Data Encryption: Oh, sure! It is safe, isn’t it?

Data Encryption: Oh, sure! It is safe, isn’t it?

We are taught to believe that data encryption is one good way to protect our digital information. As long as it is encrypted, no unauthorized agent will be able to access it. Is it true or do we miss something here?

At the moment, there are many available tools and methods that you can use to encrypt your digital data. If you use the encryption software, it is relatively user friendly, depends on your IT infrastructure and the software itself.

In principle, encryption methodology works by transforming the information (plain text) into code, using an algorithm (mathematical formula) by use of a code that prevents it from being understood by anyone who is not authorized to read it. Encryption and decryption takes place using software that may be loaded on the computer where the files reside or emails are sent from – and opened from – or by the encryption key accompanying the data itself. Also, encryption is implemented on ecommerce websites and for wireless networking security and remote access in order to prevent spoofing.

However, nothing is perfect; even the RSA algorithm has flawed. If you still remember the case of Edward Snowden, then we know that leakage exits. By tweaking code for efficiency, current developers vastly reduced the resources required to crack encrypted message.

During the Black Hat 2014 in USA, one key-note speaker, Thomas Ptacek explained and challenged the audiences to break the encryption. Surprisingly, it did not require a high math solution to crack the code. Some people submitted the solutions through excel spreadsheet and others through PostScript. During his speech, Ptacek also demonstrated the smart technique on cracking encrypted credit cards. It was proven not as complicated as what we have imagined.

So, knowing all of these flaws and possibilities, is encryption safe enough? Maybe not; but no matter how unsafe it is, it would still better to (at least) try protecting our data compare to leave it unprotected. Similarly with a house, although the possibility of being broken in is there, we would still lock the door before leaving the house, right?