What Is the Future of Encryption in Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity experts work hard to make encryption stronger. As data becomes more readily available to companies, information security teams must adopt the latest tools in encryption. That’s because cybercriminals are finding new ways to steal their information. 

As hacking increases in sophistication, cybersecurity experts must find new ways to secure digital assets. Therefore, it’s important to understand the latest trends happening in encryption. By exploring the advances in encryption technology, cybersecurity teams can enforce data protection from the latest threats.

The State of Encryption in Cybersecurity

Encryption is constantly improving to meet the demands of today’s cybersecurity standards. As technology advances, so does the complexity of cybersecurity threats. Hackers are always finding ways to break into companies’ systems, causing an uptick in cyberattacks. Phishing is among the most common attacks, making up 90% of the data breaches reported in 2021.

As a result, there’s an increase in the adoption of the latest encryption standards for stronger security. In fact, a 2023 Encryption Consulting study found that 42% of organizations have plans to increase their spending on encryption.

The increase in threats is partly due to the latest developments in quantum-resistant algorithms. These new standards are designed to protect against the future threat of quantum computers. 

While quantum computers can bring numerous benefits, their advancements could break current encryption methods. Therefore, there’s a push toward quantum-resistant encryption for stronger defense before these advanced threats become a reality.

Additionally, there’s an ongoing encryption debate where the balance between privacy and security is a central issue. On the one hand, strong encryption is necessary to protect privacy against unauthorized access. On the other hand, law enforcement agencies argue the need to access encrypted data to prevent and solve crimes. 

This has led to proposals for ways to monitor encrypted platforms, raising concerns about privacy and the potential for government overreach. Finding a balance that respects privacy and the needs of law enforcement continues to be a great challenge. 

The Trends That Are Shaping Encryption

With some of the challenges the world faces in cybersecurity, various encryption trends are raising the data security standards.

1. Bring Your Own Encryption (BYOE)

Bring your own encryption (BYOE) allows businesses to control their encryption keys without relying on their cloud service provider’s encryption methods. It ensures information security officers — the individuals who monitor efforts to reduce cybersecurity risks — can apply their own encryption standards, greatly enhancing security. 

The purpose of this method is to give organizations the autonomy to protect their data. With BYOE, they hold the keys to decrypt their information, crafting an extra layer of security against unauthorized users.

2. Homomorphic Encryption

Homomorphic encryption enables computations on encrypted data without first needing to decrypt it. This means data can remain secure while being processed. With this type of encryption, only the results of the computations need to be decrypted. In turn, this reduces the risk of exposing sensitive information. 

3. Quantum Cryptography

With the latest threats involving quantum computing, quantum cryptography is becoming a groundbreaking trend. Unlike traditional encryption — which relies on mathematical problems difficult enough for computers to solve — quantum cryptography uses quantum mechanics to speed up data security. This makes it virtually unbreakable, even with quantum computers. 

The most well-known application of quantum cryptography is quantum key distribution (QKD). This technology allows two parties to produce a shared random key, which they can then use to encrypt and decrypt messages. There’s no need for additional encryption security since the data becomes useless if intercepted.

4. Honey Encryption

Honey encryption offers a different approach to traditional encryption methods. The convention route is where decryption attempts without the correct key result in gibberish. However, honey encryption generates plausible-looking but bogus data when incorrect decryption keys are used. 

This technique is used to deter attackers because it wastes their time and resources on false leads. This makes honey encryption effective in protecting highly sensitive data since it makes it harder for attackers to determine if they have the correct key. 

The Future of Encryption

As encryption advances, numerous key developments will shape the future of cybersecurity. For example, the continuous evolution of quantum computing presents challenges and opportunities for encryption. Quantum-resistant algorithms must increase in speed to enhance security against quantum attacks. 

Today, they’re not as efficient on traditional computers since they weren’t designed for them. Therefore, there will be a shift in development where new forms of encryption will enable the algorithms to perform at cloud speeds.

Homomorphic encryption is on the rise and will enable more secure data analysis. As this technology strengthens encryption, industries will have more secure cloud computing and data-sharing practices. Additionally, the concept of BYOE will gain traction. As such, organizations will have more control over their data security, which will be especially important in cloud computing.

Other emerging encryption methods — like honey encryption — will offer new ways to mislead attackers. This will play a key role in defenses by tricking hackers into thinking they have real data. 

Together, these advancements signify how encryption will become more adaptive and resilient. Plus, it will have further integration into every aspect of digital security. While there is a greater focus on developing stronger encryption methods, they will also ensure they’re practical. That way, they become user-friendly and capable of meeting users’ needs.

Staying on Top of the Future Trends Shaping Encryption

Understanding and adopting the latest encryption technologies is crucial for keeping data secure. As such, companies can strengthen their cybersecurity strategies and continue to adapt them. When organizations enhance their encryption practices today, they can protect their digital assets for the future.

As the Features Editor at ReHack, Zac Amos writes about cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and other tech topics. He is a frequent contributor to Brilliance Security Magazine.

Follow Brilliance Security Magazine on Twitter and LinkedIn to ensure you receive alerts for the most up-to-date security and cybersecurity news and information.