Network Synergy 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 Network Synergy by calling 203.261.2201.

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
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab

QR-Code dieser Seite

Sign Up

  • First Name *
  • Last Name *

      Blog Categories

      communications OneNote Computing Features Halloween VoIP Wearable Technology IBM Fraud Mobile Devices Cables E-Commerce Encryption Avoiding Downtime High-Speed Internet Firewall Backups Nanotechnology Windows 8.1 Update Business Owner Motherboard 5G LinkedIn Printing Identities Technology Tips Debate Website Digital Signature Connectivity Tech Support Specifications Collaboration File Sharing Statistics Print Server Browser Save Time Hacks Small Business Chromebook Bitcoin Botnet CIO Crowdsourcing Entrepreneur Office 365 User Error Shortcut Facebook Customer Service Data Intranet Fax Server IT Technicians Spyware Battery Networking Bring Your Own Device Quick Tips Social Networking Samsung IT Support Managed IT Service Websites BYOD IT Consultant Document Management Cybercrime Upgrades Memory Access Control Proactive IT Microsoft Compliance Dark Web Solid State Drive Public Speaking Operations eWaste Computer Care Troubleshooting Unsupported Software Mobile Computing Disaster Permissions Smart Tech PowerPoint Communication Technology Work/Life Balance Data Backup Webinar Virtual Desktop Writing Applications Search Tip of the Week iPhone Blockchain Efficiency Cabling Smart Technology User Tips Privacy Spam Managed IT Online Currency CrashOverride Alerts Information Technology User IT service Legislation Disaster Resistance Artificial Intelligence Administration Consumers Customer Relationship Management Apple Sports Gadget Internet Exlporer Unified Threat Management Network Security Smartphones Cloud Identity BDR Wires Email Mobile Data Office Tips Private Cloud Data Security Programming WPA3 Business Continuity Web Server Migration IoT Video Surveillance Workplace Tips Windows 10 Best Practice Recovery Fun IP Address Business How To Data Management Network Management Patch Management Inbound Marketing PDF Black Market Software Tips Break Fix Disaster Recovery Undo Finance Budget Upgrade Managed IT Services Lenovo Experience Superfish Mobile Multi-Factor Security Internet of Things IT Services Monitoring Trainging Managed Services Provider Government G Suite Mobile Device Business Computing Value Password Current Events Wireless Technology Scary Stories Content Filtering Mirgation Google Calendar Identity Theft SaaS Malware Social Electronic Health Records Tutorials Display Augmented Reality Mobile Device Management Physical Security Windows YouTube Uninterrupted Power Supply Retail Crowdfunding Typing Software as a Service Office Hacking Telephone Systems Outlook Downtime Deep Learning Travel History Business Management Business Technology Productivity Development Management Training Processors Vulnerabilities Google Maps Legal Mail Merge Cookies Hosted Solution USB Maintenance Time Management Law Firm IT Hacker Mobility Piracy Chatbots Google Docs Unified Communications Black Friday Application Mobile Office Network Text Messaging Router Windows 8 Outsourced IT Users Chrome Digital Payment Firefox Alert Business Growth Logs How To Mobile Technology Star Wars Fleet Tracking Consultation Scheduling Drones Presentation Employee-Employer Relationship Passwords Relocation Big Data Hotspot Computer Accessories VPN Google Wallet Lithium-ion Battery Vendor Management 3D Project Management Work Station The Internet of Things Public Cloud Best Available Miscellaneous Employer-Employee Relationship Notifications Electronic Medical Records Vulnerability Hard Disk Drive Thank You Virtual Private Network Cyberattacks Point of Sale Telephony Printer Tablet Saving Money Google Drive Streaming Media IT Consulting Sync Conferencing Refrigeration Error Screen Reader Cameras Regulations People Bandwidth Address Mouse Hackers Assessment Modem Corporate Profile Computers Staffing Machine Learning Competition LiFi Knowledge 3D Printing Microsoft Excel Utility Computing Proactive Education Two-factor Authentication Remote Computing Cloud Computing GPS Buisness CCTV Tip of the week Software Congratulations Gmail Alt Codes IT Support Google Analytics Money Business Intelligence Language Files Microsoft Office Storage Hiring/Firing Recycling Computer Cryptocurrency Humor Enterprise Content Management Analyitcs Flexibility Cybersecurity Wireless Phishing Paperless Office Documents Skype Operating System Technology Laws eBay Ransomware Remote Monitoring Asset Tracking Computer Repair Printers Computing Infrastructure Regulation Robot Data Loss Read Only IT budget Remote Support Antivirus Data Breach Redundancy Marketing SharePoint End of Support Laptop Hard Drive Server Data Warehousing Cache Supercomputer Administrator Security Cyber Monday Word Managed IT services Comparison Tech Term Safety Windows 10 Staff Internet Bluetooth Android Tip of the Work Phone System Instant Messaging IT Management Wi-Fi Personal Information Managed Service Provider Information Taxes Charger Running Cable App WiFi Heating/Cooling Excel Remote Workers Gadgets Digital Automobile Domains Servers Health Remote Monitoring and Management Mobile Security Infrastructure Food Server Management Cortana Trending Apps Save Money Virtual Reality Consulting Hardware Data storage Leadership Help Desk Macro Social Media Managed Service Scam Downloads Monitors Network Congestion Licensing Company Culture Gaming Console Going Green Meetings Automation Politics Healthcare Start Menu Favorites Innovation Bookmarks Tracking Hard Drives Twitter MSP IT Solutions Smartphone Google Risk Management Law Enforcement Distributed Denial of Service Geography Secruity Environment Virtualization PC Care Managing Stress Webcam Data Recovery Cleaning Saving Time Hosted Solutions Enterprise Resource Planning Motion sickness Productivity HIPAA Techology Net Neutrality Unified Threat Management Settings Emoji Virus Social Engineering Backup Touchscreen Service-based Business Best Practices Co-managed IT Holiday Cost Management Cooperation

      Latest Blogs

      Once thought to just be a cool feature of the Internet--or the entirety of the Internet to your Great Aunt Maddie--instant messaging has a long history on the web. In fact, one cou...

      Latest News

      Our Site Has Launched!


      Welcome to Our New Site!
      We are proud to announce the unveiling of our new website at Network Synergy!

      Read more ...

      Contact Us

      Learn more about what Network Synergy can do for your business.


      Call us today    203.261.2201

      Fax Number :    203-261-2935

      126 Monroe Turnpike
      Trumbull, Connecticut 06611

      facebook twitter linkedin #youtube