6 Encryption Terms You Need to Know

Is your business championing encryption and data security? If not here is a great start to the terms commonly used in encryption today.

Check our list of fundamental encryption terminology to learn more about this extremely common practice:

Plain Text- Our first term is one of the most elementary, but at the same time it’s truly foundational to the world of encryption. Plain Text is exactly what is sounds like, which is text that is easy to read and interpret by any user.

Ciphertext- Another equally important term is ciphertext, which is the jumbled-up mess that plain text becomes after it has gone through an encryption program. If this term sounds familiar, that’s probably because of its close relation to the word cipher, which is what is used to translate the plain text to ciphertext, and vice versa.

Encryption- When something is encrypted, it is transformed from plain text to ciphertext via an encryption process. This allows documents and important files to be kept confidential, and has been a main player on the world stage for centuries.

Decryption- Decryption is the opposite of the aforementioned encryption, and is the means by which ciphertext is translated back into plain text. This is most commonly done through computer software programs nowadays, whereas it used to be done through a physical cipher.

Encryption Key- When you have the keys to the kingdom, you have access to everything that it possesses, and the same is true when it comes to encryption. The key is what allows files and documents to be encrypted, and is at the same time what allows the decryption process to be initiated. Encryption is a commonly known process, and its capabilities have been around for centuries. As a result, many people are aware of what happens inside of an encryption program, which makes restricting access to the encryption key of the utmost importance.

Hashing- In today’s world of hacking, encryption ciphers and programs are under constant and sustained attacks. These attacks have often led to the exposure of keys, which showed there was a need to be able to verify information without its contents being exposed. This is where hashing comes in, as hashing enables information to be kept secret without simultaneously revealing what it is.