Get Started Today!  (813) 749-0895    SEARCH SITE

IT Professional Services and Business Continuity

Symmetric Engineering Group Blogs

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 Symmetric Engineering Group by calling (813) 749-0895.

How the IoT Can Be a Security Risk
Have You Really Considered Your Maintenance Costs?


Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment


Mobile? Grab this Article!

Qr Code

Tag Cloud

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

Latest Blog Entry

Election Day in the United States is coming up quick on November 6th. It doesn’t matter what your thoughts or opinions on U.S. politics are--the fact remains that millions of Americans will be using the technology available at polling places to cast their ballots, and if thi...

Latest News

SEG Awarded Small Business of the Year Award!

Symmetric Engineering Group was awarded the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Small Business of the Year Award for their understanding technical service and support throughout the Tampa Bay area

Read more ...

Account Login