Hashing, encryption these words seem more complex and challenging to understand even when we heard them, right?
But don’t worry; there is nothing complicated or complex about them. Hashing and encryption are simply techniques to hide the data from a third party when we are sending it over the network.
So you must be a thing if both perform the same function why we need them both? But here comes a tricky part even both techniques do the same function more or less, the usage for each technique is different.
Let’s first look at the hashing and what it does?
The hashing technique has three parts the data or we can say input, hash function, or an algorithm for data conversion and output or the data we get after processing with the algorithm.
So what hashing does is, it converts large data files into a small one. So again, the question comes it similar to compression of data? The answer is no. Compression is reversible; hashing is not.
Once the data is converted it is very difficult to reverse the process.
Let’s take an example.
You are the General in Military and you get the information through your spy network that your enemy is coming back to your base in a few hours so you must relocate your position with all the important data.
Now, what will you do? How can you transfer such sensitive data you have collected and stored so far with an open network with just a few hours left? And that’s where hashing comes to play.
In this situation, you put your data into a hashing algorithm and send it to the command base so even if the enemy somehow gets hold of your data all they can see is just numbers and letters. And your data transformation also becomes very fast and also required less space to store the data in the command base.
So the advantages of hashing are transferring data becomes fast and required less space as the data is now converted into numbers.
Also Read – What is Hashing Algorithm? How it works?
Now we let’s see what encryption is.
In encryption plaintext is converted into ciphertext or in simple words, data is converted into such data, which is difficult to recognize.
Encryption can be straightforward or can be very difficult depends upon their usage. Again usage defines the complexity of any technique.
In encryption, we use two keys to encrypt and decrypt the data. One is the public key which is public and anybody can have it. The other is a private key which only gets the receiver of data to decrypt the encrypted data.
Also Read – How Secure is 256-bit Encryption?
Let’s take an example to learn encryption in more detail.
You are a spy and works for Napoleon’s army. You receive the information that his French friends are planning a murder attempt on him but you cannot send any person to him as it will alarm Napoleon’s French friends.
In this case, you decided to send him an encrypted message with its private key.
Yours messaged him that 1321184518251521618951445 and private key you send is ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.
By decrypted message will be MURDERYOUFRIENDS. So he will know that his friends are trying to murder him. Because of this message, you save a great French leader.
Although this method is very simple but talking about sensitive information there are many complex encryptions software that works on very difficult and complex mathematics to encrypt the data.
Now let’s compare the encryption technique and hashing technique with password authentication.
If you log on a website which uses encryption technique, then when you enter your password to check your data or access services your password will get encrypt first it will be sent to the server, where the server will decrypt the data in this case password with a private key and then compare it with its record and after that, it will allow you to enter the site.
If the website uses hashing, it will first convert your password into hash value and send it to the server then, the server will compare that hash value with its record it matches it will allow you to enter the site.
So from the above example, we saw hashing is very fast and data converted with the hash algorithm is almost impossible to get back which improves the security.
|Size of data gets significantly reduce||There is no significant effect on the size of data|
|Cannot regain the original data from the hash value.||Original data can be regained.|
|The speed of transmission is very fast.||Compare to hashing speed of transmission is slow.|
|The hashing algorithm is used to convert input.||The private key and the public key used for data conversion.|
|A slight change in hash value completely changes the data||A slight change in value does not completely change the data|