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Lorena C Silva for Vaultree

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What's cryptography and how it helps to protect your data

As technology advances, the need to keep our data safe is a priority for companies that aim to prevent data leaks capable of compromising operations, finance and reputation. As attacks increase, preventive resources have also been improving.

What's cybersecurity?

We can understand "Cybersecurity" as a practice that protects servers, computers, software, mobile devices, networks, and electronic systems from any malicious attack.
Even in different contexts, it has the same objective: to protect and increasingly delay an attack in order to avoid it - or make sure it never really happens. Effective cybersecurity policies include not only top-notch technology, but also simply educating and training employees. People are usually the first line of attack for hackers looking for human error scenarios.

The importance of cybersecurity

To understand the importance of cybersecurity, we need to think of the massive amount of sensitive data we exchange on a daily basis, especially with the rise of remote work: addresses, phone numbers, bank details, passwords and all kinds of confidential information we access via a range of devices in diverse geographical locations.

This information must be stored securely, after all there are many malicious people on the internet, and a simple security breach can cause major chaos in minutes - we've all seen the latest phishing attacks, for example. Protecting data is important not to both people and organisations of all kinds that are managing, exchanging and storing data somewhere.
Cybersecurity comes into play by allowing only authorised people to have access to sensitive information. It allows the use of several safe places at the same time, such as cloud storage. From a business perspective, hiring a service that makes every process in a safe way without presenting risks is a profit avoiding future losses - not to mention that most organisations could not even afford the costs of a data breach.

A developer's main enemy is the final user. If final users are not properly educated in order to prevent the accidental introduction of malware, the chances of chaos around totally private data are high. Basic principles should be managed as information relevant to our daily lives.

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So, what's cryptography and how it helps to protect your data

Background "Cryptography" is the practice and study of mathematical techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties, converting data that was previously in its readable form (Plain text) to its encoded form (Cipher text).

Cryptography is fundamental for the protection of sensitive data, simply because it makes it impossible to read. Encrypted data is useless to criminals, even in the case of a data leak. Data encryption software, also known as encryption algorithm, is used to develop an encryption scheme that can be unravelled only with large processing power.

The importance of cryptography for cybersecurity

Cryptography is a subset within cybersecurity, thus becoming a means of prevention. It protects and limits the access to information by possible threats. We can compare cryptography and cybersecurity as half of two oranges that complement each other.

Encryption is the method we use for encrypting and decrypting messages that cannot be read by unauthorised users. The algorithms used in each type of cryptography present in the market have their own logic, rule, and calculation. This diversity results in a range of security options, as the same algorithm can be used during the generation of cryptographic keys, internet navigation, and bank account communication.

Cryptography in daily life

Even those who don't know anything about cryptography are using it every day, even without realising it:

  • Financial sites: When filling in forms with private data about income and cards such as virtual banking transactions, and accessing investment profiles.
  • WhatsApp: The chats have been end-to-end encrypted for a few years now, meaning that only you and the person you're communicating with can access that information, and nobody in between - not even WhatsApp.
  • Cryptocurrencies: Cryptocurrencies recently made a splash. We've seen countless ads on it during the Super Bowl, and the whole thing is about a monetary network for exchanging values whose fundamental principle is based on cryptography. So, yes, you can expect to bump into encryption even while watching your favourite sports.

In case you're as passionate about cryptography as we are, or is simply curious about how it works and impacts your life, be sure to read the posts below:

At Vaultree we are building an encrypted future. We love sharing valuable information and trends to help you keep your data safe. Sign up to stay in the loop and discuss the hottest trends in cybersec with a team of experts.

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