Engineering Ethics

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Encryption

Communication and information sharing have been made easier by information technology as new methods have got innovated. The new methods range from online communication enabled by the internet such as email to mobile phone communication. Technology has enabled persons to send messages and information in different formats and media even from the most remote places. The forms include various documents, pictures, short messages, etc. Enhanced communication and information sharing have led to various benefits in different sectors such as research, education, medicine, and many others. However, technology has also resulted in the emergence of varying problems. The information includes cyber security breaches, hacking, identity theft, phishing, data theft, network intrusion, denial of service, viruses, and cyber fraud.

Therefore, technologists have innovated new approaches to solving the problem and ensure information assurance to users. One of the strategies used is encryption of information. Encryption refers to the process of converting plain text or message into an unreadable format. The information gets translated into a secret code in which it can only get read if the individual has a secret key or password that allows them to transform back the unreadable form to a readable text. Encryption technique of data protection gets based on using keys similar to using keys for homes and cars thus identifying a person as an authorized user or owner. Only the person who has access to the key can access the vehicle or home similar to the readable form. It means that even if the information gets stolen by a hacker or gets accessed by an unauthorized individual they cannot read or understand the content format unless they access the secret key or password. The process of converting unreadable form back to plain text (original readable text) gets referred to as decryption. This technique has enhanced information security of data stored in companies and business database as well as sensitive information transmitted through the internet.

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