Hire the best Internet Security specialists

Check out Internet Security specialists with the skills you need for your next job.

Clients rate Internet Security specialists
Rating is 4.8 out of 5.
4.8/5
based on 1,161 client reviews
Andrew T.
$49/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • API Integration
  • PHP
  • Joomla Migration
  • Web Design
  • Web Development
  • Website
  • Joomla
  • MySQL
  • HTML
  • Apache Administration
  • Linux System Administration
  • HTML5
  • CSS
  • Web Hosting

I have been designing, developing, optimising, maintaining, migrating, and supporting websites and servers for over 20 years, including more than sixteen years specialising in Joomla for end-users and web design agencies alike. I have worked on several hundred Joomla sites, taking on all kinds of Joomla related projects, including; building new websites, making websites responsive, producing AMP versions, migrating existing websites to Joomla, adding additional functionality, resolving security-related issues, SSL installation, malware removal, customising extensions and templates, developing custom extensions, search engine optimisation,...

saqlain s.
$25/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Legal Research
  • Legal Assistance
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Copyright
  • Data Entry
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Typing
  • Microsoft Word
  • Intellectual Property Protection
  • Information Security

I protect your content from getting stolen over the web and if someone is using your content without your permission, I report and take down the pirated content under DMCA. I provide services to online content creators such as writers, bloggers, photographers, and the companies who own intellectual content of any type, or copyright products. My motto is to end content piracy. Here is my Plan of action: 1) I start by searching for all the websites which are stealing and using your content, through all the web search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, Yandex, etc.) using multiple effective keywords. 2) I de-index (remove) those websites...

Petar A.
$75/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Penetration Testing
  • Web App Penetration Testing
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Malware
  • Network Security
  • Network Penetration Testing
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Security Testing
  • Black Box Testing
  • Reverse Engineering
  • JavaScript
  • Web Application Security

✅ Top Rated Expert ✅ 3000+ Hours ✅ Professional Penetration Tester Security researcher acknowledged by U.S Department of Defense (among other notable companies like AT&T, Semrush, Smule etc) for disclosing a number of vulnerabilities on DoDs systems via Hackerone bug bounty platform. For deliverables, professional reports are created,that will outline every vulnerability found, proofs-of-concept, and solutions on how to fix the discovered vulnerabilities. Each report not only meets but exceeds requirements for compliance auditors. Core competency is performing black and gray box testing on live web applications/networks or lab...

Henk J.
$30/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • WordPress
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • PHP
  • WooCommerce
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Web Design
  • JavaScript
  • Software Maintenance
  • WordPress Plugin
  • Avada Theme Customization
  • Divi

After 25 years at IBM in roles ranging from Systems Engineer to Executive for Complex Systems I specialize in Wordpress based web design and development with in-depth experience of E-Commerce and Membership. I never ask for feedback. My clients are busy people... but sometimes I get my best satisfaction from unsolicited feedback such as this; "Henk has built a number of websites for me and my partners over the past couple of years. He is knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. Best of all, he is honest and trustworthy. I always feel like I am getting tremendous value for money when we work with Henk!" - Michael Shuchter "Henkj is...

Florjan L.
$25/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Security Infrastructure
  • Manual Testing
  • Security Assessment & Testing
  • Penetration Testing
  • Application Security
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Open Web Application Security Project
  • Windows Server
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • NIST SP 800-53
  • Kali Linux
  • Network Security
  • Web Application Security
  • Security Engineering

Certifications that I hold: CEH ( Certified Ethical Hacker) 740 MCSA ( Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016) To whom it may concern, In the last years I did more than 300 Penetration Tests and Security Assessments. Most of them on Web and Mobile ( Android and iOS ) applications with Finance Background implemented with various technologies and frameworks, server security testing and hardening. Sample reports can be provided who is interested. ___________________________________________________________ Professional Load and Stress Testing if you are interested for your application...

