crn5000-inc2015 BPTW logo
Contact us today!
(918) 770-8738
 
 

Integrated Business Technologies Blog

Integrated Business Technologies has been serving the Broken Arrow area since 2007, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tech Term: Encryption Key

It is no secret that security is an absolutely crucial part of computing in the modern era. Data can very fairly be called the most valuable currency today, which means it needs to be protected. One way to do this is through the use of encryption keys. In this Tech Term, we’ll go over how these keys can protect your data, and how they do so.

What is Encryption, and Why Does it Need a Key?
Simply put, encryption is the process of scrambling up data so that it is rendered useless for anyone who doesn’t have the means to unscramble it. This is what an encryption key is for. Thanks to the use of algorithms, these keys are ensured to be unique, with no patterns dictating how they are composed. Depending on the type of encryption used, there may be one or two keys involved.

Symmetric algorithm - Also known as secret key encryption, this kind of encryption uses one key to both encrypt and decrypt data. This means that this form of encryption is very efficient, and so it is often used to encrypt large amounts of data. However, since there is only one key used for both processes, it is imperative to the security of the encrypted data that this key remains in your possession.

Asymmetric algorithm - This variety of encryption is also known as public/private encryption, as there are two keys involved. One key (usually the public one, which means it can be shared) is used to encrypt data, while the other (usually private) key is used to decrypt it later. Asymmetric encryption is widely accepted to be more secure, as the key that can decrypt the data after it is encrypted is not shared.

What These Keys Can Be Used to Accomplish
Encryption keys are commonly used for an assortment of different objectives. Of course, these different objectives will require assorted security needs, so it is also important that the key itself is secure enough. This strength comes from multiple factors, including length (longer symmetric keys are inherently more secure) and the algorithm used to create it. These keys often have a shelf life, of sorts, known as the crypto-period. These are all reasons why, when a key is created, its intended use is a helpful thing to keep in mind.

Data encryption keys - This is the form of encryption that most people would be familiar with, as it simply protects data from being read by anyone who isn’t authorized to see it (the authorization coming in the ability to decrypt the information). These keys frequently are held onto past their crypto-period, if not indefinitely.

Authentication keys - An authentication key is used to confirm that the data contained has not been altered during transmission from point A to point B. This is useful if you need to send or receive data in an unaltered state to prove its integrity.

Digital signature keys - This is effectively the same kind of key as an authentication key, just taken one step further and applied specifically to one’s digital signature. This means that the person who digitally ‘signed’ the document can’t deny that they did sign it.

Root keys - A Public Key Infrastructure hierarchy is used for authentication and digital signatures, and the root key is the highest key in the hierarchy. Since it is such an important key to keep secured and will often be around for some time, a hardware security module, or HSM, is often used to help protect it.

Master keys - A master key is one that is used to encrypt multiple other keys, which means it has to be very secure (again using an HSM) as well as long-lasting, if not permanent.

Key encryption keys - These keys are used to securely transport other secret encryption keys, which means that they are typically long-lasting and unchanging.

Want to learn more about how encryption can help your company? Reach out to the professionals at Integrated Business Technologies by calling (918) 770-8738.

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, 22 October 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

  • First Name *
  • Last Name *

      Free Consultation

      Sign up today for a
      FREE Network Consultation

      How secure is your IT infrastructure?
      Let us evaluate it for free!

      Sign up Now!

