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Data Encryption: Types, Algorithms, Methods, and Techniques

20th Sep, 2023
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    Data Encryption: Types, Algorithms, Methods, and Techniques

    As we all know that cyber security is a growing domain with trending and evolving technologies and rising risks. It becomes critical for larger organizations to look after the crucial information assets and the existing security controls. If you are willing to pursue your career in this area, here is the amazing and most considered Ethical Hacking Course that might excite you.

    Protecting crucial data becomes challenging in the world of growing and evolving technologies. Encrypting data in today's world has crucial importance as any sensitive data cannot be transferred or shared in plain text. Encryption is the process of converting simple text data into non-readable text called Encrypted data. Encryption is the technique where a series of data is converted into a cipher text, making it difficult for any arbitrary user to read it in plain text. It is the most significant way of ensuring that highly sensitive information is not altered and its integrity remains unaffected.

    There are mainly two types of encryptions that are as follows:

    • Symmetric Encryption
    • Asymmetric Encryption

    Organizations use one of these encryption types depending on their business needs and aspects. We will discuss each type in this article.

    Encryption is used worldwide by every individual and more oversized organizations to secure crucial data sent from one user to another, ensuring strong encryption between the client and server end. The information shared between users could be any significant data that is not intended to be shared with unauthorized users. Various strong and weak encryption algorithms and ciphers are developed and have a theoretical schema. Weak algorithms and ciphers could be broken and exploited further with the relevant technologies and strategies.

    What is Data Encryption?

    Data encryption is a methodology of safeguarding the sensitive information owned by any individual or larger organization by either encrypting or encoding the data in such a manner that it could only be accessed by the authorized person who has a similar pattern of the key to decrypt the encrypted data. Whenever any arbitrary user tries accessing the data without appropriate permissions, the request-response appears unreadable or random.

    Encryption of the data is a method of converting highly classified data, which is crucial to any person or organization who owns it, into a non-readable format that cannot be easily accessed by any arbitrary user. Even if the malicious actor gains unauthorized access to the sensitive data, the information is not readable and appears as some random scrambled data. Encryption is implemented to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the information at rest and in transit from evil eyes. Any sort of documents, emails, messages, KYC information, etc., could be encrypted to protect them from unauthorized access.

    Why Do We Need Data Encryption and its Importance

    As the cyber security attacks and risks associated with them are growing day by day, we hear news on many zero days causing disaster in the targeted companies losing the CIA triad and its reputation.

    • Compromised developer's credentials hardcoded in plain text caused to loss of over a 33Milillion users' data.
    • Conti's attack on the Costa Rica government gave rise to the new era of ransomware, forcing the authorities to declare national emergencies.
    • Leaked AWS "root" unencrypted credentials caused the company to shut off due to a loss of credibility and integrity.
    • Nvidia hacked again, the plot of a ransomware attack.

    Whenever we hear these sorts of headlines, we often think, are we "secured enough"? And who is responsible for security?

    I know most of you might think the answer is, "Security team, Blue Team, etc." However, the correct answer is "YOU". If you follow all the guidelines appropriately as a user and avoid falling for tempting offers in the email and save yourself and your company from a reputational loss. As many malicious users are waiting and prying eyes on your data, it is essential that you follow the latest and strongest method of encryption and algorithms to ensure that the integrity of the highly classified information is not altered. Encrypting the data while sharing the information over the internet is of utmost importance to prevent oneself from data theft and maintain its integrity.

    It is very crucial to protect your data at rest. Any means of assets that carry your data if they do not have appropriate security standards implemented could leave you to be vulnerable if any malicious users exploit the vulnerability, which could cause you a bigger loss. Whenever you visit any arbitrary website on the internet, it is accessed via public encryption (SSL certificate) that verifies that the origin of the server does have a private key for encrypting the data. This ensures the authenticity of data in transit. Encryption also ensures that the privacy of the data is maintained. It also aids in securing the confidentiality of data at rest and transit from cyber breaches.

    Who Needs to Use Data Encryption?

    Evaluating the raised threat of cybercrime in today's world, each individual and larger organization that makes use of the internet or has a few relevant data on it should be highly classified and informational and include fundamental encryption strategies.

