What is encryption?

Precisely offers IBM i data security products to help you protect sensitive data & meet compliance


Encryption is the process of converting data from a readable form into an encoded version that can only be decoded by another entity if they have access to a decryption key. 

The principle behind encryption is that authorized parties can decipher the message to read it, while unauthorized parties are unable to interpret the information if it is intercepted. Unencrypted data is at risk for interception and theft.

How encryption works

The intended message or information (known as plaintext) is hidden, or encrypted, using an algorithm. This algorithm is known as a cipher. This ciphertext can only be read after it is decrypted.

The sender of the message possesses an encryption key that is passed to intended recipients. For those who possess the key, the encrypted message can be navigated and deciphered. 

The concept of security encryption has multiple applications for business. Encryption data allows for the capability of securely holding and sending information across platforms and provides the opportunity for keeping information hidden from possible unauthorized parties.

IBM i Encryption with FieldProc and Assure Encryption: Protecting Data at Rest


Different types of data encryption

Data key encryption is defined as either symmetrical or asymmetrical. 

  • Symmetric key encryption algorithms use the same key is to both encrypt and decrypt the data. 
  • Asymmetric encryption uses two different keys for the encryption and decryption processes of sensitive information. Both keys are derived from one another and created at the same time. This key pair is divided and referred to as a public key and a private key. Data is only encrypted with a public key, and thus, can only be decrypted with its matching private key.

There are a variety of encryption methods used, but the most popular are:

  • AES - Advanced Encryption Standard
  • PGP - Pretty Good Privacy
  • DES - Data Encryption Standard
  • RSA - Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman

How Precisely can help

Precisely offers cybersecurity solutions to help you encrypt and protect sensitive information and meet compliance regulations.

  • Assure Encryption protects your sensitive data at-rest from unauthorized access using the only NIST-certified AES encryption for IBM i
  • Assure Secure File Transfer protects data in motion
  • Alliance Key Manager by Townsend Security provides the strong protection for encryption keys that is central to a secure encryption strategy