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A comprehensive guide to data encryption, its types and stages

A comprehensive guide to data encryption, its types and stages

Data encryption is the process of converting data from an easily readable form to a form that can only be read or understood by people with the correct key or password.

Encryption is used to protect data from unauthorized access or tampering, either during transmission over networks or during storage in devices.

Data encryption stages

A comprehensive guide to data encryption, its types and stages STUDYSHOOT

Encryption is achieved through a variety of techniques and methods, and the basic stages of the encryption process include:

  1. The first stage: preparation and processing: This stage includes converting the data into a form suitable for encryption, and may also include operations such as cutting the data into small blocks or converting it to specific formats.
  2. The second stage: the actual encryption: This stage includes applying encryption algorithms to the data processed in the first stage. Encryption algorithms are used to convert data into a form that is unreadable by unauthorized parties.
  3. The third stage: exchange and distribution: At this stage, the keys needed for decryption are securely transferred or distributed to the parties with whom the encrypted data is to be exchanged.
  4. Fourth stage: decryptionAt this stage, the appropriate keys are used to decrypt the data and restore it to its original state.

Data encryption goals

A comprehensive guide to data encryption, its types and stages STUDYSHOOT
  • Privacy protection
  • Confidentiality guaranteed
  • Prevent manipulation
  • Regulatory compliance

Data encryption represents an essential part of information security in the digital age, and aims to achieve several main goals that contribute to protecting data and ensuring its integrity. Here is a more detailed explanation of these goals:

Protect privacy and confidentiality

Protecting privacy and confidentiality is one of the most important goals of data encryption. When data is encrypted, it is converted into a form that is unreadable to people who do not have the proper privileges or keys. This means that even if someone gains access to the data, they will not be able to read or use it without proper consent.

Prevent tampering and unauthorized change

Thanks to encryption processes, the integrity of the data can be verified and any tampering or unauthorized alteration can be prevented. When data is properly encrypted and signed, parties can view it to verify that the data has not been changed since it was encrypted.

Ensure safety and regulatory compliance

Data encryption contributes to ensuring its safety from external threats such as electronic hacks and cyber attacks. It also helps with compliance with data protection laws and regulations, such as personal data protection laws such as GDPR in the European Union and HIPAA in the United States.

Maintain data integrity during transportation and storage

Data is encrypted to ensure its integrity and security during transmission over networks or storage in smart devices. This means that even if communications are intercepted or devices are accessed, the data will not be readable or accessible without the correct keys.

Verify the identity of the sender and recipient

Encryption also allows verification of the identity of the sender and recipient of the data. In many cases, the data is signed by the sender using the private key, and this signature is verified using the public key. This allows verification that the data was sent from the authorized party and was not changed during transmission.

In short, data encryption contributes to providing the necessary protection for data in the digital age, and achieves several goals that contribute to ensuring its integrity, confidentiality, and compliance with applicable laws and legislation.

Data encryption techniques

A comprehensive guide to data encryption, its types and stages STUDYSHOOT

As for the encryption techniques used, they are diverse and include many algorithms and protocols, such as:

  • Symmetric Encryption: Like AES, DES, and 3DES, a single key is used for both to encrypt and decrypt data.
  • Public key encryption (Asymmetric Encryption): Like RSA and Diffie-Hellman, where two keys are used: a public key and a private key, the public key is used for encryption and the private key for decryption.
  • Digital Signature Encryption: Like ECDSA and RSA, this technology uses a private key to sign the data and a public key to verify the signature.
  • Connection security protocols (SSL/TLS): They are used to secure communications over a network, and include encryption, authentication, and ensuring data integrity.

