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Cyber

Five encryption trends

The need for robust data encryption is not subsiding anytime soon and this challenge will only increase with the emergence of quantum computing over the next couple of years. Surprisingly, only half of organisations have already implemented comprehensive encryption protection across their entire enterprise, according to a recent Global Encryption Trends Study, writes Alan Hayward, Sales and Marketing Manager at SEH Technology.

The development of quantum computing makes processors more powerful. Accordingly, organisations need to act now in order to ensure that they stay ahead of advancing technology. Provided enough computing power, a sophisticated adversary will be able to crack an encryption code – in order to precede the threat, companies are now thinking ahead to develop more advanced encryption strategies.

In creating a smarter, safer, and more sustainable world within a reliable and resilient ecosystem, organisations need to look at innovative ways to transform their encryption in order to future-proof their businesses.

Quantum cryptography

Quantum Computing will cause existing cryptography techniques to become obsolete. Common public key encryption systems, such as RSA, could become significantly easy to crack. Moreover, quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms are still several years off. In order to protect today’s sensitive information for the next two decades, cryptographers need to act now to enhance encryption with quantum computing and develop new and innovative approaches to encrypting data. Fortunately, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has been heading an attempt on developing quantum-safe encryption processes that can withstand quantum computers.

Homomorphic

It’s no secret that we encrypt data as it travels over the internet or when its stored on a device. The biggest challenge is decrypting the data to use or analyse it, without raising any potential security vulnerabilities. Homomorphic encryption now solves this problem as data can be processed without the need to decrypt it first. One of the most promising attributes is its ability to protect data whilst in use or in motion.

First invented by IBM researcher, Craig Gentry, in 2009 – Homomorphic Encryption required extraordinary computational power to perform simple tasks. Nonetheless, since its invention, the technology and infrastructure to support it have developed to where it can be applied in real-world applications.

Honey

Another emerging encryption method is Honey Encryption, developed by Ari Juels from Cornell Institute and Thomas Ristenpart from the University of Wisconsin in 2014. This technique deceives the attacker into believing that they have gained access to the codebase, when in fact, they have not.

Many people describe Honey Encryption as an additional level of security to deter attackers. This is because it lets the hacker think that they have correctly guessed the security key, providing them access to information that they believe is accurate, but in reality is only a decoy.

Biometric

Biometrics are increasingly implemented for verification processes. Enhanced voice biometric authentication and facial recognition are becoming very important aspects of securely identifying people who want to access protected data. This technology binds a cryptographic key to a biometric in a way that neither can be retrieved from the stored biometric template and can only be recreated if the original and live biometric is presented for verification.

With the advent of apps that provide users with the ability to manipulate an image, cryptographers need to find new and innovative ways of safeguarding this method.

Blockchain

Blockchain has proven to be an effective method to secure and decentralise information. This technology automates the data storage process, consequently removing any possible human-related errors. Seeing as the information that is stored is decentralised, encrypted, and then cross-checked by multiple connections on the network, Blockchain systems are near impossible to hack. However, Blockchain solutions remain costly and challenging to implement.

The demand for robust and resilient data encryption will persist and the cryptographic challenges will only accelerate as quantum computing and new technologies surface over the coming years. Cybersecurity breaches in the last year have created an abrupt emphasis on operational security procedures and the need for enhanced risk management.

New and innovative cryptography capabilities should be developed to deliver sounder cybersecurity systems today, while investing in the transformation of next-generation crypto-systems to protect organisations and their data for the next couple of decades.


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