      freeconsultation
       

      Tag Cloud

      Security Technology Tip of the Week Privacy Business Management Managed Service Provider Cloud Internet Business Computing Microsoft Best Practices Saving Money Productivity Workplace Tips IT Services Hosted Solutions Hackers Email Backup Malware Business Mobile Devices Software Data IT Support Hardware Small Business Network Communication Server Smartphones VoIP Computer Upgrade Google Windows Efficiency Business Continuity Mobile Device Management Innovation Disaster Recovery Virtualization Microsoft Office Miscellaneous Mobile Office Data Backup Vendor Management Tech Term Outsourced IT Gadgets Social Media Holiday User Tips Quick Tips Passwords Network Security BYOD Android Smartphone Mobile Computing Browser Windows 10 Productivity Internet of Things Managed IT services WiFi Bring Your Own Device Data Recovery Best Practice The Internet of Things Remote Monitoring Ransomware Spam Artificial Intelligence Alert Users Data Management Save Money Trending Operating System Apple Wireless Technology Remote Computing History Gmail Going Green Firewall Office Collaboration Customer Relationship Management Unified Threat Management Encryption Content Filtering Tech Support Cloud Computing Managed IT Information Technology Current Events Big Data Analytics IT Support App IT Solutions Lithium-ion Battery Facebook IT Consultant Router Printer Paperless Office Humor Saving Time Employer-Employee Relationship Website Avoiding Downtime Maintenance Applications Hard Drives Two-factor Authentication Windows 8 Antivirus Phishing Document Management Mobile Device Chrome VPN Business Growth Risk Management Wi-Fi Apps Customer Service Application Hacking Virus Computers Phone System Fax Server Government Outlook Managed IT Services Health Compliance Automation Office Tips Retail Marketing Bandwidth Excel Project Management Cybersecurity IT service Digital Payment File Sharing PowerPoint Social Networking Unified Communications Tablet Data Security Office 365 Training Password iPhone Healthcare Infrastructure Help Desk User Error Administration Presentation Augmented Reality Co-Managed IT Budget Managed Service Proactive IT Computer Repair Regulations Point of Sale Mouse Files Recovery Money Net Neutrality Inbound Marketing Running Cable Social Licensing Mobility Smart Technology Wireless Data storage Mobile Security Cybercrime Save Time Wearable Technology Conferencing IoT Robot Windows 10 Hiring/Firing Alerts Printing Display End of Support Tip of the week LiFi Computing Statistics Intranet Competition Business Intelligence Network Congestion Recycling eWaste Downtime Remote Workers Search Piracy Vulnerability Virtual Desktop USB Business Owner Information Data loss Blockchain HIPAA Sports BDR Hacker User Programming Redundancy Company Culture Analyitcs Twitter Education Scam Machine Learning Specifications Safety Settings Flexibility Hosted Solution IBM Internet Exlporer Storage Cost Management Memory Connectivity Laptop communications Enterprise Content Management Network Management WPA3 Migration E-Commerce Public Cloud Downloads Hacks Documents Distributed Denial of Service Hotspot Halloween Networking Entrepreneur Vulnerabilities Fleet Tracking Chatbots Features PC Care Sync Multi-Factor Security Undo 5G PDF Value People Star Wars Software Tips Managed IT Service Language Scary Stories Virtual Reality Geography eBay Asset Tracking Remote Support Identity Electronic Health Records Leadership Mobile Device Managment Google Calendar Monitors Skype Streaming Media Macro Utility Computing New Additions Break Fix Text Messaging Server Management Computing Infrastructure SaaS Techology Deep Learning Print Server High-Speed Internet OneNote Work Station Cyberattacks Legislation Domains Google Wallet Fun Writing LinkedIn Congratulations Dark Web Video Surveillance Cooperation Chromebook Disaster Resistance Word Law Firm IT Development Windows 8.1 Update Gaming Console Employee-Employer Relationship Motherboard Read Only G Suite Public Speaking Drones Cortana Social Engineering Best Available Buisness Hard Drive Data Warehousing Patch Management Staff IT Consulting Identities Cables Modem Bookmarks Travel Software as a Service Backups Knowledge Environment CIO Cache Microsoft Excel Operations Politics Data Breach Solid State Drive Bluetooth Wires Online Currency Samsung Cookies Favorites Meetings Technology Tips Legal Experience Troubleshooting Debate Management Computer Accessories Virtual Private Network Telephony Technology Laws Heating/Cooling Alt Codes Adminstration Consumers 3D Monitoring Crowdfunding Nanotechnology Instant Messaging Comparison YouTube Enterprise Resource Planning How To Permissions IT Technicians Unified Threat Management Typing MSP Screen Reader Identity Theft Black Friday IP Address Google Drive How To Mobile Assessment Fraud Touchscreen Mirgation Consulting Access Control Refrigeration Cryptocurrency Disaster Proactive Smart Tech Cyber Monday Google Docs Scheduling Managing Stress IT Management Remote Monitoring and Management Business Technology Managed Services Provider Private Cloud SharePoint Bitcoin Digital Signature

      Top Blog

      Basically, any machine that uses fans and vents to cool itself can overheat if airflow is restricted. If you have used a laptop on your lap for an extended session, then you know what we are talking about when the computer becomes hot to the touch. Every portable device is designed a little diffe...
      QR-Code