    Data Encryption is a must for those who store critical information in their database. Database encryption becomes crucial when data stored in it is crucial. As a small mistake of leaving the database unencrypted, that loophole could lead to losing reputational loss and integrity.

    To maintain the confidentiality and integrity (the two most important pillars of Information Security) of the sensitive data intended to be kept private, encryption is an essential utility whose significance can't be overdrawn. Practically all the small data we come across while scanning the internet has to go through the encryption layer and reach one's endpoints.

    How Does Data Encryption Work?

    Encryption is transforming plain text into something that is not readable or could be understood by simply reading it. It involves converting the original plaintext into cipher text to maintain the integrity of the information in transit.

    Encryption involves the active communication between the two parties, the sender and the receiver. For encryption, there has to be a unique key to converting the plain text data into cipher text. The key is shared between the sender and receiver. This encryption key is something that both the parties agree on hence, by using this key, the procedure of encrypting and decrypting is performed.

    For eg: WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption in this type of encryption. The message that you send is encrypted on your device before the message leaves the receiver. These messages are protected by a cryptographic lock and the key for this lock is only found at the receivers' end which then unlocks this lock with the help of the key and decrypts the message.

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    How Data Encryption is Used

    Encryption utilizes complex mathematical calculations of encryption algorithms and digital keys to convert the data from plain text to cipher text. As we know, encryption works bi-directionally. Initially, the plain text is transformed into cipher text by a digital key at the sender end. Once the cipher text is passed to the recipient, another digital key is used to decrypt the encrypted data.

    Encryption and Decryption keys are just the lock keys. Only the right ones fit in, and you can access your assets. Similarly, the digital keys are. These digital keys are created either manually or by a computer dashed algorithm.

    2 Types of Data Encryption Techniques

    1. Asymmetric Data Encryption Method (Public Encryption Key)

    There are two types of encryptions used worldwide. One of them is Asymmetric Data Encryption. In this type of encryption methodology, two different pairs of keys are used by the sender and receiver to encrypt and decrypt the data in transit. The sender uses a public encryption KEY to encrypt the data, and private encryption KEY is used at the receiver end to decrypt the shared data to protect and maintain the integrity and confidentiality of the data. Asymmetric data encryption also works, either way, if private encryption key is used to encrypt the data then a public encryption key is used to decrypt the data.

    2. Symmetric Data Encryption Method (Private Encryption Key)

    There are two types of encryptions used worldwide. One of them is Symmetric Data Encryption. In this type of encryption, the identical pair of keys are shared between the sender and receiver. The sender uses a private encryption KEY to encrypt the data, and the exact similar private encryption KEY is used at the receiver end to decrypt the shared data.

    Asymmetric vs Symmetric

    Symmetric EncryptionAsymmetric Encryption
    A single pair of keys are used for encryption and decryption of the data shared between the client and server communication.In this type of encryption methodology, two pairs of keys are used for encryption. A public key for encryption and a private key for decryption or vice-versa.
    It is less secure as the private key needs to be shared between the parties for the encryption and decryption process.It is more secure as it uses a private key that is never transmitted.
    This type of Encryption methodology process is very fast compared to Asymmetric encryption.This type of Encryption methodology process is slow compared to Symmetric encryption.
    Symmetric encryption only furnishes confidentiality of the CIA triad.Asymmetric encryption furnishes confidentiality, authenticity, and non-repudiation of the CIA triad.
    The length of the encryption key is 128 or 256 bits.The length of the encryption key is 2048 or higher.
    It can handle an immense amount of data.It can only handle a smaller amount of data.

    Benefits and Uses of Data Encryption

    There are many essential benefits of implementing data encrypting and its algorithm. A few are listed below:

    1. Encryption is affordable to Implement

    Pretty much each device and software package we tend to use these days comes with some variety of encoding technology. for instance, Microsoft Windows provides a program referred to as BitLocker, that is intended to encipher entire volumes of your disc.

    iPhones and golem phones conjointly go along with varied encoding options intrinsically, and there also are scores of encoding programs that will be downloaded for complimentary. a number of them include LastPass – a freemium watchword manager that stores encrypted passwords online, HTTPS everyplace – a browser extension that creates net browsing safer, and Tunnel Bear – a virtual non-public network (VPN) that's free till usage reaches a 500MB per month limit.

