Software vs. Hardware Based Encryption: DIY in 5 Ep 156

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There are two main types of encryption: software encryption and hardware encryption. Software-based encryption. This uses a variety of software programs to encrypt data on a specific volume. When a drive is encrypted, the user will create a passphrase that will unlock a key that will give access to the unencrypted data on that device. Without a key, and you will not pass. Software encryption acts as a middle man, encrypting data as it is written to the drive and then decrypting it with the same key before presenting it to the program on the device. The benefits of software encryption are that it is cost effective and readily available on modern operating systems. However, since the processor is doing all the encryption and decryption work, the whole system will slow down a bit, and if a hacker can get their hands on that user password or the encryption key itself, since it’s stored in the computer memory, they will be able to access that data. Hardware-Based Encryption The encryption used by self-encrypting drives, or SEDs, is a bit more comprehensive. SEDs use an embedded encryption chip that will encrypt data before writing it and decrypt it before reading it directly from the drive. This type of encryption sits between the operating system installed on the drive and the system BIOS, and when the drive is first encrypted, the encryption key is generated and stored on the drive. When the system first boots, a custom BIOS is loaded that will prompt for the user’s passphrase. Once that passphrase is entered, the drive is decrypted and access to the operating system and data is granted. The benefits of this type of encryption are that the CPU is not involved at all so you won’t see a drop in performance and in most cases the encryption key is stored on the onboard SSD memory which makes it slightly harder to find and therefore less vulnerable to low level attacks. AES Encryption Many encryption options today use AES, or Advanced Encryption Standard. AES is a block cipher, so the data is divided into 128-bit blocks before being encrypted with the 256-bit key. AES 256-bit encryption is an international standard recognized by the US government, among others, and is the strongest encryption standard available, making it essentially uncrackable. Think of it this way, the numbers after AES represent the number of key bits in each encryption and decryption block. For each bit added, the number of possible keys doubles, which means that 256-bit encryption equals two to the power of 256. Then each key bit has a different number of rounds: the process of converting plaintext in ciphertext. For 256 bits, there are 14 rounds. The probability of an attacker hitting the correct sequence of 2 to the 256 (2^256) bits and encoding it 14 times is very low. To sum it all up now that we’ve been there and back, while software-based encryption has its advantages, it can affect performance and is often not as comprehensive as a stronger hardware-based encryption alternative. Depending on your needs, you may be surprised at what it takes to protect your data. Not all encryption is the same, but understanding the differences will play a key role in how effective and efficient your security is. .

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Viralrook: Software vs. Hardware Based Encryption: DIY in 5 Ep 156
Software vs. Hardware Based Encryption: DIY in 5 Ep 156
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