The process of converting data into a code to prevent unauthorized access.

Why it matters

Encryption is vital in safeguarding information and preventing unauthorized access by rendering it unreadable to unauthorized user. It plays a crucial role in securing both personal and organizational data. By encrypting data, especially during transmission over public networks, it protects against unauthorized access and cyber threats. Even if a hacker intercepts the data, they cannot understand it without the proper encryption key. Many industries have legal requirements to protect sensitive information, such as healthcare (HIPAA) or payment card information (PCI DSS). Encryption is often a necessary component in complying with these regulations.