Miroslav T.
$25/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Malware
  • Virus Removal
  • Magento
  • Technical Support
  • Customer Service
  • Windows Administration
  • Customer Support
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Technical Analysis
  • PHP
  • WordPress
  • Website Security

Your WordPress blog, Jooma, Magento, PHP has been hacked? Someone places malware code in your site and Google shows the warning page? Your Computer has a virus? Yes, you're the right place. I am a professional IT specialist with over 15 years of experience. When your site has been maliciously attacked by a hacker, you need to take immediate action! The clock is ticking. The longer your website stays hacked, the worse the consequences! Your infected WordPress site can spread viruses to anyone who visits. You can be blacklisted from search engines like Google and it will harm your SEO. You lose your readers’ trust, your affiliates might...

Strahinja S.
$50/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • GDPR
  • ISO 27001
  • Security Operation Center
  • Information Security
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Information Security Consultation

ECSA - Certified Security Analyst LRPA - Certified LogRhythm Platform Administrator I am a Senior Cybersecurity Analyst with 6 years of professional experience in the Cybersecurity field providing services to corporations and medium-sized businesses that are leaders in their respective industries. Have become proficient in: -Vulnerability assessment and analysis -Full incident response life cycle and incident report writing. -Training Junior colleagues in Cybersecurity Incident Analysis -Writing framework documentation (policies and procedures) -Conducting security audits of certain IT systems and report writing -Writing security...

Awais T.
$80/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Apache Spark
  • Spring Framework
  • Microservice
  • Database
  • Java
  • React
  • Spring Boot
  • WordPress
  • SQL
  • Containerization
  • Amazon ECS
  • CI/CD Pipelines
  • Cloud Computing
  • Solution Architecture Consultation
  • NoSQL Database

— TOP RATED PLUS Freelancer on UPWORK — EXPERT VETTED Freelancer (Among the Top 1% of Upwork Freelancers) ✅ JAVA ........✅ Spring Boot .........✅ Microservices ✅ Angular ✅ React .......✅ Node ......................✅ Javascript ....✅ Next.js ............✅ Wordpress ✅ AWS .........✅ AWS Serverless .✅ Big Data ........✅ Apache Spark ✅ ETL ✅ Database ✅ Mysql .....................✅ Oracle .............✅ Sql Server ✅ Dynamodb I am Lead Software Engineer with Master degree in Computer Science with 11 years of experience in programming with java, spring, spring boot, Big Data, MapReduce, Spark, React, Graphics...

Aty P.
$60/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • PHP
  • API
  • Network Security
  • Virus Removal
  • MySQL
  • Penetration Testing
  • Encryption
  • WordPress Malware Removal
  • Mail Server Implementation
  • Web Application Security
  • WordPress Plugin
  • Linux System Administration
  • Website Security
  • Linux

Greetings! 🙏 Thanks for reaching out. My name is Aty and I am a Linux Server Admin & Web Security Expert, PHP Developer, WordPress Developer and Designer, MYSQL/MongoDB, DB optimization Specialist, Consultant and Project Manager with 10+ years of experience. If you are looking to hire an Expert Project Manager to help in accomplishing any of the tasks or defined skills using agile methodology, please consult once then the decision will be yours. Key features: ⬇️ 1) Linux Server Administration, Malware Analysis and Removal, Reporting, Server Migrations, Automated Backups, Dropbox/Google Drive Integrations, IPtables, Fail2Ban, ClamAV,...

Gareth S.
$95/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Linux System Administration
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Information Security
  • Cloud Computing
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Load Balancing
  • Amazon ECS
  • Solution Architecture Consultation
  • SQL
  • NoSQL Database
  • Amazon S3
  • Private Cloud
  • Cloud Security

⭐️⭐️ I AM A TOP RATED PLUS FREELANCER on Upwork ⭐️⭐️ I have extensive experience as a Senior Cloud & Solutions Architect with expertise in Security & Infrastructure in both the Public and Private cloud as well as traditional networking, with over 20+ years in the IT & Telecoms industry, demonstrating a consistent track record in delivering successful global projects and have led the design and delivery of complex cloud-based infrastructure servicing millions of users. I have worked with many well-established international companies and fortune 500 companies in my career. ✅ Mozilla (Firefox) ✅ Druva ✅ Walmart ✅ Vodafone ✅ Deloitte ✅...

