encryption Software Market Analysis, By Component 6.1 Introduction 6.2 Solution 6.2.1 Types Of Data Encrypted 126.96.36.199 Data At Rest 188.8.131.52 Data In Transit 184.108.40.206 Data In Use 6.2.2 Types Of Encryption 220.127.116.11 Symmetric Encryption 18.104.22.168 Asymmetric Encryption 6.2.3 Key Management 6.3 Services 6.3.1 Professional Services 22.214.171.124 Support And Maintenance 126.96.36.199 Training And Education 188.8.131.52 Planning And Consulting 6.3.2 Managed Services
7. Encryption Software Market Analysis, By Application 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Disk Encryption 7.3 File/Folder Encryption 7.4 Database Encryption 7.4.1 Application-Level Encryption 7.4.2 Database-Level Encryption 7.5 Communication Encryption 7.5.1 Voice Encryption 7.5.2 Email Encryption 7.5.3 Instant Messaging Encryption 7.6 Cloud Encryption
8. Encryption Software Market Analysis, By Deployment Type 8.1 Introduction 8.2 On-Premises 8.3 Cloud
9. Encryption Software Market Analysis, By Organization Size 9.1 Introduction 9.2 Large Enterprises 9.3 Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises
10. Encryption Software Market Analysis, By Vertical 10.1 Introduction 10.2 Banking, Financial Services, And Insurance 10.3 Aerospace And Defense 10.4 Healthcare 10.5 Government And Public Utilities 10.6 Telecom And It 10.7 Retail 10.8 Others
11. Geographic Analysis
12. Competitive Landscape
13. Company Profiles
For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/ggnh82/encryption?w=5
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Encryption Software Market – Global Forecast to 2022
written by: J. Forlandaedited by: Lamar Stonecypherupdated: 5/26/2015
Many people use the terms encryption or cryptography interchangeably. However, they are different. Cryptography is the science of secret communication, while encryption refers to one component of that science. Get the basic definitions here.
In simple terms, cryptography is the science concerned with the study of secret communication.
If you look at the origin of the root words of cryptography (crypto and graphy), you will see that “crypto” stands for “hidden, secret”, and “graphy” denotes “a process or form of drawing, writing, representing, recording, describing, etc., or an art or science concerned with such a process.” So you can see that cryptography is indeed the science concerned with secret communication.
If you check Google to see what the term “cryptography” means (i.e. “define: cryptography”), you will see a long list. And if you check dictionary.com you will at least see three variation of its definition:
With the advent of digital technology, the need for secure communication has greatly expanded. This makes cryptography even more importnat than ever before.
If you breakdown the the base word–“encrypt”–into its root, you will see “en” and “crypt”. The “en” part means “to make”, and the “crypt” part (a variation of “crypto”) means hidden or secret. Since “encrypt” is a verb, the base term then means “to make hidden or secret”.
Thus “encryption” basically is some process or algorithm (known as a cipher) to make information hidden or secret. And to make that process useful, you need some code (or key) to make information accessible.
There are many types of ciphers developed over time.
In the days of written communication, most common ciphers involved some form or substitution or transposition of alphabetical letters. Substitution means to substitute one character for another while transposition is some form of repositioning characters within the message (which literally scrambles the information).
In the digital age, ciphers changed and are generally based on two types of algorithms–one using the same key to encrypt and decrypt, and one using different keys to encrypt and decrypt (also known as symmetric and asymmetric key algorithms, respectively). The one that uses symmetric keys falls under private-key cryptography, while asymmetric key algorithms falls under public-key cryptography. DES (Data Encryption Standard) and AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) are two well known ciphers based on symmetric key algorithms, while RSA (Rivest, Shamir and Adleman) is a well known cipher based on asymmetric key algorithms.
Clearly and simply the term cryptography is the study or science of secret communication, while encryption is simply a component of that science. Encryption is the process of hiding information, through the use of ciphers, from everybody except for the one who has the key. Encryption is a direct applicaton of cryptography, and is something that websites use every day to protect information.
In today’s digital world, there are two major types of ciphers–one based on symmetric and one based on asymmetric key algorithms.
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Encryption vs. Cryptography – What is the Difference?
First adopted by the US government to protect classified information, AES has long gained global acceptance and is used for securing sensitive data in various industries – most likely including yours. In this post, you’ll learn about AES encryption and understand its vital role in securing sensitive files you send over the Internet.
AES or Advanced Encryption Standard is acipher, i.e., a method for encrypting and decrypting information. Whenever you transmit files over secure file transfer protocols like HTTPS, FTPS, SFTP, WebDAVS, OFTP, or AS2, there’s a good chance your data will be encrypted by some flavor of AES – either AES 256, 192, or 128. We’ll discuss more about these three shortly.
Differentsecure file transfer softwaremay be equipped with varying selections of encryption algorithms. Some ciphers may be included in certain selections but absent in others. Not AES. AES will almost certainly be present in all but a few. Why is this so? It all started when the US government began looking for a new encryption algorithm that would be used to protect sensitive data.
