What is homomorphic encryption?

We have all heard of encryption and have a simple understanding of how it works: protecting data. But what about homomorphic data? 

What is encryption?

Encryption is the process in which an object (such as data) is secured with additional security protection techniques and is associated with digital data.

Most commonly the process of encryption protects the data by using a safe key such as a password, in effect locking the data away from users without the code. This method is called cryptography with the name deriving from crypt, Latin for vault and graphy translating to writing.

The data behind the encryption is often ‘scrambled’ using an algorithm to make in unreadable with the key then decrypting the data to a format that is readable.

So, what is homomorphic encryption?

Put simply, this form of encryption allows the user to amend the scrambled data without having access to the safe key.

Practicalities of this form of encryption

The reason for homomorphic encryption is that it allows the user to work on the data without compromising its original encryption, something paramount for mathematical data and processes.

While it may appear that this type of encryption could be a potential risk for hackers, due to the initial encryption, the data is in fact still protected. Homomorphic encryption covert the encrypted data into a ciphertext, a form of readable text, but not the original data.

This means that with homomorphic encryption, the only changes applied would be for computation adjustments to the data rather than a complete copy or extraction of data.

What this means is that there is a higher level of security with this form of encryption. Since the data can remain in its original location, even if there is a breach, the data is protected.

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