Every modern computer includes tools for encryption of data, making it unreadable by unauthorized parties without the proper key. But what is encryption exactly and how does it function? This article explains the basics of encryption and how it can help protect sensitive information from hackers.

Data encryption is the process of changing visible information into coded text which can only be deciphered with the proper password by authorized users. It is a vital component of cyber-security that provides the security of data and protects sensitive information away from non-authorized users.

The most common type of encryption uses mathematical models that are cryptographic to transform the original data into a jumbled collection of characters (also known as ciphertext). Encryption algorithms „scramble“ bits of information in a randomized fashion so that even with enormous computing power, it would take a considerable amount of time to discover the key that will convert back to plain text.

If you use AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) which is the most commonly used encryption method for your digital files that means that each of the ones and 0s in the file is scrambled 10 times in a semi-random pattern. It will take computers several hours to change all the numbers into the right order without a key.

It is also used to prevent data leaks and ransomware. If hackers steal encrypted data, they are unable to read it and will be unable to blackmail the company or anyone else involved in the threat of releasing the stolen data to the dark web. Also, encryption protects backup systems from hackers, as they are unable to access the data in its original format.