312-253-4321    Get SUPPORT

Alchetec Blog

Tech Term: Encryption Key

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 Alchetec by calling 312-253-4321.

How the IoT Can Be a Security Risk
Have You Really Considered Your Maintenance Costs?


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Friday, December 14 2018

Captcha Image

Subscribe to Our Blog!

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Technology Best Practices Cloud Business Computing Malware Privacy Hackers Network Security IT Services Email Software Outsourced IT Data Backup Productivity Hosted Solutions Managed IT Services Internet Data Productivity Tech Term Business Ransomware Data Recovery Microsoft Computer Innovation Backup IT Support Business Continuity Mobile Devices Hardware Cloud Computing Small Business IT Support Remote Monitoring Google Android User Tips Data Management Smartphone Paperless Office Disaster Recovery Browser Internet of Things Managed Service Provider VoIP Managed IT Communication Mobile Device Encryption Efficiency Artificial Intelligence Cybersecurity Workplace Tips Managed IT Services Social Media Smartphones Windows 10 Business Management BYOD Collaboration Phishing Government Server Save Money Office 365 Windows 10 Applications Facebook Wi-Fi Passwords Recovery Document Management Vulnerability Holiday Compliance IT Management Project Management Infrastructure Network Risk Management Unified Threat Management Upgrade Saving Money BDR SaaS Tip of the week Telephone Systems Bandwidth Healthcare Antivirus Files Help Desk Windows Router Virtualization Scam Money Going Green Firewall Customer Relationship Management Politics Vendor Management Data loss Regulations Data Storage Chrome Blockchain Website Virtual Reality Work/Life Balance Data Security IT Service Training Managed Service Wireless Hosted Solution Mobile Device Management Maintenance Information Office Word Robot Two-factor Authentication File Sharing Storage Gmail Employer-Employee Relationship App Password How To Redundancy Samsung Smart Technology Network Management Apps The Internet of Things Digital Payment Monitors HIPAA Analytics Chromebook Server Management Microsoft Office Identity Theft VPN Licensing Twitter Health Big Data Tablet Quick Tips Communications Internet Exlporer Machine Learning IoT Remote Monitoring and Management Virtual Private Network Customer Service Flexibility Remote Computing Miscellaneous Electronic Medical Records Mobile Security Remote Workers Business Technology Uninterrupted Power Supply Mobility How To Bring Your Own Device Outlook Upgrades Assessment Computing Computers Alert Patch Management Automation Unified Communications Electronic Health Records Tech Support G Suite Cabling Data Warehousing Smart Tech MSP Permission Dark Data Servers User Error Wireless Technology Digital Wearable Technology Enterprise Content Management Mouse IBM Downtime Authorization Mobile Data Proactive IT Black Market Safety Computer Care WannaCry Computing Infrastructure Management Consulting Social Engineering Computer Repair Crowdsourcing Identity Conferencing Hacker Taxes Hard Disk Drive Net Neutrality Cost Management OneNote Financial Hacking Google Calendar Vulnerabilities Cyberattacks Gadgets Botnet Microsoft Excel Connectivity Proactive Test Printer Notifications Spyware Comparison Sports Distributed Denial of Service Modem Employees Touchscreen IT Consulting Physical Security Alerts Enterprise Resource Planning Managed Services Provider Search Meetings Networking Business Growth Hard Drive Employee-Employer Relationship Trending Legislation IT Technicians Geography Read Only Users Disaster RMM Network Congestion Websites Access Control Social Specifications Telephony Software Tips Managed IT Service Cookies Wires Zero-Day Threat Humor Data Breach WiFi VoIP Cooperation Mobile Point of Sale Apple Social Networking Instant Messaging Cortana Google Drive Automobile Cache End of Support Mirgation High-Speed Internet Printing Firefox Emoji Permissions Star Wars WPA3 Operating System Education Statistics SharePoint Mail Merge Spam Break Fix Nanotechnology Backup and Disaster Recovery Office Tips Technology Laws IT Solutions Processors GPS YouTube Staff Company Culture E-Commerce Shortcut Software as a Service Legal Law Enforcement Google Maps Black Friday Motherboard Finance Avoiding Downtime Techology USB Hotspot Recycling Supercomputer Migration Development Bookmarks Lenovo Travel Fraud Utility Computing Fleet Tracking Tech Terms Bluetooth Downloads Personal Information Address Update Content Filtering History Dark Web Screen Reader Human Error Heating/Cooling Unified Threat Management Tracking Settings Operations Managing Stress Features Technology Tips Gadget Cyber Monday Mobile Computing Authentication Unsupported Software Time Management Disaster Resistance Corporate Profile Language eWaste Monitoring Augmented Reality IT Budget Chatbots Cables Favorites 3D Printing Consultation Superfish Solid State Drive Asset Tracking Theft Display Multi-Factor Security Virus 5G Marketing Public Cloud Hard Drives Budget Sync Competition Staffing IP Address IT Consultant Procurement Emergency Hacks CrashOverride Mobile Device Managment Administrator Mobile Office Printers Relocation Cybercrime Domains Information Technology Hiring/Firing Private Cloud Public Speaking Regulation Presentation Lithium-ion battery Cleaning Fun Error Motion Sickness