Nikola M.
$60/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Information Security
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Risk Analysis
  • Network Security
  • Black Box Testing
  • Investigative Reporter
  • Web App Penetration Testing
  • Network Penetration Testing
  • Penetration Testing
  • Gray Box Testing
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Metasploit
  • Digital Forensics
  • Kali Linux
  • Website Security

With over 10 years of experience in IT I’ve worked on projects ranging from system and network administration, education, planning, consulting, analysis, assessment and testing to investigative and forensic work. I bring high standards, tried and tested methodology with industry standard tools and techniques to deliver you professional results. I also have excellent communication skills while being fluent in 3 languages. I will always keep you up to date with the progress made, or if I have any questions, to ensure your awareness of how the assignment is moving along. I believe collaboration is key for a project to run smoothly towards a...

Mir A.
$25/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • PHP
  • WordPress
  • Ecommerce Website
  • MySQL
  • Web Hosting
  • Application Security
  • Malware Removal
  • WordPress Malware Removal
  • Domain Migration
  • DNS
  • Cloudflare
  • Virtual Private Server
  • System Administration
  • Amazon Lightsail

#The most reputable security expert on Upwork and Elance.# ---7 Years of Work Experience--- I specialize in malware removal, hack recovery, blacklist removal, web apps penetration testing, computer forensics, ethical hacking, and Linux server security. If I am unable to do a project to the satisfaction of a client, I will not accept payment for it. My primary focus is on eliminating malicious software and thwarting cybercriminals; I'm not interested in making money off of short fixes that are only temporary. My Area of Expertise are: #Malware removal & Security 1. Determine if the website contains malware, phishing, backdoors, spam, or...

Shubham P.
$30/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Web Application Security
  • Mobile App Testing
  • Penetration Testing
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Android App Development
  • Software Debugging
  • API
  • Java
  • Network Security
  • Website Security
  • Encryption
  • Information Security
  • Android

An ethical Hacker having over 3 years experience across multiple roles in Information Security Domain and well versed with the Security Technologies, worked in many challenging environments, handled roles such as cybersecurity analyst, Security Engineer. Worked on Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing, Mobile pen testing, web application pen testing, anti-phishing for clients. Also a content writer on hackingarticles.in CEH v10 Certified With a stronghold in: metasploit, NMAP, NetCat, hydra, SET and much more tools Bug Bounty Hunter With a stronghold in: Burp Suite/ Burp Suite exploitation, shell uploading, payload processing Web...

Alec R.
$40/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • phpBB
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • Forum Moderation
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • MySQL
  • cPanel
  • HTML5
  • Domo
  • Data Analysis
  • WordPress

Hello, I am proficient in computer graphics, websites including forums, SEO, and coding. I can help you with your company's needs in a quick and timely manner. Since 2005, I have had experience with phpBB, mybb, vBulletin, IPB, WordPress, and other forum software as well. I customize html and css, and modify php/sql to fit my clients' needs.

Kunule I.
$30/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Joomla
  • Joomla Migration
  • cPanel
  • Bootstrap
  • Web Scraper
  • pandas
  • Beautiful Soup

I'm here to assist you build, fix, upgrade, migrate or maintain your Joomla Website. With over 800 projects, 700 clients, 2000 hours, and a 100% job success rate, your project is in safe and experienced hands. Over the last 13 years, I have gained significant experience and expertise in the following: 1. Joomla 1.0, 1.5, 2.5, 3.X and Joomla 4 Upgrades. I will upgrade any Joomla website (YES, including 1.0) from its version to the latest Joomla version 3.10 or Joomla 4, depending on extensions support. Other than the upgrade, I will rebuild your template to be mobile responsive. 2. Building Joomla websites from the ground up. 3. Cleaning...

Matthew B.
$85/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Magento
  • WordPress
  • Google Webmaster Central
  • Shopify
  • Amazon ECS
  • AWS Systems Manager
  • AWS Server Migration
  • Magento 2
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Amazon EC2
  • MySQL

Magento Specialist / Shopify Developer

Matthew G.
$70/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Microsoft Office
  • Firewall
  • Cisco Router
  • Java
  • Scripting
  • Wireless Network Implementation
  • Wireless Security
  • Network Security
  • Linux System Administration
  • Network Administration

Dedicated Cyber Security expert with a vast IT background. Has an in-depth understanding of IT infrastructure, cyber security, and network integration. Goal-driven hard-worker with demonstrated success in IT field. Skills- Software: Microsoft Office, Open Office, McAfee, Norton, Remedy Ticketing Service Security: Sourcefire, OPSWAT, InQuest, FireEye, IDS/IPS, Stealthwatch, Fidelis, Firewall configuration and maintenance, VPN configuration and maintenance Networking: Wireshark/TCP Packet Analysis, DNS servers, mail servers, network infrastructure install and maintenance Virtualization/Container Based Computing: Citrix, VMware, Docker...

