Cryptography is the gold standard for security. It is used to protect the transmission and storage of data between two parties by encrypting it into an unreadable format. Cryptography has enabled the first wave of secure transmissions, which has helped fuel the growth of transactions like shopping, banking, and finance over the world’s biggest public network, the Internet. Many Internet applications such as e-mail, databases, and browsers store a tremendous amount of personal and financial information, but frequently the data is left unprotected. Traditional network security is frequently less effective at preventing hackers from accessing this data. For instance, once- private databases are now completely exposed on the Internet. It turns out that getting to the database that holds millions of credit card numbers—the transmission—is secure through the use of cryptography, but the database itself isn’t, fueling the rise of credit card information theft.
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