polymorphic encryption

Polymorphic encryption refers to the encryption of data in multiple forms that are protected by multiple keys. The term is derived from the computer science concept of polymorphism, in which a single interface or symbol represents different types of data.

What is encryption? 

Standard encryption is a method of protecting data so that only people authorized to access it can view it unencrypted. In short, encryption converts plaintext data into incomprehensible text (also referred to as ciphertext). This means that, when encrypted, an algorithm will convert the word “Hello” into something like “SNIGHJF+9”. In order to revert or decrypt the data a cryptographic key is needed. Any party that receives encrypted data and the authorization to access it will also receive the data’s encryption key to unlock it. 

Modern encryption keys are complex and usually secure enough to prevent brute force attacks. The more possible combinations an encryption key has, the more difficult it becomes for the hacker to successfully breach the data.  

So how does polymorphic encryption work?

Polymorphic encryption operates on the same logic as standard encryption but has additional security measures embedded to better protect the encrypted data. For instance, the encryption method may change each time the protected data is unencrypted. A consistent key is produced each time regardless the changing protocol used to trigger decryption. Implementing various tactics to reach the same encryption key, means different ways to the same result, which complicates the work a hacker must do to gain access to it. 

Essentially, polymorphic encryption diversifies the algorithm used to decrypt the data, so hackers are unable to detect the relationship between the algorithm and the encryption key that produced it, because the key is found using a range of complex equations and algorithms.

Why Does it Matter? 

Polymorphic encryption is a more advanced encryption method: By adding a layer of complexity to standard encryption, the algorithm is more difficult for hackers to recognize and further prevents cyber-criminals from accessing sensitive, encrypted data.