Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Data Encryption

  • Ninghui LiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_98


Cipher; Encryption


Data encryption is the process of transforming data (referred to as plaintext) to make it unreadable except to those possessing some secret knowledge, usually referred to as a key. The result of the process is encrypted data (referred to as ciphertext). Data encryption aims at preserving confidentiality of messages. The reverse process of deriving the plaintext from the ciphertext (using the key) is known as decryption. A cipher is a pair of algorithms which perform encryption and decryption. The study of data encryption is part of cryptography. The study of how to break ciphers, i.e., to obtaining the meaning of encrypted information without access to the key, is called cryptanalysis.

Historical Background

Encryption has been used to protect communications since ancient times by militaries and governments to facilitate secret communication. The earliest known usages of cryptography include a tool called Scytale, which was used by the Greeks as...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Diffie W, Hellman ME. New directions in cryptography. IEEE Trans InformTheory. 1976;22(6):644–54.CrossRefMathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Federal information processing standards publication 46–3: data encryption standard (DES), 1999.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Federal information processing standards publication 197: advanced encryption standard, Nov 2001.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kahn D. The codebreakers: the comprehensive history of secret communication from ancient times to the internet. 1996.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Menezes AJ, Oorschot PCV, Vanstone SA. Handbook of applied cryptography. West Palm Beach: CRC; 1997. (Revised reprint with updates).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rivest RL, Shamir A, Adleman LM. A method for obtaining digital signatures and public-key cryptosystems. Commun ACM. 1978;21(2):120–6.CrossRefMathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Singh S. The code book: the science of secrecy from ancient Egypt to quantum cryptography. Garden City: Anchor; 2000.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Elena Ferrari
    • 1
  1. 1.DiSTAUniv. of InsubriaVareseItaly