Luciana O.
$135/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Cybersecurity Management
  • Security Engineering
  • Information Security
  • Email Security
  • Information Security Audit
  • Security Management
  • Security Infrastructure
  • Security Policies & Procedures Documentation
  • Cloud Security
  • PCI
  • Information Security Awareness
  • Network Monitoring
  • System Monitoring
  • Security Analysis

I am the CEO & founder of BetterCyber Consulting, a cybersecurity consulting, technology, and managed services company helping startup, micro, small, and mid-sized companies create secure operating environments to increase business opportunities. My priority is to develop cost-effective, business-focused, and risk-driven cybersecurity solutions to help my clients secure their critical information assets against cyber threats. Before leaving corporate America, I held several cybersecurity positions, from operations to strategy and architecture, in Fortune 100 companies, such as PayPal Holdings, Inc. and Marathon Petroleum Corporation. I hold...

Carmen M.
$60/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Ethical Hacking
  • WordPress
  • Nessus
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • Penetration Testing
  • Cybersecurity Management
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Information Security
  • Office 365
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Information Security Governance
  • Cloud Security
  • ISO 27001
  • Blockchain
  • Network Security

HI!! I am Virtual CISO, Cyber Security, Cyber defense, Ethical Hacker, expert I am a computer security scientist with an intensive hacking background. I do have a Msc in computer engineering I am working for severals Internationals Enterprises where I do intensive researches in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability managements, Technological Risk, Security Architecture and Forensic I am Professional with over 20 years experience in the area of information and communications technology, including 15 years of experience in networks and security infrastructure Analytical skills to solve problems, ability to work with new technologies,...

Shamik B.
$125/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Information Security Audit
  • Web Application Security
  • Cloud Security Framework
  • Compliance Consultation
  • Security Infrastructure
  • Security Policies & Procedures Documentation
  • Security Engineering
  • ISO 27001
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • Penetration Testing
  • Email Security
  • PCI
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Information Security

Having worked for many Fortune 100 companies, I now run a boutique cybersecurity consultancy called Careful Security. We serve businesses of all sizes, We providing a 360-degree cybersecurity solution by #Securing Website #Protecting Data #Pass an audit/vendor questionnaire/cyber-insurance questionnaire #SIEM Solution for security monitoring and alerting Past Accomplishments # Designed and Implemented security controls for Warner Bros. iconic shows and movies such as Harry Potter, The Game of Thrones, Curb your enthusiasm. ## Secured video games for EA Sports - FIFA, The Sims, and Madden. ### Secured financial...

Omri Z.
$100/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Digital Forensics
  • PCI
  • Security Analysis
  • Security Engineering
  • Splunk
  • Azure
  • AWS Application
  • F5
  • Security Infrastructure
  • Security Testing

Expert in cyber security with extensive hands-on experience in information security with an ability to identify and explore new technologies and initiate projects to create disruptive strategic solutions in the areas of Information security and analytics. More than 10 years of information security and cyber security experience. A fast learner autodidact with great social skills and ability to think out of the box.

Mahesh T.
$30/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Web App Penetration Testing
  • Security Infrastructure
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Security Assessment & Testing
  • Incident Response Plan
  • Cloudflare
  • Kali Linux
  • Security Analysis
  • Application Security
  • Penetration Testing
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Information Security
  • Security Testing
  • Metasploit
  • Microsoft Azure

Consolidating my past involvement in Ethical Hacking, Incident Response, IT Security Governance, and Project Management with solid relational and correspondence capacities, I am sure that I can give work that will surpass your desires. Security Analyst with 10+ years' experience in Endpoint security, Application Security, Change Management, Exception Handling and VAPT. Experience in system and network administration, managing server infrastructures and data center operations. Expert-level knowledge of Amazon EC2, S3, Simple DB, RDS, Elastic Load Balancing, SQS, and other services in the AWS cloud infrastructure such as IAAS, PAAS and SAAS....