For about two decades since 1977, the US government used a cipher called DES (Data Encryption Standard) to protect sensitive, unclassified information. Unfortunately, that cipher was later on proven to be insecure, prompting the government to look for a replacement.
This led to a standardization process that attracted 15 competing encryption designs, which included – among others – MARS from IBM, RC6 from RSA Security, Serpent, Twofish, and Rijndeal. It was Rijndael, designed by two Belgian cryptographers (Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen), that eventually became the standard and henceforth acquired the title Advanced Encryption Standard or AES.
The selection process was very stringent, taking 5 years to complete. During that span, many experts from the cryptographic community carried out detailed tests and painstaking discussions to find vulnerabilities and weaknesses. The participation of different sectors, which showed the openness of the selection process, speaks volumes of how credible the process was.
Although the cipher’s strength against various attacks was a major consideration in choosing the standard, other factors like speed, versatility, and computational requirements were likewise given importance. The government wanted an encryption standard that wasn’t just strong, but also fast, reliable and easily implemented in both software and hardware – even those with limited CPU and memory.
Although the other encryption algorithms were also very good (Some of those ciphers are also widely used today but understandably don’t enjoy the same level of acceptance as AES) the Rijndael cipher was ultimately selected and declared a Federal Information Processing Standards or FIPS standard by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) in 2001. It was approved by the Secretary of Commerce and then recognized as a federal government standard the following year.
Note: The official AES standard is specified in FIPS PUB 197.
The rise of AES didn’t end there. In 2003, the government deemed it suitable for protecting classified information. In fact, up to this day, the NSA (National Security Agency) is using AES to encrypt even Top Secret Information.
That should explain why AES has gained the confidence of various industries. If it’s good enough for the NSA, then it must be good enough for businesses.
AES belongs to a family of ciphers known as block ciphers. A block cipher is an algorithm that encrypts data on a per-block basis. The size of each block is usually measured in bits. AES, for example, is 128 bits long. Meaning, AES will operate on 128 bits of plaintext to produce 128 bits of ciphertext.
Like almost all modern encryption algorithms, AES requires the use of keys during the encryption and decryption processes. AES supports three keys with different lengths: 128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit keys. The longer the key, the stronger the encryption. So, AES 128 encryption is the least strong, while AES 256 encryption is the strongest.
In terms of performance though, shorter keys result in faster encryption times compared to longer keys. So 128 bit AES encryption is faster than AES 256 bit encryption.
The keys used in AES encryption are the same keys used in AES decryption. When the same keys are used during both encryption and decryption, the algorithm is said to be symmetric. Read the article Symmetric vs Asymmetric Encryption if you want to know the difference between the two.
As mentioned earlier, AES is implemented in secure file transfer protocols likeFTPS, HTTPS, SFTP, AS2, WebDAVS, and OFTP. But what exactly is its role?
Because symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms each have their own strengths, modernsecure file transfer protocols normally use a combination of the two. Asymmetric key ciphers a.k.a. public key encryption algorithms are great for key distribution and hence are used to encrypt the session key used for symmetric encryption.
Symmetric key ciphers like AES, on the other hand, are more suitable for encrypting the actual data (and commands) because they require less resources and are also much faster than asymmetric ciphers.The articleSymmetric vs Asymmetric Encryptionhas a more thorough discussion regarding these two groups of ciphers.
Here’s a simplified diagram illustrating the encryption process during a typical secure file transfer secured by SSL/TLS (e.g. HTTPS, FTPS, WebDAVS) or SSH (e.g. SFTP). AES encryption operates in step 3.
That’s it. I hope you learned something useful today.
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Looking for a secure file transfer server that supports AES? Try JSCAPE MFT Server. It uses AES encryption on its FTPS, SFTP, HTTPS, WebDAVS, AS2, and OFTP services. Download a free, fully-functional evaluation edition now.
Key Features to Look for When Buying Encryption Software?
PerformanceIf your encryption software is difficult to use, you may not use it at all. The programs we reviewed are simple and intuitive, particularly Folder Lock and Secure IT they both guide you through the encryption and decryption processes step by step. Secure IT integrates with Windows, so all you have to do is right-click on a file and choose to encrypt it in the menu.
We found that programs typically compress files as they encrypt them, though only to a small degree for example, from 128MB down to 124MB. It can make a difference when you encrypt large data files, so programs that protect and compress are preferable.SecurityEncryption software uses different types of ciphers to scramble your data, and each has its own benefits. Advanced Encryption Standard, or 256-bit key AES, is used by the U.S. government, including the National Security Agency (NSA), and is one of the strongest ciphers available. Blowfish and Twofish, the latter being a newer version of the former, are encryption algorithms that use block ciphers they scramble blocks of text or several bits of information at once, rather than one bit at a time.
