Computer Data Security and Encryption Mechanisms Used in Data Communication

A company must secure their sensitive information and transactions to protect them from hackers. There are many ways a company can secure its data transfers. Few of the data encryption mechanisms are listed below.

1. Hash coding

2. Public Key Encryption (Asymmetrical Encryption)

3. Private Key Encryption (Symmetrical Encryption)

Using one or more of the above encryption mechanisms, the following technologies are developed.

1. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

2. Secure HTTP (S-HTTP)

3. Virtual Private Networks (VPN)

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

SSL is one of the most popular secure data transfer mechanisms. First the client establishes a connection with the server by communicating basic information about the level of security, digital certificate, public encryption key etc. Then the client will contact the corresponding Certificate Authority (CA) to check the authenticity of the digital certificate and the server. After authenticating, a private session key is generated. This will provide much faster processing at both the client and the server. After the session is terminated, the session key is discarded.

Secure HTTP (S-HTTP)

S-HTTP uses a different technology than SSL. After establishing the connection, the messages between the client and the server are wrapped in a secure envelope. This provides the secrecy, integrity and authentication. However, this technology is more predominately used between web clients and web servers.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPNs are widely used in organizations for secure data transfers. They create secure data transfers by establishing secure tunnels through a public network (i.e. Internet). Organizations choose VPN, essentially because of its relatively low cost. ACME Widgets can build a VPN between their headquarters and field sales offices. A carefully configured VPN can provide a very high level of confidentiality, sender authentication and message integrity. VPNs commonly use Layer-2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) for packet encapsulation.

Source by Tiffany Flinn