Avazkhon S.
$15/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • E-Commerce Management
  • Cybersecurity Management
  • Web Design
  • Translation
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Customer Support
  • Penetration Testing
  • Transcription
  • Russian to English Translation
  • Administrative Support
  • Data Entry
  • Facebook
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Web Development

Looking for a detail oriented Virtual Assistant who can help you save up a ton of your time? My congratulations you are on the right page. I am a proficient, self-motivated Virtual Assistant with an excellent skill set and IT background. I have a great knowledge of virtual features since I have worked online most of my career. Additionally I have worked with the CEO of Princess Group in Dubai as his personal assistant and simultaneous interpreter. I have a great passion for working as a Virtual Assistant and I always remain alert to learn all the newest and updated materials. I give my best to improve my skill and my work. Besides, I have...

Daniel B.
$165/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Information Security
  • Cybersecurity Management
  • Network Security
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • Cybersecurity Management
  • Information Security Awareness
  • Cloud Security
  • Security Information & Event Management
  • Security Policies & Procedures Documentation
  • Security Engineering
  • Governance, Risk Management & Compliance
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Gap Analysis

I am an accomplished and experienced Cyber Security Engineer, CISO, and consultant with over 20 years experience in government, commercial, non-profit and private organizations. I'm a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and CMMC Registered Practitioner. My education includes a Master's degree in Information Assurance and Security specializing in Digital Forensics, a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology, and daily, hands-on work governing, securing and administering complex information technology environments. My current efforts include cybersecurity compliance implementations for regulated industries and...

Tuhin A.
$37/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • System Administration
  • Bug Fix
  • WordPress
  • Website Security
  • DNS
  • Virus Removal
  • WordPress Malware Removal
  • WordPress Development
  • Troubleshooting
  • Virtual Private Server
  • Web Hosting
  • Malware Removal
  • Cloudflare
  • Information Security

I work with the type of business owners who care about quality work. If you’re looking for a Server Administrator, Cyber Security expert or WordPress debugging expert who approaches your business with the same level of commitment and expertise as you approach yours, then let’s set up a time to chat. I don't just update and install the security plugins, I audit the website and provide a full report of finding and the list of executed tasks to protect the website. I make everything clean, secure, fresh & functional like before. Over the past eight years, I’ve fixed hundreds of broken and hacked WordPress websites. 100% of my clients are...

Waseem A.
$60/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Sphinx
  • Elasticsearch
  • Apache Solr
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • Magento
  • Full-Text Search
  • Apache Lucene
  • Malware
  • Firewall
  • Logstash
  • Kibana
  • Grafana
  • Network Security
  • Grok

I am an Elastic Stack (ELK) Certified Engineer. I am an expert for Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana, SIEM, Beats, Wazuh, Elastalert and other elastic stack products. I have been working with Elasticsearch since its version 1.5. I have implemented large-scale implementations dealing with billions of documents and TBs of data. I have implemented various use cases with Elasticsearch for organizing, cleaning, visualizing and securing data at a large scale. I am also an expert in Solr, Sphinx Search, and Manticore search. I have 10+ years of experience implementing, scaling, fine-tuning large scale full-text search using Solr, Sphinx/Manticore...

Abdul W.
$10/hr
  • Trophy Icon Internet Security
  • Technical Support
  • Information Security
  • Local SEO
  • Instagram
  • Instagram Plugin
  • Digital Marketing
  • Facebook Plugin
  • Information Security Awareness
  • Social Media Content Creation
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Social Media Management
  • Instagram Marketing

I only bid on that project which I can deliver with complete satisfaction. *For Hacked Account Recovery I Take Fix Price Which I Discuss before Start Project* I can provide solutions with the following: ✅ Social media accounts set up and integration ✅ Social Media Management ✅ Social Media Optimization ✅ Social Media Error Fixing ✅ Instagram Recovery ✅ Facebook business page recovery ✅ Accounting ✅ Social media account recovey ✅ 2FA solution ✅ Google My Business ✅ Virtual Assitance ✅ All kinds of Social accounts Retrieve and All sorts of Error Fixing and name a few & I will let you know my experience. I am always eager to learn...

