Computing systems requiring cryptography tools are deeply ingrained into modern human lifestyles and business practices. Specifically, digital technologies are applied in every domain, including healthcare, security, transportation, marketing, banking, and education. As a result, data has become a vital asset. In addition, companies require data to derive business value, whereas attackers target data for monetary and other gains. That said, organizations need reliable methods to secure sensitive information and maintain data integrity and confidentiality.
Fortunately, cryptography and encryption methods have been used for centuries to prevent prying eyes from accessing secret messages. Also, strong encryption has become one of the most crucial cybersecurity practices for supporting modern internet communications. Encryption algorithms convert original data in plain text to an encrypted message to ensure secure transmission. Users use an encryption key to turn plain text into a block cipher, and recipients must access a correct decryption key to view the encrypted information in its original state.c
Cryptographic algorithms assist companies and individual users in achieving secure communications and robust internet connections to strengthen privacy. In addition, cryptography tools make it harder for malicious actors to break encryption algorithms, preventing unauthorized persons from accessing sensitive data. Therefore, modern cryptography focuses on four primary information security goals:
- Data integrity: Cryptography tools protect data from unauthorized modification in transit or at rest, thus preserving its integrity.
- Data confidentiality: Only individuals with the correct decryption key can access encrypted data. Encryption tools prevent unwanted access, which is vital in ensuring data confidentiality.
- Authenticity: Data encryption provides senders and recipients with a way of verifying each other to verify their authenticity.
- Non-repudiation: File encryption ensures non-repudiation, implying that a message sender cannot deny or backtrack that they sent the message.
Different Types of Cryptography
The different encryption techniques can be categorized into hash functions, public-key cryptography, and secret-key cryptography. Hash functions are one-way, irreversible cryptographic functions that ensure data protection by making it impossible to recover the original data. Essentially, hashing is a technique used to transform data of a given string into a cipher block of a fixed-length string. An efficient hashing algorithm converts a specific input into a secure and unique output. If an attacker attempt to crack a hash function, the only approach is attempting all possible inputs until they can get the corresponding hash. Hash functions are often used to hash data like passwords and certificates. Common examples of hashing functions include MD5, SHA-1, SHA-3, and Whirlpool.
On the other hand, public-key cryptography also referred to as asymmetric cryptography, is a cryptographic technique that uses two keys to encrypt data. A public key accessible to everyone allows the sender to encrypt the data while the recipient uses a private key, only known to the recipient, to decrypt the data. In contrast to symmetric encryption, the key used to encrypt the data cannot decode it. The private key is private to the recipient, whereas the public key can be shared publicly with anyone. As such, the private key should only remain with the owner. Common examples of public-key cryptography are Diffie-Hellman and elliptic curve cryptography.
Lastly, the secret key cryptography technique, also called symmetric cryptography, is an encryption approach that uses a single key for both data encryption and decryption. Symmetric cryptography uses the same encryption and decryption key, making it among the simplest cryptography methods. A symmetric cryptographic algorithm uses an encryption key to convert original text into ciphertext, whereas the recipient entrusted with a secret key can decrypt the data. In this regard, secret key cryptography can be used in encrypting data in transit and at rest. Examples of secret key cryptography include advanced encryption standards (AES) and Caesar cipher.
Different Types of Cryptography Tools
VeraCrypt is a cryptography tool that is a widely used enterprise-grade system for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems. VeraCrypt provides automatic data encryption capabilities and partitions a network depending on specific hashing algorithms, location, and volume size. Thus, it is an easy-to-implement cryptographic solution for companies desiring to achieve a hands-off encryption approach. Moreover, VeraCrypt is an open-source encryption software but can sometimes be implemented as a corporate product that receives more frequent updates. Nevertheless, the free software version is robust enough to provide some of the essential encryption needs for an organization.
2. Kruptos 2
Kruptos 2 comprises various approaches and encryption tools designed to provide 256-bit AES encryption. It is usually used to encrypt a network with multiple operating systems, such as Android, Mac, and Windows. Kruptos 2 is also designed to encrypt files across various platforms, including cloud-based services, portable storage solutions, and mobile devices. Also, Kruptos 2 provides powerful features like a password generator for generating strong and complex passwords.
