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Encryption in Today's Information Systems


Submitted By superdave1685
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In today’s world of instant connectivity and information at users’ fingertips, it’s vital that sensitive information is safeguarded against those who seek to do personal harm and profit from gaining access to the data. The key behind keeping information safe is the method in which it’s protected and encrypted. In order to appreciate how information is secured, users must understand the encryption concepts behind it. To do this, one must comprehend the current encryption standards, the trends and developments in encryption technology, the importance of securing data, the government’s regulations pertaining to encryption, the companies involved in research and implementation, the implications of leaked or stolen data, and a brief look into the recent Heartbleed vulnerability. Encryption is at the heart of security in today’s networked world. When using the Internet, users are not always clicking around and taking in information passively, such as reading through their Facebook feed, a blog, or a news article. Often times, they are transmitting their own information while shopping online or registering for a website such as Twitter (Tyson 2014). Users take for granted the “behind the scenes” process of safeguarding the information they share while performing these day to day tasks. Simply put, encryption refers to any process used to make data more secure and less likely to be viewed or read by unauthorized or unintended parties (Tom’s Guide 2014). Encryption relies on the science of cryptography, which humans have used for thousands of years. Before the dawn of the information age, the majority of those who used cryptography were governments; particularity for their militaries. The Greek historian Plutarch recorded the use of simple cryptography by Spartan generals. The general and admirals would use a thin, wooden cylinder, called a scytale, to send

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