M2 - Explain the way that data transmitted over a network can be protected by encryption.
Below, I will explain the way that data transmitted over a network can be encrypted to provide protection. I will explain what encryption entails, how data is transmitted, and why it is important to encrypt private data to ensure its protection. What Does Encryption Entail and How Does It Work?
Encryption entails rearranging data in such a way that only the owner of both the encryption and decryption key can understand. It serves the purpose of passing information over networks in a “secret” form so that it cannot be interrupted by hackers who may wish to view the communications for malicious reasons. Encryption is extremely important for e-commerce as it allows confidential information such as credit and debit card details to be sent safely to the online business which is receiving these details. Web browsers are able to encrypt purchase details using an encryption method known as SSL (Secure Socket Layer). SSL is switched on when a user visits a secure server site which begins with HTTPS (Secure HyperText Protocol). Encryption works by scrambling the original message with a very large digital number (key). This is done using advanced mathematics. Commercial level encryption uses 128-bit key that is very difficult to crack, even whilst using advanced software. The computer receiving the message understands and recognises the digital key; therefore, it is able to comprehend the intended message. There are three major drawbacks to encryption:
1. It is slower than normal browsing. It can sometimes take quite a while for the browser to carry out the required maths to encrypt the message, and another delay on the receiving server may follow as it decrypts the data. 2. Online shops need to have a digital certificate that contains part of the required key. This is not free as must be supplied to them by a “certificate authority”. 3. Running a secure server can be...
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