What is Encryption in Computer Software?

Modern computers come with tools to secure data that makes it inaccessible to anyone who does not have the correct key. What is encryption and how does it work? This article explains how encryption protects sensitive information from hackers.

Data encryption is the process that converts the information that is readable into coded text that can only be deciphered by using the right password by authorized users. It is an essential element of cyber-security which guarantees data security and keeps sensitive information away from unauthorized users.

A common type employs mathematical models that are cryptographic, which convert the original data into a chaotic collection of characters (also called ciphertext). Encryption algorithms “scramble” bits of data in a randomized fashion so that even with enormous computing power it would take a very long time to try and find the key to convert back to plain text.

If you use AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), the most common encryption method, for your digital files, then each of the 0s and ones in the file is smashed 10 times in a semi-random pattern. It will take computers a long time to rearrange all the numbers into the right order without a key.

Encryption also serves to prevent the leak of information and attacks by ransomware. If hackers steal encrypted data, they won’t be able to read it, and they will be incapable of blackmailing the company or individuals involved with the risk of releasing the stolen information on the dark web. Encryption also protects backup systems against hackers since they are unable to access the data in its original format.

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