Data Encryption

Around 100 BC, Julius Caesar was known to use a form of encryption to convey secret messages to his army generals posted in the war front; he used a “substitution cipher”, known as Caesar cipher, is perhaps the most mentioned historic cipher in academic literature. Each character of the plain text was substituted by another character to form the cipher text.

The variant used by Caesar was a “shift by 3” cipher. Each character was shifted by 3 places, so the character ‘A’ was replaced by ‘D’, ‘B’ was replaced by ‘E’, and so on. The characters would wrap around at the end, so ‘X’ would be replaced by ‘A’.

Data encryption has been recommended by Edward Snowden – if data has been encrypted it cannot be read – simple as that

Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security.

To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it.

Un-encrypted data is called plain text ; encrypted data is referred to as cipher text

Encryption keys must be held securely – key custodian

  • ICO (Information Commisioner’s Office) recommends you encrypt your sensitive data
  • SRA (Solicitors Regulatory Authority) recommends you encrypt client data
  • GMC (General Medical Coucil) advises on encryption of patient data
  • FSA (Financial Services Authority) offers adice on encryption of client data
  • Edward Snowden recommended encryption

News Article and video from the Guardian newspaper July 2014

Video of interview with Snowden

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