Welcome to CyberHygiene, our weekly newsletter, where we share tips and actionable data to help everyone stay safe online.
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1) What is encryption and why should you care about it?
Encryption is the process of encoding information in such a way that only authorized parties can read it. Encryption uses complex algorithms to convert plain text or data into an unreadable format called ciphertext. The ciphertext can only be decrypted and read by someone who has the appropriate decryption key.
When information is sent over the internet, it can be intercepted by hackers or other malicious actors. Encryption ensures that even if someone intercepts the data, they will not be able to read it without the appropriate decryption key.
You should care about encryption because it is an essential tool for protecting your online privacy and security. You can use end-to-end encryption tools to send and receive secure messages to encrypt your emails, your photos, the files on your computer and smartphones.
Without encryption, your sensitive information can be easily stolen, intercepted, or modified, leading to identity theft, financial losses, and other cybercrimes.
2) What are the top threats related to encryption?
Encryption is an important tool but is not foolproof. There are still some threats and challenges associated with it.
- It relies on the use of keys to encrypt and decrypt information. If the keys are lost, stolen, or compromised, the information can be accessed by unauthorized parties.
- Some encryption algorithms are weaker than others and can be easily broken by attackers using sophisticated techniques.
- Attackers can sometimes exploit weaknesses in the physical systems used to implement encryption, such as the power consumption, electromagnetic radiation, or timing of cryptographic operations, to obtain the encryption keys.
- Some governments or organizations have attempted to weaken encryption by including backdoors, or secret ways to bypass encryption, into encryption systems.
- Attackers can infect devices with malware or viruses that can steal encryption keys or intercept encrypted data before it is encrypted.
- As quantum computing technology advances, some of the encryption methods currently in use could potentially be broken by attackers using quantum computers.
3) How and where to use encryption?
4) What resources are available to help you better understand and use encryption?
- The Code Book by Simon Singh
- Modern Cryptography for Cybersecurity Professionals by Lisa Bock
- Encryption for Organizations and Individuals: Basics of Contemporary and Quantum Cryptography by Robert Ciesla
- Protecting Privacy through Homomorphic Encryption by Kristin Lauter, Wei Dai, Kim Laine
- Secret Key Cryptography: Ciphers, from simple to unbreakable by Frank Rubin
- Real-World Cryptography by David Wong
- Data Encryption using AWS KMS by Coursera Project Network
- Cryptography: A Hands-on Approach by Udemy
- Introduction to Encryption – Terminology and Technology by Udemy
- Encryption Consulting Study On Global Encryption Trends – 2023 by Encryption Consulting
- Guidelines on cryptographic algorithms usage and key management by European Payments Council (EPC) by European Payments Council (EPC)
- 2022 Global Encryption Trends Study by Entrust
- The SynAckFinAck Podcast with Robert Rounsavall
- Priv8 Podcast with Derek E. Silva
- Follow the White rabbit with Alexander Kehaya
5) The Evolution of Encryption
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