What Is Homomorphic Encryption?

Internet security is very complicated. And we are not just talking about a little bit complicated. We are talking about some of the most complicated maths in the world is used when it comes to internet security. But it is not just the maths which makes internet security hard. It is the amount of different layers that must be trusted that makes internet security hard.

You have to worry about several things when you are setting up a secure system on the internet. And let’s face it, to be able to build any kind of business on the internet these days your customers must be assured that it is going to be secured. If it is not then they will go somewhere that is. That is if you are lucky. If they have stored anything of value on your servers and you have not secured it correctly then they might hit you with a lawsuit as well as leave your business. So you must make sure that your business is secured before starting out.

What Is Homomorphic Encryption

Layers of security needed on the internet

The first thing that you must make sure of when you are starting a web site, is that when it comes to security, the people who are working on the web site are trustworthy. There have been too many stories out there of developers who have gone rogue. After that is done then you must make sure that whatever payment set up that you have on the web site is secure as well. If you don’t do this then you can consider the security battle lost already. After the proper payment gateway is set up, you can now also take a look into how people log into the web site. If they are able to log in securely without any problems then you are on the road to having a secure web site.

The encryption layer of the web site

The last two layers of security that we talked about in the previous paragraph come about due to the same type of technology. The level of difficulty might be different between the two levels but they are both basically the same idea. And this idea is that you must have the proper encryption set up to make sure that these two layers work.

What is encryption?

The encryption layer of a web site is very important. It helps makes it hard for the bad guys to be able to get into the system. It does this by either setting up an encrypted number that must be cracked or by using text that has been inputted by the user which is then encrypted. The text which is now encrypted into a sequence of numbers and text must be cracked by the bad guys for them to be able to bypass security. It does this by using a seed number and a complicated mathematic formula to set a sequence of numbers and letters that would be hard to guess even with the most powerful computer systems in the world. After it is encrypted, for you to be able to use that sequence again it must be decrypted. Usually an encryption layer is set up with a decryption layer as well.

Passwords are set up to be encrypted in the database. The end user has no idea that the encryption is going on. The password itself is the seed for the encryption. This way if a bad guy is able to break into a server they would never see the actual password. Besides passwords some encryption layers are used to encrypt data that is passing through the internet. There are a lot of people who use man in the middle attacks to be able to find information on people. An encryption layer on your data prevents this from being effective. They would only see the encrypted layer and not any text that they could actually read. There is just not one encryption type that all web sites use. There are several different types of encryption layers out there.

One type of encryption is called Homomorphic encryption. It is one that you will rarely hear of but it is known to be very effective. Some encryption layers need to be very flexible. This is where Homomorphic layer encryption comes in. I will not get into the gory details of how it works but you will see it used in systems such as electronic voting booths, collision resistant hash functions, and cloud computing. It is because of the popularity of cloud computing that you are starting to see this type of encryption in use more and more.

Homomorphic encryption is just one type of encryption out of many. You are going to start seeing more and more encrypted web sites out there so if you are a developer you should start getting used to the terms. The safety of your web site depends on it.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. … and to answer the post, Homomorphic encryption is explained here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homomorphic_encryption

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