Security Portal: Introduction to Encryption

“Encryption is the process of converting data from one form
(what would be considered to be readable either through plaintext
or through some specific viewer like MS Word) into ciphertext. The
actual process that takes place during this conversion widely
varies, but the end result is the same: after conversion to
ciphertext, the data is in a form that is not easily readable to
prying eyes.”

“The process of encrypting and decrypting messages has been
present since the beginning of primitive communications. Encryption
has found many uses over the years, everything from decoder rings
in cereal boxes to elaborate methods for governments and
corporations to protect their secrets and intellectual property
from prying eyes. However you look at it, in its lowest conceptual
level, encryption helps provide a method to add a degree of
security to communications.”

There is no one single way to encrypt a file. Hundreds of
ciphers exist today and many more are being developed every
Some can be done with nothing more than a pencil and a
piece of paper, while others require the number-crunching power of
a computer to be effective and practical. Below are some basic
examples to illustrate how encryption works.”