Contact Us Today! 1-844-237-4300

Central Technology Solutions 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 Central Technology Solutions by calling 1-844-237-4300.

How the IoT Can Be a Security Risk
CTS Searches for solid new members to join the tea...


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Monday, February 18 2019

Captcha Image

Join our mailing list!

  • Company Name *
  • First Name *
  • Last Name *

      Mobile? Grab this Article!

      QR-Code dieser Seite

      Tag Cloud

      Security Tip of the Week Technology Best Practices Cloud Business Computing Email Malware Privacy Hosted Solutions Hackers Internet IT Services Network Security Productivity Data Managed IT Services Software Productivity Outsourced IT Data Backup IT Support Business Mobile Devices Innovation Computer Ransomware Tech Term Hardware Microsoft Data Recovery Cloud Computing Small Business Google Backup Internet of Things Smartphone Managed Service Provider Business Continuity Efficiency User Tips Social Media Data Management Remote Monitoring Windows 10 Smartphones Android Disaster Recovery Paperless Office IT Support Managed IT Communication VoIP Upgrade Browser Artificial Intelligence Encryption Business Management BYOD Collaboration Save Money Phishing Windows Facebook Windows 10 Risk Management Mobile Device Cybersecurity App Workplace Tips Mobile Device Management Holiday Saving Money Government Unified Threat Management Document Management Bandwidth Bring Your Own Device Managed IT Services Wi-Fi Apps Server Vendor Management Employer-Employee Relationship Robot Passwords Gmail BDR communications Network Office 365 Applications Firewall Recovery Virtualization Hosted Solution Money IT Management Information Website Data storage Going Green Tip of the week Scam Antivirus Project Management Compliance Content Filtering Wireless Password Infrastructure Telephone Systems SaaS Vulnerability Big Data Healthcare Chrome Automation Router Two-factor Authentication Politics Managed Service Work/Life Balance Computing Help Desk Customer Service Quick Tips Blockchain Virtual Reality Printing Training Miscellaneous Customer Relationship Management Analytics Remote Computing Regulations Office IT Service Data loss File Sharing Data Security Tablet Microsoft Office Computers Unified Communications Files Apple Storage Social WiFi Remote Workers How To Samsung YouTube Private Cloud Maintenance Downtime Tech Support Wireless Technology Legal Smart Technology Word Flexibility Chromebook Administration IoT Redundancy Digital Payment Avoiding Downtime LiFi Websites Identity Theft Education Internet Exlporer Budget Licensing IT solutions Information Technology Upgrades HIPAA Employees Twitter Access Control VPN Company Culture Operating System Patch Management Mobile Security Mouse Outlook Sports Virtual Private Network Machine Learning Mobility Google Drive End of Support Health Settings Network Management Business Growth Assessment Business Technology Monitors Alert How To Electronic Medical Records Server Management Mobile Computing Management Users Remote Monitoring and Management Uninterrupted Power Supply The Internet of Things Spam Hacker Software as a Service Data Warehousing Connectivity Deep Learning Address Operations Virtual Assistant Vulnerabilities Authentication Solid State Drive IT Budget Statistics Financial Current Events Cabling Safety Digital Obstacle Computing Infrastructure Remote Worker Enterprise Resource Planning Bookmarks Dark Data Personal Information Disaster Resistance Technology Assurance Group ’s 18 WPA3 Search Net Neutrality Hard Drive Features Alt Codes Technology Tips Superfish Chatbots Permission Bluetooth Microsoft Excel Modem Point of Sale Notifications Multi-Factor Security Wearable Technology Wasting Time Geography Authorization Cryptocurrency Fleet Tracking Procurement Black Market Spyware Printer Course Alerts ROI Mobile Favorites Distributed Denial of Service Proactive IT Annual Convention Writing Emoji Shortcut Cache Electronic Health Records Telephony Typing Comparison Identity Virtual Desktop Test Sync Hacks Cookies Star Wars Monitoring Law Enforcement Best Practice Firefox Google Calendar High-Speed Internet Public Cloud Bitcoin Network Congestion Asset Tracking Travel Cooperation Notes Conferencing Botnet Computer Repair Heating/Cooling Managed IT Service IT Consulting San Diego Retail Cortana WannaCry Recycling Cyberattacks Physical Security Time Management Specifications Networking MSP RMM Mobile Device Managment Software Tips Hacking Permissions Nanotechnology Utility Computing Consulting Gadget 3D Printing Legislation IT Technicians Development Zero-Day Threat Automobile Windows 8 Computer Care Save Time Display OneNote Processors SharePoint Staff PowerPoint Managing Stress Instant Messaging Identities Servers Break Fix Data Breach Social Networking Marketing Unified Threat Management Hotspot Buisness eWaste Read Only GPS Office Tips Black Friday Roanoke — Central Technology Solutions Gadgets Proactive Tech Terms Disaster Trending Fraud Screen Reader Managed Services Provider Google Wallet Unsupported Software Virus Mirgation Cables Backup and Disaster Recovery Update Employee-Employer Relationship Crowdsourcing Meetings Downloads Mail Merge Augmented Reality Professional Services Enterprise Content Management Finance Hard Drives Supercomputer Google Docs Dark Web Technology Laws Motherboard History Humor Social Engineering USB VoIP User Error Sponsor Language Security Cameras Tracking Touchscreen Cyber Monday Techology technology services provider Theft G Suite Smart Tech Cost Management E-Commerce Taxes Drones Mobile Data Consultation Lenovo Migration Wires Human Error Google Maps Backups Webcam IT Consultant Error Cybercrime Hard Disk Drive Regulation Web Server Cameras Emergency Motion Sickness CrashOverride CCTV Administrator Relocation Printers