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Understanding the difference between Hashing and Encryption

In today’s digital world lot of advancements have been seen in terms of security enhancements and measures to monitor the data online. Owing to this Hashing and encrypting are the two words or terms that are quite often used and are interchangeable opted. But you know the truth is that incorrectly used are similar terms. Although they can be mapped somewhere on the similar grounds NO, they are very different from each other. This article will go into detail of hashing and encryption, elaborating the difference and where all these two terms are used. Do you understand the difference between hashing and encryption, if not keep reading this insightful article? We will also learn the two situations where these two are used to the other. This post will investigate the key differences and will make you aware on which one is great.

difference between Encryption and Hashing

What is Hashing Algorithm?

Hashing is the alteration of few strings of characters that are usually shorter in length but are fixed in value. They have the key that illustrates the original string for better information. Hashing is ideally used to index and retrieve items in a database, by this, it becomes faster to locate the item and use the shorter hashed key. Hashing is also used in many other encryption algorithms. Hashing generally plays a very crucial role in the security systems formations and implementation, where they are utilized to make sure that transmitted messages or texts are not being tampered with any threats or malicious activity. So what happens here is, the sender produces a hash of the message, then it gets encrypts, and later sends it with the message itself. Next, the recipient decrypts the message received and the hash and develops another hash that is from the received text. This later compares the two hashes received till now. Here, in that they are same then there is a high prospect that the message is transmitted intact with no flaw.

Let’s explore the popular algorithms of Hashing:

MD5 – It is the one of the most widely used and known hashing function. It generates a 16-byte hash value and is more often than not expressed as a 32 digit hexadecimal number. Lately, a small number of vulnerabilities have been exposed in MD5, and rainbow tables have been in print that allowed people to overturn MD5 hashes made without good salts.

SHA – SHA are 3 varied kinds of algorithms, such as – SHA-0, SHA-1, and SHA-2. Out of this three SHA-0 is very seldom used, as it has limited access to an error which can be fixed with SHA-1. This is one of the most frequently used SHA algorithms and fabricates a 20-byte hash value.

SHA-2 – this variant consists of a fixed set of 6 hashing algorithms, and is also measured as the strongest. SHA-256 or the above mentioned is recommended for circumstances where security plays a very vital role. SHA-256 also produces 32-byte hash values.

When Hashing Algorithm used?

Hashing is just perfect medium to store passwords, as the hashes are intrinsically one-way in their nature. By storing the passwords in a hash format, it’s very tricky for a hacker or someone who has the access to the raw data to invalidate it. When storing a password, hash the password with a salt, and then later whenever you log-in or attempt to do so, hash the password is to be submitted and compared with the stored hash. If the two matches up, while online then nearly all the user entering the password at that moment is the right one.

What is Encryption?

Encryption helps to convert the data into a chain of illegible characters, that aren’t of a fixed length and are scattered. If you want to know what is the key difference between encryption and hashing, then you can say that it is the encrypted strings that are easily upturned back into their original and decrypted form in case you have the right key, then only.

You may see the two main types of encryption – the one is symmetric key encryption and the other is the public key encryption. In symmetric key encryption, the key depicting both the encrypt and the decrypt turns out to be the same. Public key encryption, by comparison, comes with 2 varied keys – the one used to encrypt the string and the other used to decrypt it. These are called public key and private key, receptively. Here the public key is made obtainable for anyone to use to encrypt messages, however, on the other hand, the projected recipient has access to the private key, and eventually the ability to decrypt messages is done.

The most common popular algorithms

AES – it is considered to be “gold standard” when it is AES encryption process. It comes with a symmetric key encryption and is also highly recommended for many cases for it an amazing key size of 256 bits.

PGP –PGP is another extensively spread encryption algorithm which is relatively well-liked as a public key encryption algorithm.

When and How the Encryption is used?

Encryption is very important for the cyber security of the online businesses thus it should be used appropriately. Always remember that it should only ever be used over hashing, especially when it is a requirement to decrypt the resulting message. For example, in case you need to send messages to a person residing in any other part of the world then the messages should be secured, thus you shall use encryption instead of hashing. This is because if the message can’t be decrypted by the receiver than it is of no use.

There are many businesses and people who work tediously on the shortcoming of message encryption and the use of hashing, but are not aware of the differences or shortfalls. But when they understand the difference between encryption and hashing and the use of key with public key encryption, then they can eliminate the dispute of sharing/sending the key securely.

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