Database encryption is the process of converting data, within a database, in plain text format into a meaningless cipher text by means of a suitable algorithm.
Database encryption can be provided at the file or column level.
Encryption of a database is costly and requires more storage space than the original data. The steps in encrypting a database are:
- Determine the criticality of the need for encryption
- Determine what data needs to be encrypted
- Determine which algorithms best suit the encryption standard
- Determine how the keys will be managed
Numerous algorithms are used for encryption. These algorithms generate keys related to the encrypted data. These keys set a link between the encryption and decryption procedures. The encrypted data can be decrypted only by using these keys.
Different databases, such as SQL, Oracle, Access and DB2, have unique encryption and decryption methods.