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2022 is a breakthrough year for advances in encryption technology. We are at the forefront of scientific evolution, with unbridled potential ahead of us. Thanks to quantum physics, it’s now possible to fast-track technological advances in encryption for PCs, Macs, mobiles, and GPS technology. In addition, we are seeing brand-new research areas into message coding, a.k.a., cryptography, with the sole objective of creating ultra-secure telecom networks. Yet, challenges remain, such as the quantum bits transmitted through fiber-optic cable: after several hundred kilometers, the qubits disappear and need to be boosted.
This boosting process requires implementing relay-style systems known as repeaters, with a focus on quantum memory for getting the job done. A team of experts in this industry has conjured a potential solution to the long-distance telecom conundrum. These qubits are stored in a crystal with a 20 ms memory. The world owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the University of Geneva, which has taken a giant leap towards addressing this very concern. Quantum cryptography and quantum decryption pose threats and challenges to the industry since a quantum computer can decrypt anything encrypted. Nevertheless, these systems have far-reaching applications for decentralized finance, trading, banking, and general financial services. There are potential solutions to this dilemma, but they don’t come cheap.
Of course, this is just one of many advances the tech sector has taken – there are plenty more where those came from!
Let’s look at several other encryption advances – basic, intermediate, and advanced that have taken place in recent years.
Biometric Encryption – biometric markers include anything biologically unique to an individual, such as a retinal scan, a fingerprint, voice ID, or facial ID recognition. This biometric ID system precludes the need to remember passwords – a major bugbear for everyone today. In addition, it invalidates the usefulness of password protectors/password generators which are always top-priority targets for hackers.
Disk encryption – Disk encryption is a process of encoding all user data on a disk or portable storage device so that users can only access it with a correct password. This disk encryption is an important security measure since it renders the data unreadable if the device is lost or stolen. It also protects against malware and other malicious software that can infect a computer system. Various disk encryption software is available such as BitLocker (Windows), FileVault (Mac), and dm-crypt (Linux).
Email encryption – Email is one of the most commonly used communication tools. Still, it is also one of the most vulnerable to attack since it uses insecure protocols such as SMTP and POP3. Email encryption involves using public-key cryptography to encrypt the email message so that the intended recipient can only read it with the corresponding private key. This email encryption prevents anyone else from reading the email even if they manage to intercept it. Various email encryption software exists, such as PGP/GnuPG, S/MIME, and ZixMail.
Advanced Encryption Standard – The Advanced Encryption Standard or AES is a symmetric key cipher that uses a 128-bit, 192-bit, or 256-bit key for encryption and decryption. It was developed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a successor to the DES cipher. AES is used in various applications such as file encryption, disk encryption, and secure communications.
Blockchain – Blockchain is a distributed database that uses cryptography to secure its transactions. It was initially developed as the underlying technology for the digital currency Bitcoin but is now being used for various other applications such as smart contracts, supply chain management, and identity management. As a result, blockchain is a promising technology with great potential for transforming various industries.
Wearable 2FA Authentication – Two-factor authentication or 2FA is a security measure that requires the user to provide two pieces of evidence to verify their identity. This 2FA can be something they know (e.g., a password), something they have (e.g., a smartphone), or something they are (e.g., a fingerprint). 2FA is more secure than traditional passwords since it is much harder to spoof both factors. In addition, wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers can be used for 2FA by pairing them with smartphones or computers. This safety net provides an extra layer of security since the wearable device must be close to the user for the 2FA to work.
These are just some of the advances in encryption technology in recent years. However, there is no doubt that there will be many more to come as we enter the Internet of Things era, where everything is connected. Data is constantly being generated and transmitted. Therefore, we need to protect what we put out there because it may come back to bite us!