Encryption is the transformation of data into a form unreadable by anyone without a secret decryption key. Its purpose is to ensure confidentiality and privacy by keeping the information hidden from anyone for whom it is not intended. For example, one may wish to encrypt files on a hard drive to prevent an intruder from reading them. When an entire hard drive is encrypted, all the data on the drive is protected from unauthorized access if the computer is lost or stolen. Encryption can also be used to protect sensitive files that are sent through email or sensitive communications sent over the network. For more information, please refer to the pages linked below:
Strong encryption is the term we use to describe the minimum strength of encryption appropriate for use with confidential data know as Level 1 data. Strong encryption is 256-bit encryption and complies with ICSUAM Policy Information Security Asset Management Section 8065 with a strong passphrase (password).
No single encryption tool works for every situation. We've outlined below the major types of encryption, with some examples of tools that can be used with each type, but there is one important thing to remember about any encryption process: it is either extremely difficult or completely impossible to decrypt encrypted data if the passphrase is lost.
If you have any questions or concerns about encryption, please talk with your Information Security Office before proceeding.
Note on Server SSL Certificates
SSL certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, the certificate activates the padlock icon and the https:// protocol you see on banking, e-commerce and other secure sites and allows secure connections from the web server to your browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and is becoming widely used on social media sites. The Information Security Office offers SSL certificates through InCommon. Please create a ticket via https://techsupport.csun.edu.