Making Cryptography Usable
For decades, software developers have been trying to make cryptography usable – with very little success!
“Why is encryption software so horrid to use?” MIT Review, December 2014
The long answer to that question is complex and diverse. The short answer is that encryption comes in two fundamental forms and one of the forms is actually easy to use – that form is “in transit” encryption, like SSL and VPN.
The second form – encryption “at rest” – is a completely different story. And the short answer to why encryption at rest is complex and difficult for users (and application developers, too) relates to encryption key management. The term “key management” encapsulates numerous sub-topics, including challenging concepts like key exchange, key rotation, and key backup and recovery.
“The cryptographic software we have today hobbles those who try to use it with Rube Goldberg-machine complexity and academic language as dated as a pair of Jordache jeans” MIT Review, December 2014
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