About History of Encryption [InfoGraph]

About History of Encryption [InfoGraph], all about encryption, What is Encryption. details of encryption, types of encryption, security encryptions

Security of online or digital assets is also one of the major concerns of business firms. Companies give main priority to their user's data security and for that, they also implement a digital lock to protect it. One of the locks is Encryption, which is the most important and popular technology to protect online data safely.
According to Wikipedia, Encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties can read it. Encryption does not of itself prevent interception but denies the message content to the interceptor.

Encryption is now something many of us take for granted as we assume our personal data, computers, emails, and storage are kept safe and away from anyone accessing it but where did encryption start. The email encryption company 

A Brief History of Encryption

Encryption is the process of encoding information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. The use of encryption has been traced back thousands of years and continues to play a vital role in protecting sensitive data today. In this post, we'll take a look at some of the major developments in the history of encryption.

Early Encryption Systems

The earliest forms of encryption were very simple, often based on simple letter substitutions. One of the earliest known examples is the Caesar Cipher, used by Julius Caesar to protect messages of military significance. 

It involved shifting each letter of the message by a set number of places down the alphabet. For instance, with a shift of 3, A would become D, B would become E, and so on. This made the message unintelligible to anyone who didn't know the shift value.

Other simple substitution ciphers were introduced over the following centuries, but they provided little security against dedicated codebreakers. By the Renaissance, the development of frequency analysis - analyzing the frequency of each letter - made it possible to crack these kinds of substitution ciphers. More advanced schemes were clearly needed.

The Enigma Machine

A major breakthrough came in the early 20th century with the invention of the Enigma machine. This clever device, employed by the German military, implemented a complex encryption scheme involving multiple rotating lettered wheels. The arrangement of the wheels was changed daily, making codebreaking difficult.

The Enigma played a major role in the Second World War, as the Germans believed its codes were unbreakable. 

In one of the great intelligence successes of the war, a team led by Alan Turing cracked the Enigma codes by developing electromechanical machines known as "bombes" that could rapidly test different settings. This gave the Allies a crucial advantage, helping turn the tide against the Nazis.

Modern Encryption Standards

In the 1970s, the introduction of the Data Encryption Standard (DES) marked an advancement in encryption technology. It uses a 56-bit key and is implemented in electronic circuits. DES proved very influential, though over time its 56-bit key size was shown to be insufficient. 

This led to the introduction of Triple DES (3DES), which simply applies DES three times with two different keys, for an effective key size of 168 bits.

Beginning in the 1990s, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) emerged as a replacement for DES/3DES for commercial and government applications. It uses a 128-bit, 192-bit or 256-bit key size and provides much stronger security. 

AES is now the most widely adopted global encryption standard today, used to protect everything from online banking transactions to top secret government communications.

Modern Applications

Encryption remains essential in the digital age. It helps protect the transmission of sensitive data over the internet, like credit card numbers. End-to-end encryption is also widely used in popular messaging apps like WhatsApp to secure communications.

The public key cryptography concept introduced in the 1970s also enabled important applications like public key encryption, digital signatures, and Bitcoin. It allows for secure communication between parties that don't need to share a common secret key.

Data encryption is just as vital today as ever before with the exponential growth of digital information. Without strong encryption protecting our data and communications online, none of the conveniences of the digital world would be possible. 

The history of cryptography illustrates the constant battle between codemakers and codebreakers and the importance of staying one step ahead when protecting sensitive information.

Egress has created this infographic looking at the history of encryption.

The earliest known use of cipher in the military was by the Spartans at times of war when delivering sensitive messages. 

One of the most infamous forms of encryption was by Germany which developed the Enigma Machine during WW1. Fernando Corbato is credited in the 60’s with creating the first computer password to allow for multiple users to use the same machines.

 Today encryption is everywhere even if we don’t realise it and it keeps all of our personal data and information safe.

History of Encryption infographic created by Egress providers of email and file encryption software.


In summary, the use of encryption stretches back thousands of years, evolving from simple substitution ciphers to highly sophisticated encryption schemes. 

Key milestones include the Enigma machine, DES, AES, public key cryptography and end-to-end encryption. Encryption remains as relevant as ever, enabling secure digital communication and data storage critical to our daily lives. 

The never-ending battle between codemakers and codebreakers continues to drive progress in encryption technology.

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