    2. Encryption will prevent restrictive Fines

    For rules, like the GDPR, there is not any express need for encrypting CRYPTOGRAPHY the highly classified information, however, "security measures and safeguards" should be placed in situ to guard the privacy of the information subjects – assumptive they're EU voters. Some highly classified information protection rules, like HIPAA (Health Insurance movability and answerability Act of 1996), need that confidential highly classified information is encrypted. As such, if a conveyable device or drive containing unencrypted ePHI gets lost or taken, the organization accountable for the information could also be subject to fines.

    3. Encryption will facilitate guarding Remote Staff

    According to a report by Shredit, eighty-six p.c of C-level executives believe that the chance of an information breach is higher once staff works remotely. This can be not stunning as several remote staff store confidential the highly classified information on their devices, and corporations have very little management over how this highly classified information is accessed and shared.

    According to a survey by data security firm Imation, "two in 5 respondents aforementioned either they, or somebody they grasp, have lost or had taken a tool during a public place", and plenty doesn't use an encoding. Again, all confidential highly classified information ought to be encrypted, and remote staff ought to use virtual non-public networks (VPN) to stop cyber criminals from intercepting unsecured public Wi-Fi connections and distributing malware.

    4. Encryption will increase the Integrity of Our highly classified information

    While victimization encoding doesn't generally guarantee the integrity of our highly classified information at rest, as the highly classified information is continually dynamic, it is wont to verify the integrity of our backups. to boot, victimization digital signatures we can maintain the integrity of our the highly classified information in transit. This can stop hackers from intercepting communications and changing state with the information, as doing therefore may well be simply checked by the recipient.

    5. Encryption will Increase shopper Trust

    As mentioned antecedently, for many firms, encoding isn't a compulsory restrictive demand. However, businesses may need to use encoding to realize the trust of their customers. In keeping with a recent survey, "53% of respondents aforementioned they were additionally involved concerning on-line privacy currently than a year ago". Given the erosion of trust that we've seen in recent years, advertising the very fact that your business is orthodox to bound encoding standards might provide you with a competitive advantage.

    Data Encryption Algorithm with Examples

    There are unit 2 styles of data encryption methods

    • Symmetric
    • Asymmetric

    The regular secret writing technique is especially used for shutting system communication that has less risk of third-party interference. Therefore, the recipient has to have the key before the message is decrypted. The sender and also the receiver each need similar keys for this technique to figure out. This area unit a number of samples of regular encryption:

    • AES (Advanced secret writing Standard)
    • DES (Data secret writing Standard)
    • IDEA (International encoding Algorithm)
    • TwoFish

    1. AES (Advanced secret writing Standard)

    AES algorithmic program is the most typically used algorithmic program, which was additionally called Rijndael algorithmic program. This can be the quality set by the America National Institute of standards and technology in 2001 for the secret writing of electronic information. The Block size of AES cipher is understood to be 128 bits; however, it will have 3 totally different key lengths that area unit is shown as follows:

    • AES-128
    • AES-192
    • AES-256

    The AES cipher supersedes the DES normal that has been in use since 1977. A public key, because the name says concerning it, could be a key that's freely on the market to anyone. Whereas the personal secret is sole with the supposed receivers UN agency area unit is supposed to decipher the message. each key area unit is merely an enormous number that isn't identical, however, is paired to every alternative, this is often wherever the thought of "asymmetric "comes from.

    2. DES (Data secret writing Standard)

    The first normal cipher for securing electronic communications. DES is employed in variations of 2-key or 3-key additionally called 3DES. the initial normal of DES isn't used any longer as a result of it's thought to be too 'weak' because of the processing power of computers today. The 3DES normal isn't counselled today still we tend to area unit mistreatment in EMV chip cards as a result of they do not have a crypto-agile infrastructure.

    3. IDEA (International Encoding Algorithm)

    The IDEA rule may be a bilaterally symmetric key rule used for cryptography and decipherment. it was developed by James Massey and Xuejia Lai and is proprietary. IDEA may be a block cipher that uses a 128-bit key. It operates on 64-bit blocks and uses a posh rule involving multiple rounds of cryptography and decipherment the plan is immune to noted cryptological attacks and is taken into account to be secure. IDEA is employed in an exceeding range of cryptologic products, as well as the PGP cryptography package.