The main differences between these algorithms are performance and speed, and the average user wont notice those disparities. Although any of these ciphers could be broken given enough time and computing power, they are considered practically unbreakable. AES has long been recognized as the superior algorithm, so we preferred programs that use it.Version CompatibilityIf your computer runs an older version of Windows, such as Vista or XP, make sure the encryption program supports your operating system. On the flip side, you need to make sure you choose software that has changed with the times and supports the latest versions of Windows, like 7, 8 and 10.
While all the programs we tested are compatible with every version of Windows, we feel that SensiGuard is a good choice for older computers because it only has the most essential tools and wont bog down your PC. Plus, it is easy to move to a new computer if you choose to upgrade. However, it takes a while to encrypt and decrypt files.
If you have a Mac computer, you need a program that is designed specifically for that operating system none of the programs we tested are compatible with both Windows and Mac machines. We believe Concealer is the best option for Macs, but Espionage 3 is also a good choice.
Mac encryption software doesnt have as many extra security features as Windows programs. They typically lack virtual keyboards, self-extracting file creators and password recovery tools. Mac programs also take a lot more time to secure files compared to Windows software.
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The Best Encryption Software – TopTenReviews
Most sensitive web transactions are protected by public-key cryptography, a type of encryption that lets computers share information securely without first agreeing on a secret encryption key.
Public-key encryption protocols are complicated, and in computer networks, theyre executed by software. But that wont work in the internet of things, an envisioned network that would connect many different sensors embedded in vehicles, appliances, civil structures, manufacturing equipment, and even livestock tags to online servers. Embedded sensors that need to maximize battery life cant afford the energy and memory space that software execution of encryption protocols would require.
MIT researchers have built a new chip, hardwired to perform public-key encryption, that consumes only 1/400 as much power as software execution of the same protocols would. It also uses about 1/10 as much memory and executes 500 times faster. The researchers describe the chip in a paper theyre presenting this week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference.
Like most modern public-key encryption systems, the researchers chip uses a technique called elliptic-curve encryption. As its name suggests, elliptic-curve encryption relies on a type of mathematical function called an elliptic curve. In the past, researchers including the same MIT group that developed the new chip have built chips hardwired to handle specific elliptic curves or families of curves. What sets the new chip apart is that it is designed to handle any elliptic curve.
Cryptographers are coming up with curves with different properties, and they use different primes, says Utsav Banerjee, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science and first author on the paper. There is a lot of debate regarding which curve is secure and which curve to use, and there are multiple governments with different standards coming up that talk about different curves. With this chip, we can support all of them, and hopefully, when new curves come along in the future, we can support them as well.
Joining Banerjee on the paper are his thesis advisor, Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of MITs School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Arvind, the Johnson Professor in Computer Science Engineering; and Andrew Wright and Chiraag Juvekar, both graduate students in electrical engineering and computer science.
To create their general-purpose elliptic-curve chip, the researchers decomposed the cryptographic computation into its constituent parts. Elliptic-curve cryptography relies on modular arithmetic, meaning that the values of the numbers that figure into the computation are assigned a limit. If the result of some calculation exceeds that limit, its divided by the limit, and only the remainder is preserved. The secrecy of the limit helps ensure cryptographic security.
One of the computations to which the MIT chip devotes a special-purpose circuit is thus modular multiplication. But because elliptic-curve cryptography deals with large numbers, the chips modular multiplier is massive. Typically, a modular multiplier might be able to handle numbers with 16 or maybe 32 binary digits, or bits. For larger computations, the results of discrete 16- or 32-bit multiplications would be integrated by additional logic circuits.
The MIT chips modular multiplier can handle 256-bit numbers, however. Eliminating the extra circuitry for integrating smaller computations both reduces the chips energy consumption and increases its speed.
Another key operation in elliptic-curve cryptography is called inversion. Inversion is the calculation of a number that, when multiplied by a given number, will yield a modular product of 1. In previous chips dedicated to elliptic-curve cryptography, inversions were performed by the same circuits that did the modular multiplications, saving chip space. But the MIT researchers instead equipped their chip with a special-purpose inverter circuit. This increases the chips surface area by 10 percent, but it cuts the power consumption in half.
The most common encryption protocol to use elliptic-curve cryptography is called the datagram transport layer security protocol, which governs not only the elliptic-curve computations themselves but also the formatting, transmission, and handling of the encrypted data. In fact, the entire protocol is hardwired into the MIT researchers chip, which dramatically reduces the amount of memory required for its execution.
The chip also features a general-purpose processor that can be used in conjunction with the dedicated circuitry to execute other elliptic-curve-based security protocols. But it can be powered down when not in use, so it doesnt compromise the chips energy efficiency.
They move a certain amount of functionality that used to be in software into hardware, says Xiaolin Lu, director of the internet of things (IOT) lab at Texas Instruments. That has advantages that include power and cost. But from an industrial IOT perspective, its also a more user-friendly implementation. For whoever writes the software, its much simpler.