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Cryptography and the Issue of Internet Security

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Cryptography and the Issue of Internet Security

High level encryption or cryptography is used in a number of applications ranging from those which impact national security to those which are more mundane. Essentially, cryptography is the methodology of encoding information so that one’s privacy is ensured. This is particularly important when it comes to transactions which occur over the Internet. The risk of individuals gaining access to personal information or information which is critical to a country or a nation over the Internet is a very real one. The practice of cryptography lessens the likelihood of this happening.

Part A -- Identification and Description of the Issue

A greater and greater percentage of the world population is gaining access to the Internet and incorporating that access into their daily lives. More and more business transactions and personal transactions are occurring on the Internet. There is no questioning the fact that both the growth of the Internet and the number of sensitive transactions which occur on it are exponential.

In order to ensure the safety of Internet transactions, whether public or private, methodologies must be identified to safely and effectively encrypt information. Two methodologies are particularly associated with the issue of Internet security and deserve both an explanation and a contrast. These two methods are TCP/IP and cryptography. While the TCP/IP protocol was an initial first attempt at data security and integrity, it is insufficient. TCP/IP was not really designed as a security provision and is insufficient to meet the criteria which are necessary to ensure safe transactions (Computer Reseller News PG).

Part B ---Understanding of Information Technology Background of Issue

Examples of the criteria which must be met to ensure the protection of information which is transmitted over the Internet include:

1. The authentication of users.

2. The economical provision of single-user login services.

3. The provision of one security scheme which works both from within the user’s firewall and from outside that firewall.

4. The protection of the privacy and integrity of both real-time and store-and-forward applications such as e-mail.

(Computer Reseller News PG).

Part C -- Analysis of Impact of Issue

The impacts of insecure data transmission over the Internet are massive in their potential impacts. Our world is making a very fast transition from one of television and radio to one of the information age. We transmit and receive a massive amount of information through the Internet which by its very nature is insecure and wild and free.

Some information we transmit and receive through the Internet is trivial, other is critical from either a personal, business or national perspective. Without some form of encryption this information could not only fall into the wrong hands but it could also be read and manipulated by those who intercepted it. This, according to the type of information, could be disastrous from either a personal, business, or national perspective. It could be presumed that intellectual property which currently belongs to its Creator would be freely disseminated around the globe with no practical way to control who saw it or how they utilized it (anonymous, http://www.cs.brown.edu/).

Part D-- Proposed Solutions

There are two possible solutions to the security of data on the Internet. These are TCP/IP and Cryptography. TCP/IP sessions can be captured, however, by unauthorized personnel using devises such as IP packet sniffers (Computer Reseller News PG). Cryptography, on the other hand, provides a single technology which has the potential to address all of the above criteria to

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