What is the best method of encryption to deploy in a user-based, file encryption application?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this research was to discover the best method of encryption to deploy in a user-based, file encryption application. To come to a final conclusion a semi-structured interview was conducted and the various methods of encryption available were tested. The purpose of the semi-structured interviews was to get a better understanding of the users and their requirements. Overall, the findings found that the user base of such an application would be extremely varied in relation to knowledge of the subject area. Research also found that users would prefer stronger levels of encryption, sacrificing efficiency to a point. Tests were then conducted using numerous methods of encryption with the purpose of calculating their efficiency. The results of these tests were then correlated with the data gathered from the semi-structured interviews in order to help realise the answer to the research question. The factors taken into account when deciding on the final method were encryption strength and the efficiency of the process. Methods such as DES and ARCFOUR proved to be unfavourable as they did not offer a reliable level of security. Triple DES was average overall in its efficiency and research on triple DES showed that it was becoming an increasingly outdated method of encryption in modern cryptography, therefore triple DES was not considered. Blowfish and AES were the two remaining methods left for consideration. Whilst it is known that AES is a very secure method of encryption, results from the test showed that it lacked efficiency in comparison with Blowfish. The encryption method chosen was Blowfish with a key length of 448-bits. This was decided by the strength of encryption that it could deliver as well as the efficiency that it provided.
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