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By Vidhya Natarajan, Senior Associate, Product Marketing at Vembu Technologies
August 31, 2012
Vembu Online Data Backup Expert Tips: Encryption Algorithms Secures Your Backed up Data
Vembu Technologies uses two types of source-based encryption algorithms to secure client information in transit or at rest—BlowFish and 3 DES algorithms, to enable secure backups. StoreGrid offers complete flexibility and allows Users to choose how they want to have a secure online backup. StoreGrid users can customize encryption techniques, encryption key size and set encryption passwords so that users can secure backup the way they want.
StoreGrid supports encryption using Blowfish or Triple DES. The Blowfish Algorithm was designed by Bruce Schneier in 1993. It is a keyed, symmetric block cipher that has proven cryptanalysis resistant. It was originally designed as a general purpose unpatented public domain cipher that could be used as an alternative to the much abused DES algorithm.
Blowfish has a 64 bit block size but the keys can vary from 32 bits to 448 bits. The algorithm is often described as a 16-round Feistel cipher (symmetric structure used in the construction of block ciphers) that uses S-boxes (substitution boxes) and complex key schedules to create an impregnable algorithm derived from dynamically generated tables. ‘M’ number of bits (in this instance, the password) is accepted and transformed into ‘N’ output bits which may or may not be equal to ‘M’. The decryption reverses the process to display the text to the end user. The Blowfish algorithm has a very small memory footprint and can be used with older systems with ease.
The Data Encryption Standard or DES, developed by H. Feistel was among the first algorithms that were used by the computing industry. It influenced modern cryptography in a number of ways. While the 56 bit key was declared to be insecure for most applications in 1999, the Triple DES Key is considered to be practically secure. Triple DES that is used by StoreGrid involves applying DES three times with two or three different keys. This is regarded as secure, but slower.
The algorithm takes a fixed length string of plain text (StoreGrid’s 6-24 bit password) and transforms the bits using complicated operations (16 rounds of transformations) using S Boxes as in Blowfish, to another ciphertext bit string of the same length. A lot of information has been published on the cryptanalysis of DES and it has been deemed theoretically that the best attack for this cipher is brute force attack (i.e. trying every possible key in turn).
Having understood the nuances of the choices offered to StoreGrid users, it is up to them to select the algorithm that best suits their needs for their Business Data Security and for a secure data Backup.
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About the Author: Vidhya Natarajan is a Senior Associate, Product Marketing at Vembu Technologies, a leader in providing cost effective, hybrid (on-premise and cloud) data protection and business focused online backup and disaster recovery solutions for ISPs, MSPs, VARs, Managed Hosting Providers and Educational Institutions. Vembu’s flagship product, StoreGrid, an award winning cloud solution has delivered tangible value to over 3500 partners worldwide.
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