    4. TwoFish:

    An open source(unlicensed), non-proprietary block cipher with a block size of 128 bits and a variable length key size of 128,192 or 256 bits.

    This cipher is analogous to Blowfish. TwoFish has advanced functionalities of the quality DES algorithmic program.

    Asymmetric secret writing Method:

    It is additionally called public-key cryptography, during this technique, we tend to use 2 keys for the secret writing method. The 2 varieties of area units, a public key and a personal key, each of those keys area unit mathematically connected. we tend to use these 2 keys for secret writing and decoding functions it doesn't matter which kind of key you utilize 1st.

    Data Encryption Standard (DES Algorithm)

    There is plenty of data printed on the cryptanalytics of the DES, however finally, the brute force attack finally ends up being the foremost sensible and economical attack. There also are three potential theoretical attacks that are purported to have lesser quality than the brute force attack however includes finding an associated endless range of texts which may be the answer. That looks impractical; thus, nobody uses them.

    1- Brute Force Attack - Brute Force is the most straightforward and sensible thanks to breaking a cipher. It consists in attempting each key combination potential till the proper one is found. Having the proper key, you'll be able to then break the cipher and browse what was ciphered. The quantity of prospects is decided by the scale of the keys in bits, since DES solely encompasses a 64-bit key, the quantity of mixtures is quite tiny and a private laptop will break it in an exceedingly few days. This was the most reason why DES lost its credibility and commenced to not be used.

    2- Attacks quicker than Brute Force Attack

    None of those sorts of attacks square measure possible to use in apply, however, they show that in theory, the rule has some glitches that currently may not be a drag, however within the future, with the increasing power of the machines they could become a heavy concern.

    • Differential cryptanalytics (DC)

    Rediscovered by Adi Shamir and Eli Biham back in the 80s, they claimed that to interrupt all sixteen rounds of the DES there have been needed 2^49 chosen texts. Since DES was designed to be DC resistant this was needless to say a fault that might build a quicker attack as a result of the probabilities don't seem to be infinite like in brute force, but still, it'd be as dangerous, as a result of the aggressor must be lucky to seek out an appropriate text, not on the far side the 2^49 try.

    • Linear cryptanalytics (LC)

    In 1993 Mitsuru Matsui discovered that victimization in his technique there have been "only" required 2^43 better-known plaintexts. This was the primary rumored experimental LC to DES, and though it's solely theoretical it shows once more that DES is breakable, particularly taking into consideration that DES wasn't designed to trot out this type of attack. Still, there square measure plenty of texts to check, which may not be as sensible as brute force.

    • Davies Attack (DA)

    Davies's attack was initially steered by Donald Davies in the 80s and was a specialized attack that solely applies to DES. The LC and DC square measure general attacks appropriate for plenty of additional algorithms. Davies same that breaking the DES it's needed 2^50 better-known plaintexts with a successful rate of fifty-one.

    Triple DES 

    Triple DES is an encryption technique that utilizes three representatives of DES on the same plain text. It operates different types of key-choosing techniques. In the foremost all used keys are different and in the second two keys are the same and one is distinct and in the third, all keys are identical. Although, triple DES is not vulnerable to all the known DES security vulnerabilities. However, it is vulnerable to Man-In-The-Middle attacks and block collision attacks due to the use of shorter block sizes with the similar key to encrypt larger sizes of the data which also is vulnerable to the SWEET32 cyber-attack.


    RSA relies on the very fact that it's troublesome to solve an oversized whole number. Encrypting your highly classified information via an RSA public key contains 2 varieties wherever one number is the multiplication of 2 giant numbers. The personal secret is conjointly derived from identical 2 prime numbers. If someone will solve this massive variety then the personal secrets celebrated to be compromised. In RSA, the encoding strength lies within the crucial size which may be doubled or tripled; hence, the facility of the encoding conjointly will increase exponentially. Generally, RSA keys are units 1024 or 2048 bits long. But, the 1024 bits key can be broken, therefore it's suggested these days to use 2048 bits key. RSA algorithm is vulnerable to many known Cyber-attacks stated below:

    • Plain-text cyber-attack (cycling and unconcealed) 
    • Revealed decryption and low exponent cyber attack 
    • Encryption key attacks as cipher size are smaller  
    • Factorization attacks and the as the decimal digits are feasible  


    TwoFish is considered more secure than DES as it utilizes a 128-bit-key. TwoFish's encryption algorithm is pre-computerized and have a key dependent substitution to create the cipher text. However, this algorithm is also vulnerable to the brute-force that could be possible if the key is leaked somewhere from within the internal functions.

