Understanding Cryptocorps and Its Benefits
With the wide-spread use of the Internet, the need for strong encryption has increased. As such, many new protocols have been developed to fill this need. However, one of the most interesting is Cryptocorps. This exciting new protocol was developed by cryptographers Ray J. Thomas and Bruce Schneier to create a new level of security not available before. It combines a set of open source software with an IP-based network that allows for secure VPN connectivity over the Internet.
The primary goal of Cryptocorps is to provide strong encryption and authentication at a low cost. Unlike typical cryptography, Cryptocorps operates on a public key infrastructure (PKI). This means that each key is randomly generated and stored in a public key database. All keys are also assigned to specific users. This ensures that even if one key is compromised, the rest of the keys are still safely protected and may be used again.
A typical Cryptocorps setup consists of two primary components. One of these is a PKI, or PKI server, which serves as a backend for the encryption and authentication process. This server maintains and authenticates all communications that pass through it between a client and server. An example of a public key database would be that maintained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFT), or that maintained by the National Standards Center (NSC) in America.
The second component of a Cryptocorps network is the use of a hosted software tool, also known as a gateway. This type of software is completely transparent and operates as a transparent server that encrypts and decrypts data before forwarding it over the public network. The benefit of using a gateway is that it doesn’t require any infrastructure, only a network. Additionally, the server software can easily adjust its own public key infrastructure so that new keys are generated or old keys removed on a regular basis.
With a properly implemented Cryptocorps system, an individual or organization does not need to know how to handle nor control the private communications of their computer. In addition, they don’t need to understand the technical side of protecting their data either. All they need to know is how to run the correct software and follow instructions. This is a great advantage over traditional systems because a single mistake in encryption or even improper usage of the public key infrastructure can bring an entire network down.
If you think that this sounds too good to be true and your current provider offers only standard SSL/TLS services, think again! Some have incorporated their network security systems into their existing hosting packages which allows for encrypted channel traffic to be sent directly from their servers to their clients. The only thing you need to do is find one of these companies that will take care of the installation for you and make sure you have the necessary hardware installed as well.