Encryption (Data Loss Prevention – Protection)

Encryption is a method of securing, scrambling, or obscuring a communication in such a way that only the sender and recipient can decipher the original message. In written communication, the original message is often referred to as “plaintext.” Encryption is not new. In fact, evidence of encrypted messages dates back to 1900 BC when the Egyptians used alternative rather than standard symbols to relay secret messages.

In the modern era, what most security professionals refer to when discussing encryption starts with B. Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman. Prior to the publication of their book, “New Directions in Cryptography” and the Diffie-Hellman key exchange in 1976, most cryptography was used by military or government entities. Diffie and Hellman’s advancements brought encryption to the commercial and consumer realm.

Encryption in either form is used to secure data at rest – data stored – or data in motion – data being transmitted electronically from one system to another.