    States of Data Encryption (Encryption Solutions)

    It becomes crucial to secure all your information assets considering the recent cyber threats happening around the globe and protecting the CIA triad becomes challenging. I have seen many organizations still facing challenges when it comes to protecting highly classified data. Because we all know CRYPTOGRAPHY is complicated.  

    • Encryption of Data in Transit   
    • Encryption of Data at Rest  
    • Encryption of Data in Use  

    Key Features of Data Encryption Solutions

    A suitable encryption strategy enables a strong access-control techniques, using adequate combinations of file permissions, passwords, and two-factor authentication. 

    Below are the extra necessary aspects of information encoding resolution. 

    1. Strong encoding standards

    Several governments, personal, and public agencies around the world uses the business customary for encryption: the Advanced encoding customary (AES)-256. Encryption customary (DES) was replaced by AES as a result of DES having become prone to brute force attacks, that occur once AN offender tries multiple combos of a cipher till one among their works. 

    2. Encryption of static and dynamic information

    Static information or information at rest is the data saved on servers, desktops, laptops, etc. This information is encrypted by the file, the folder, or the complete drive. Dynamic information or information in motion is the information that travels over the net or the network. Cipher the transmission victimization network encoding protocols, like net protocol security (IPsec) and transport layer security (TLS), or cipher the message and its payload, that ensures that solely a licensed recipient will access it.

    3. Granular encryption

    Encryption tools supply totally different levels of roughness and adaptability. Unremarkably it includes encoding of specific folders, file types, or applications, additionally as whole drive encoding and removable media encoding. Encoding laptops, tablets, and removable media might shield a corporation from liability if the device is taken.

    4. Key management

    A strong and automatic key manager is extremely necessary. It's necessary for fast and seamless encoding and decipherment. This success is crucial to the graceful operation of the organization's applications and workflows.

    5. Enforcement of encoding policies

    Encoding policies outline however and once information is encrypted. The encoding computer code sends the worker AN alert that this action violates an information security policy and blocks the worker from repeating the file till it's encrypted. automatic social control will make sure that information security policies are followed-

    How to Implement Data encryption?

    To imply an encryption methodology, we tend to need 2 things that are considered a key encoding rule and a key. Encrypting the information that is considered crucial is an encoding rule means that we tend to use unit victimization for encoding the critical information. The encoding of the info takes place on the sender aspect. The reversing method of encoding is named secret writing. secret writing takes place from the receiver's aspect.  


    • Before encrypting your information, you want to assess what quite the highly classified information it's and what the highly classified information must be encrypted.
    • Choosing the correct encoding tool for your highly classified information is additionally necessary. Choosing the correct variety of tools for your highly classified information storage and transfer can facilitate making sure that your highly classified information remains secure.
    • Choosing the correct strategy to implement the chosen tool thus there's no issue for your shopper from the rear finish. And by making a technique whereas implementing there'll be no disruptions implementing the tool.
    • It is additionally necessary to take care of the culture of security once implemented if an information breach happens there should be countermeasures to revive and keep a copy of the info.
    • Giving access to highly classified information to solely approved personnel will facilitate securing the info within the organization.
    • Building an information backup strategy:
    • Sometimes the info that has been insured may also be altered. For this to not happen we tend should make sure that the info that has been insured ought to even be encrypted. So, the possibilities of the highly classified information obtaining compromised area unit least. This is often additional security live, and it may also be counted in nearly as good apply for securing highly classified information.

    Five Data Encryption Best Practices

    So far, we have discussed the importance of payload encryption as a practice in any Industry. And we also need to understand the importance of doing it in the right way. Ensuring to follow the best practices of data encryption and have the process of it designed that way. Below are a few pointers to be included as the best practices for data encryption.

    1. Build a Data Security Strategy

    To include all the crucial information assets that are supposed to be protected in order to avoid any zero days.

    2. Choose the Right Encryption Approach for Your Data

    Depending upon the kind of crucial information you need to protect and have its encryption you need to pick the best-fit working encryption algorithm accordingly to avoid the complexity of it and leaving loopholes behind.