Boxcryptor is a cryptography tool designed for encrypting cloud solutions. The cryptographic tool combines AES and RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) to provide end-to-end encryption for more than thirty cloud services. These include Microsoft, Dropbox, and Google Drive. In addition, Boxcryptor can be usefd in encryption multiple devices and cloud services. It provides an intuitive interface that enables encryption at a click and does not require an encryption expert to deploy and manage.
4. IBM Security Guardium Data Encryption
CertMgr.exe is a cryptography tool implemented as an executable file. The tool permits users to create and manage encryption certificates. Cryptography is essential in the effective management of different certificates. For example, CertMgr.exe enables the management of CRLs that are in certificate revocation lists. The primary essence of cryptography in developing certificates is to ascertain the secure exchange of information between different parties, and the CertMgr.exe cryptography tool supports the required protection levels.
6. Quantum Numbers Corp
The Quantum Numbers Corp cryptography tool is a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) and is among the first quantum cryptographic solutions to be developed. Essentially, this is an innovative quantum encryption solution used in creating truly random numbers. In comparison to traditional encryption solutions, they are incapable of generating random numbers. Quantum Numbers Corp is also more beneficial since the generated random numbers are impossible to decipher, even for individuals using quantum computing solutions. Moreover, it provides more security since QRNG has an alert system that notifies attempts for intercepting outgoing or incoming connections and communications. Finally, the Quantum Numbers Corp cryptographic system is advantageous because it provides high-speed encryption and can scale on demand.
7. Homomorphic Encryption
Encryption algorithms are vital in ensuring that data in transit and data at rest cannot be deciphered and remains secure. However, users require to access encrypted data at some point, which provides malicious individuals with an opportunity to access and steal the data. As a result, the homomorphic encryption protocol permits users to access and perform computations on encrypted data to preserve confidentiality as users carry out various tasks. Thus, homomorphic encryption is useful in ensuring stronger security but does not permit the completion of all tasks when using homomorphically encrypted data.
8. AxCrypt Premium
AxCrypt Premium is a useful tool and powerful encryption solution for SMEs that lack the capacity or resources required to support comprehensive encryption solutions. AxCrypt Premium supports 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption algorithms and provides convenient file access through a mobile application. Additionally, AxCrypt Premium is a useful tool for cloud-based networks since it allows for automatic encryption capabilities for files stored in cloud solutions like Dropbox and AWS. Although a free version of AxCrypt Premium is available, the encryption capabilities are limited for small-scale cryptography, such as encrypting home computers. In addition, it is not suitable or robust enough compared to most cryptography tools used in large organizations.
9. Key-Based Authentication
Key-based authentication is an encryption technique that employs an asymmetric cryptographic algorithm to verify a user’s identity and is often used as an alternative for password authentication. Private keys and public keys are the primary factors at play used in confirming a client’s identity. When authenticating users using the public key authentication method, each user is provided with a pair of asymmetric keys. The users then store the public keys in the system for data transfer while retaining their private keys in the respective devices connected to the secure system. During key management and key exchange, the secure server authenticates clients with the public keys and requires the users to use the corresponding private key to decrypt the message.
10. Authentication Token/Security Token
A security token or authentication token is a cryptography tool used in verifying a user. For example, a company uses the security token cryptographic tool to authenticate users. In particular, a security token encrypts the exchange of secure authentication information. Organizations also use the authentication tool to HTTP protocols with complete statefulness. As such, a web browser utilizes server-side generated tokens such that it can continue with the state. Generally, a security token is a method used to ensure remote authentication. Authentication information is sensitive and should be encrypted to prevent unwanted access or modification. A security token provides the relevant encryption scheme to enable secure user remote authentication.
Developers use Docker to develop and upgrade large, powerful applications. Essentially, Docker is a container that permits users to build and maintain large applications. The data processed and stored in Docker is maintained in an encrypted format. As such, Docker strictly adheres to cryptographic algorithms to ensure data encryption. In addition, Docker encrypts information and files, thus preventing individuals lacking the correct decryption key from accessing it. The cryptographic methods used to encrypt the data vary depending on encryption attributes. Moreover, companies consider Docker a cloud storage solution that permits users or developers to manage encrypted data on a shared or dedicated server. In simple terms, a Docker container enables users to hold sensitive data and ensure its security through encryption to focus resources on application development.