$NaN/hr

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How to Hire Internet Security Specialists

Encryption Basics: How It Works & Why You Need It

What is encryption and how does it work?

While IT security seeks to protect our physical assets—networked computers, databases, servers, etc.—encryption protects the data that lives on and between those assets. It’s one of the most powerful ways to keep your data safe, and while it isn’t impenetrable, it’s a major deterrent to hackers. Even if data does end up getting stolen, it will be unreadable and nearly useless if it’s encrypted.

How does it work? Encryption—based on the ancient art of cryptography—uses computers and algorithms to turn plain text into unreadable, jumbled code. To decrypt that ciphertext into plaintext, you need an encryption key, a series of bits that decode the text. The key is something only you or the intended recipient has in their possession. Computers are capable of breaking encrypted code by guessing an encryption key, but for very sophisticated algorithms like an elliptic curve algorithm, this could take a very, very long time.

Here’s a very simple example. Say you want to encrypt this sentence: “Protect your data with encryption.” If you use a 39-bit encryption key, the encrypted sentence would look like this:

“EnCt210a37f599cb5b5c0db6cd47a6da0dc9b728e2f8c10a37f599cb5b5c0db6cd47asQK8W/ikwIb97tVolfr9/Jbq5NU42GJGFEU/N5j9UEuWPCZUyVAsZQisvMxl9h9IwEmS.”

You can send that encrypted message to someone, separately share the key, then they’re able to decrypt it and read the original sentence.

If you send an encrypted email, only the person with the encryption key can read it. If you’re using an encrypted internet connection to shop online, your information and credit card number are hidden from unauthorized users, like hackers, illegal surveillance, or identity thieves. If you encrypt data before syncing it with the cloud, the cloud—or anyone breaking into it—can’t read that data. Even iPhones are encrypted to protect their data if they’re lost or stolen—something that has made headlines when organizations like the FBI or the NSA need access to them for investigations.

But encryption can be used for bad, too. Ransomware attacks are becoming more prevalent, also called denial of service (DOS) attacks that use encryption software to lock users out of their computers until they pay a fee.

Encrypting Data “In Transit” vs. Data “At Rest”

Basically, the data we encrypt is always either:

  • In transit, meaning it’s moving via email, in apps, or through browsers and other web connections
  • At rest, when data is stored in databases, the cloud, computer hard drives, or mobile devices

Encrypting this data is achieved mainly through:

  1. Full disk encryption (FDE): the primary way to protect computer hard drives and the at-rest data on them. Any files saved to the disk (or an external hard drive) are automatically encrypted. There are intermediate options for disk encryption, as well–folder encryption, volume encryption, etc.–that aren’t quite full-disk encryption, but in between.
  2. File encryption: a way to encrypt at-rest data on a file-by-file basis so it cannot be read if intercepted. This isn’t automatic, but it’s beneficial because that data will stay encrypted after it’s left its place of origin.
  3. End-to-end (E2E) encryption: obscures any content of messages so only senders and receivers can read it, like the early Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) email encryption software. The idea with E2E encryption is that it tackles all the vulnerabilities on the communication chain: the middle (intercepting a message during delivery), and both ends (sender and receiver). This is not just a niche offering anymore, either—platforms like Facebook Messenger and Apple’s iMessage have E2E encryption now, too.
  4. Encrypted web connections: via HTTPS, encrypted web connections use a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or transport layer security (TLS) protocols. With secure internet connections, we’re able to have better protected communications on the web. These aren’t impenetrable, but there’s less risk of exploitation. How it works: HTTPS uses SSL and TLS certificates when a browser and server communicate over the web. These are encryption keys, and when both browser and server have them, they’re authorized to access the encrypted data that’s passed between them. It’s a very basic, but very important, security measure when connecting to the web. If you’ve ever seen “https” instead of “http,” or noticed a lock in the URL bar of your browser, you’re accessing a secure site.
  5. Encrypted email servers: S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) public key encryption essentially gives SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) email servers a leg up by allowing them to send and receive encrypted messages, not just simple text messages.
  6. Pre-encrypting data that’s synced with the cloud: there’s plenty of software available that can pre-encrypt data before it even gets to the cloud, making it unreadable by the cloud or anyone who hacks into it. Note that any files still stored on the local machine aren’t encrypted and are still vulnerable. This accounts only for files sent to the cloud encrypting tech.