    3. Control All Access to Your Data

    Following the least permissions thumb rule to avoid any unauthorized access to the privileged information.

    4. Encrypt Data in Transit

    Ensuring that you use secure communication (Transport Layer Protocol) to avoid the data being sent in a clear text manner readily available when packets are sniffed.

    5. Build a Data Backup Strategy

    Always have a redundant backup server to protect and save copies of crucial information to avoid any data loss due to any kind of disruptions.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Data Encryption

    Advantages of the highly classified information Encryption

    • All of the techniques that area units used for the encoding of the highly classified information area unit primarily to be low-cost.  
    • It helps to guard the confidentiality of your highly classified information.  
    • As the info that has been encrypted can't be modified it keeps the integrity of the info.  
    • Encryption of the info will facilitate a company building trust with their shoppers.  
    • The highly classified information transfer is thought to be comparatively quick if it's encrypted.  

    Disadvantages of Data Encryption

    It is necessary to store a record of the keys that the area unit assigned to rewrite specific highly classified information. If the secret's lost this is that highly classified information.  

    • Encryption consumes many resources like work hours etc.  
    • Unrealistic demand could be a major flaw of highly classified information encoding.  
    • Compatibility problems return once you work on multi-platforms and devices.

    The Future of Data Encryption

    When talking about the future of the cryptography universe, there is going to be a massive change. I believe that the use of payload encryption is going to be heavy as the world moves digital 110%. Safeguarding each and every crucial piece of information is going to be a bigger challenge considering the service of availability that needs to be provided. Cryptocurrency would change the daily routine of how the world works. Hackers would keep looking for trending technologies and finding loopholes. Unless We the people with all the awareness start configuring our critical information Assets with appropriate settings and permissions and keep upgrading our security protocols.

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    As we all know Data Encryption is the most powerful tool for securing crucial information assets and yet it is considered weak. The reason is the way people make mistakes when it comes to cryptography. All the misconfigurations lead to crypto attacks, and similar newer loopholes are identified to perform further damage. Cryptography is a crucial part of Information Security and hence awareness should be spread worldwide to avoid a few common crypto mistakes.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. How is data encryption implemented?

    To imply an encryption methodology, we tend to need 2 things that are considered a key encoding rule and a key. Encrypting the information that is considered crucial is an encoding rule means that we tend to use unit victimization for encoding critical information. The encoding of the info takes place on the sender aspect. The reversing method of encoding is named secret writing. Secret writing takes place from the receiver's aspect. 

    2. How do you encrypt data from a user?

    First you need to understand what sort of data you would be collecting from a user. According to the requirement, you would need to design a workflow and select the best suitable data encryption method to encrypt the data you collect from the users and further processing. 

    3. How do you encrypt files?

    There are various inbuild windows and mac utilities available to encrypt your files to secure them. Encrypting files enables any arbitrary user to undergo an authentication process to access them. 

    4. Where is encrypted data stored?

    Depending upon the business requirements every organization has its own way of storing the data. It's either on-prem or cloud in any storage device.  

    5. Which encryption method is most widely used and why?

    AES and 3DES are the most widely used encryption method as it is strong and cannot be broken easily. The encryption of each data block happens with random salt making it complex and adding another layer of security to it.  

    6. Can Encrypted Data be Hacked?

    The answer is YES. If you are using deprecated protocols or any misconfiguration when dealing with Cryptography you are likely to be hacked with the current encryption method, you follow and the leaking of data.


    Antara Mane

    Blog Author

    Antara is a passionate Information, Network Security Professional, Pen-Tester/Trainer/Speaker, and Researcher. Experienced in identifying potential vulnerabilities on various Webs, Networks, mobile apps, APIs, and Cloud env. and ensuring the security of network systems. She has been proactively and independently managing a few startup companies to identify security gaps and potential threats and is helping them implement the necessary controls. She is a Cyber Security Awareness Trainer @ SecureNexus, Lead Speaker/Trainer @ OWASP Global APAC, InfoSecgirls, InfoSecDiversity, and Securzy – Mumbai. She enjoys writing Technical Blogs - ref: She is an International freelancing Auditor and Information Security Technical Specialist.

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