Smile! Encryption is as Easy as That
How often do you deal with people who put off projects that feel too hard or complicated?
Well, despite some reluctance to difficult projects, we actually carry out many complex actions every day without knowing it. For example, let’s smile :) .
Smiling is one of the most common, natural and beautiful things in the world. A powerful tool of communication, a smile is understood universally regardless of gender or culture. But what’s going on behind the scenes? What does it take to smile?
The process of smiling is more complex and precise than a Swiss watch – 17 muscles work in perfect synchronization in order to simultaneously move our lips, cheeks and eyes. Yet despite this hard work done by our body, smiling comes easy and naturally.
What does smiling have to do with protecting data?
While smiling is second nature, using encryption software for protecting your sensitive data often seems like a big headache.
Smiling feels easy and natural. However, this action is quite elaborate from a structural point of view. So the key to making data privacy more accessible would be to use software that allows encryption to be performed easily and naturally without even thinking about it.
Will using encryption change how you like to work?
Using encryption has come a long way towards working the way you would naturally. The earliest methods of encryption used basic ‘tricks’. For example, with Caesar’s cipher each letter is replaced with a shifted letter in the alphabet – meaning a left shift of 3 would replace D with A. The mirror writing method used by Leonardo da Vinci simply reverses the image of each letter. Yet modern encryption is now based on complex mathematical algorithms, modes and mechanisms.
Security is obviously the primary purpose of using encryption. But in practice, ‘smiley’ encryption gets judged on usability, performance and cost. Developments in cyber security and related technologies have resulted in amazing improvements to the more practical side of using encryption. Nowadays you can find solutions on the market offering reliable encryption that doesn’t hurt to use.
Encryption works the way you like – Naturally Easy, Fast and Low-Cost (and Secure too)
- Naturally Easy – Transparent EncryptionDo you actually know what goes on behind the ‘encryption scenes’? For me, I remember how the movie The Matrix presented a tangible image of the coding process – an illegible set of numbers, letters and symbols. However, this is not what you see when turning on your computer, opening programs or accessing files. In a similar sense, transparent encryption now makes the technical process invisible – once the password or key is verified, you can access and use your protected data the same way as always.
- Fast – Modern TechnologyOver the past 4 years, modern processors have refreshed the concept of encryption speed. If you still believe in the equation of encryption = slow, then you’re overdue for an attitude adjustment. Did you know that encrypting the same amount of data today requires 3 times less time than in 2010? This improvement is largely due to the development of Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (AES-NI) - an instruction set that boosts the speed of applications running encryption and decryption operations using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Modern software supporting AES-NI allows encryption to be performed in real time – meaning you can easily forget the complex work happening with mathematical algorithms, modes and mechanisms.
- Low-Cost – Encryption for Every BudgetFor beginners, you can get to know the basics of encryption using free software. If you find that you want more, commercial solutions can provide additional layers of security, support and control. Commercially maintained software offers advanced features and are professionally updated – ensuring you have reliable, ongoing data protection. Allowing your security to lapse or become outdated means that it may not protect you from the latest threats – guarding yourself with a wooden shield is pointless when intruders are shooting bullets.
The best security works the way you do – maintaining normal behavior and productivity as much as possible. After all, encryption software can actually be fun to play with and might even make you smile!
So you don’t need to be a techie geek to use encryption – but do you really need to encrypt your information?
The simple answer is yes. Whether you’re an individual user or a large organization, your personal files and sensitive data needs protecting.
Not sure what kind of data you have? Take a look through this short list to consider before you start using encryption tools. Here you can get a clear idea of what you must protect to avoid unwanted consequences, such as theft, fines, penalties or embarrassment.
- Personal pictures and videos
- Chat histories
- Personally Identifiable Information (social security, passport, driver's license)
- Bank account statements, credit card numbers, tax records
- Medical records, such as health insurance benefits and medical payments
- Work projects, performance reviews
- Educational records, essays, thesis
- Client records and customer databases
Encrypt Data with Jetico
Jetico provides pure and simple data at rest encryption software for National Security, Compliance and Personal Privacy. To protect stored data, Jetico's BestCrypt encrypt data on whole disks, virtual drives and selected files or folders. Jetico Enterprise Editions include central management for client software control.
This post originally appeared as part of a guest blog on StaySafeOnline.org, the website of the National Cyber Security Alliance, and is republished here with permission of NCSA.