There are many techniques used to encrypt data, and these techniques vary depending on the intended use and security requirements. I will explain some of the main techniques with models and examples:

  1. Symmetric Encryption:
    In this technique, a single key is used for both encryption and decryption processes. One of the most popular text encryption technologies is AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption. Example:
   plaintext: Hello, world!
   key: secretkey
   ciphertext: U2FsdGVkX19eZlExzDiDq3Wjcd4MZVd0dIt3XjWL+pg=
  1. Public key encryption (Asymmetric Encryption):
    In this technique, two keys are used: a public key and a private key. The public key is used for encryption and the private key for decryption. An example of this is RSA encryption. Example:
   plaintext: Hello, world!
   public key: [some public key]
   ciphertext: [encrypted data]
  1. Digital Signature:
    A digital signature is used to confirm the identity of the sender and the integrity of the data. Data is signed using the private key, and the signature is verified using the public key that is available to everyone. Example:
   plaintext: Hello, world!
   private key: [some private key]
   digital signature: [signature]
  1. Connection security protocols (SSL/TLS):
    SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) is used to secure communications over a network. They are used to encrypt communication data between the browser and the server. Example:
    When you connect to a secure site (https://), the data sent and received over the network is encrypted using the SSL/TLS protocol.
  2. Database Encryption:
    They are used to encrypt data stored in databases, whether at rest or in transit. Text encryption techniques or custom techniques can be used to encrypt databases. Example:
    Encrypt sensitive fields in a database table such as passwords or medical data.
  3. Email Encryption:
    They are used to encrypt emails during transmission. Protocols such as PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) or S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) can be used. Example:
    When using PGP, email is encrypted using the recipient's public key, and then decrypted using the recipient's private key.

Stages of the data encryption process:

The data encryption process includes several stages that allow clear data to be converted into an encrypted form that is readable only by parties authorized to access it. Here are the stages of the data encryption process:

Preparation and setup:

  • The encryption process begins with identifying the data that needs to be encrypted and determining the appropriate type of encryption algorithm.
  • The keys required for the encryption process are determined, whether they are text keys to encrypt texts or public and private keys to securely encrypt data.
  • Any encoding formats or standards that must be adhered to are also specified.

Conversion to encrypted form:

  • The specified encryption algorithm is applied to the clear data using the appropriate key.
  • Clear data is converted into an encrypted form that is difficult to read or decipher without the correct key.

Safe distribution or transportation (optional):

  • If encrypted data needs to be exchanged with other parties, you must ensure that the distribution or transmission is secure.
  • Encrypted keys or encrypted data are transmitted over secure channels such as virtual private networks (VPNs) or using secure encryption protocols such as SSL/TLS.

Decryption (if necessary):

  • When there is a need to access encrypted data, the appropriate key is used for decryption.
  • Appropriate decryption algorithm is applied to recover the original clear data from the encrypted data.

Safety and reliability verification (optional):

  • After decryption, data integrity verification can be performed using digital signature techniques or applying other verification procedures.
  • It is verified that the data has not been subjected to any unauthorized tampering or alteration during the encryption and decryption process.

These are the main stages in the data encryption process, and all steps must be taken into account and data integrity and security must be ensured throughout the process.

Types of encryption algorithms

A comprehensive guide to data encryption, its types and stages STUDYSHOOT

1. Symmetric Encryption Algorithms:

  • Advantages:
    • Fast and efficient.
    • It requires only one key for encryption and decryption.
    • Suitable for encrypting large amounts of data.
  • Defects:
    • The key must be securely shared between all parties who wish to communicate.
    • If the key is compromised, all data encrypted with it can be decrypted.

Examples of symmetric encryption algorithms:

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
  • DES (Data Encryption Standard)
  • Blowfish
  • Twofish

2. Asymmetric Encryption algorithms:

  • Advantages:
    • More secure than symmetric encryption.
    • It does not require the key to be shared directly between parties.
    • Suitable for sharing sensitive information.
  • Defects:
    • Slower than symmetric encryption.
    • Requires more complex infrastructure.

Examples of asymmetric encryption algorithms:

  • RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman)
  • DSA (Digital Signature Algorithm)
  • Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)

3. Hash Functions:

  • Advantages:
    • Converting data into a fixed-sized value is called a hash.
    • Suitable for verifying data integrity.
    • The hashing process cannot be reversed.
  • Defects:
    • It cannot be used to encrypt and decrypt data.

Examples of hashing algorithms:

  • MD5 (Message Digest 5)
  • SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1)
  • SHA-256

4. Digital Signature Algorithms:

  • Advantages:
    • Ensuring the validity and integrity of transmitted data.
    • Ensure that data is not tampered with after sending it.
  • Defects:
    • Requires more complex infrastructure.

Examples of digital signature algorithms:

  • RSA
  • DSA
  • Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA)

Our source: International Cryptographic Society IACR