Encryption can be simple, like secret-key, or incredibly complex, like the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), depending on the algorithm and the length of the key. The longer the key, the more protection, but also the more processing power required to handle the encrypting and decrypting process.

A few types of encryption to know include:

  • Secret-key algorithms: Also known as symmetric algorithms, or private-key, this algorithm uses the same key for encryption and decryption. This is a touch more vulnerable because anyone who gets a hold of that one key can read anything you encrypt. Also, passing that secret key over internet or network connections makes it more vulnerable to theft.
  • Public-key algorithms: These are also known as asymmetric algorithms. With public-key encryption, there are two different, related encryption keys—one for encryption, and one for decryption. The public key is how the information is sent to you, and the private key decodes it (much like having a secure lock box on your front porch that a delivery person can put a package in, then only you can access that package with your private key). The benefit here is the key isn’t subject to being sent over insecure networks, but it does require more computer processing power so it’s a bit slower.
  • Block ciphers: Like the Triple Data Encryption Standard (DES), or 3DES, these encrypt data a block at a time. Triple DES uses three keys and is a pretty great encryption option for financial institutions that need to protect sensitive information.
  • Stream ciphers: A symmetric algorithm, it uses a keystream, a series of randomized numbers, to encrypt plaintext one character at a time. Rabbit, W7, and RC4 are popular stream ciphers.
  • Elliptic curve cryptography: A form of public-key encryption, it can be practically unbreakable for normal computers, or “hard.” This is security industry speak for technology that’s not completely unbreakable, but is generally accepted to be up to best standards.
  • Blockchain cryptography: Blockchain technology is essentially a type of distributed database, best known as the basis for Bitcoin, that uses cryptography to safely store data about financial transactions. Blockchain cryptography is a form of “cryptocurrency,” using public-key encryption, and it’s valuable in its ability to provide direct, trustworthy and fraud-proof transactions between users on a peer-to-peer network. Because blockchain databases are distributed, they’re more resilient in the face of a DOS attack, so more companies are exploring this.

A few popular algorithms include:

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES): A block cipher, this is pretty much the gold standard, per the U.S. Government. It offers 128-, 192-, and 256-bit encryption, the last two reserved for instances that require extra-strength protection.
  • RSA: This asymmetric algorithm uses paired keys and is pretty standard for encrypting information sent over the internet, although it’s been through some issues of getting broken, which have then been resolved.
  • IDEA (International Data Encryption Algorithm): This block cipher with a 128-bit key has a great track record for not being broken.
  • Signal Protocol: This open-source encryption protocol is used for asynchronous messaging, like email.
  • Blowfish and Twofish: Both of these block ciphers are free to use and popular among e-commerce platforms for protecting payment information. They were created by the same person and offer symmetric encryption with keys varying in bit length. Twofish is the successor and offers longer encryption keys.
  • Ring Learning With Errors or Ring-LWE: This protocol ramps up elliptic curves by adding in a new type of encryption that might be unbreakable by quantum computers.

What is key management and why is it important?

Key management is another important aspect of encryption. Keys are how all of that encrypted data becomes readable, so how you handle them is just as sensitive as the data itself.

Many businesses worry about this aspect of encryption—after all, if you lose an encryption key, you lose access to your data, too. That’s why key management dictates how keys are stored (and shared) so prying eyes can’t get a hold of them, making your entire encryption schema moot.

  • Diffie-Hellman key exchange: This secure way for people to create a key allows them to share secure information. This method is also touted as “perfect forward secrecy,” meaning that theoretically, at no point in the future can messages get encrypted with a Diffie-Hellman key be decrypted.
  • Double Ratchet algorithm: Based on the above, the Double Ratchet algorithm is a key management algorithm used in end-to-end encryption of instant messaging, like the Signal messaging app.

This article just scratches the surface of the art and science of encryption, but hopefully, it gives you enough basic understanding of this important security technology. If you’re considering enlisting the help of a data security expert, you’re in luck: there are plenty of IT services and IT security freelancers (as well as cyber security consultants) on Upwork with expertise in encryption who are able to consult with you on an encryption strategy that’s best for you and your data.

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