How to encrypt data in transit
The data in transit is the one that is being accessed over the network. This implies that any random person, who might not have the access authorization, can try to intercept this data on the network or by accessing the physical media which is used by the network. Wireless networks can be protected from illegal intrusion by encrypting all incoming and outgoing data. Strong enterprise networks can use WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access II) Enterprise, but feeble networks may have to use pre-shared keys to establish session, like in Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) Personal, or use shared keys among all clients as in Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP).
The sensitive data must be hidden or covered when transmitted across networks to protect against snooping around by malicious users on network. On occasions where start and endpoint devices are within the same protected network, the protection of data while transmission is still required. This is so because in such cases there is a higher probability of data breach.
The different types of data transmission may include client-to-server, server-to-server communication, as well as any data transfer between core systems and third-party systems.
A private message is the one that is encrypted before it leaves the source device and remains encrypted until the intended recipient receives it. There are several options available to send and receive encrypted emails. They give a higher level of security, but there are issues associated with these methods, as well.
Unless any encryption tools are used, email is not considered a secure method to send protected data and hence is not encouraged to use. While we can encrypt our email server connection and use encryption protocols to send it over, it’s not always possible to make sure the recipient has the same set of security practices in place. In other words, we might have securely sent out our data, but that does not mean it were delivered securely.
Some methods for encryption of data in transit utilize symmetric encryption and a set session key, but most would use a certificate and asymmetric encryption to securely exchange a session key and then use that session key for symmetric encryption to provide the fastest encryption/decryption. Any encryption method that utilizes either SSL or TLS, uses certificates to exchange Public Keys, and then the Public Keys are used to securely exchange Private Keys. With this procedure being followed it becomes very difficult for an attacker to intercept the data.
Most encrypted protocols include a hashing algorithm to ensure no data was altered in transit. A good hash function is one that’s difficult to reverse and not likely to collisions. If we apply a strong hash function to a message, the result of the function does not reveal anything about the original message. Further, a good hash function applied to any two messages are not likely to have the same resultant value. This also helps to defeat “Man in the Middle (MitM)” attacks, as by decrypting and re-encrypting data, the attacker will alter the signature even if they don’t change any of the key data.
If an attacker can convince us to click past the certificate warning dialogue box so that we would trust their certificates, they can easily run a MitM attack where they will establish one encrypted session with us, and the other with our destination, and be able to intercept all our data as it passes through their system. This is the reason why it is critical to always use certificates from a third-party Certificate Authority, to never accept a certificate when the client software warns us about an untrusted certificate.
Organizations and individuals should also take the security threats into consideration and then conclude on the safest procedure for secure data exchange based on the sensitivity of the data about to be transmitted.