Can You Explain Encryption to Me?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Javvad Malik

99edc1997453f90eb5ac1430fd9a7c61

From: Thomas, Kevin
Sent: 24 August 2011 10:43
To: Malik, Javvad
Subject: Encryption

Jav

I’m updating the presentation pack for this months management meeting. Can you send me a short description of encryption so the SLT can better understand the solution.

Kev

From: Malik, Javvad
Sent: 24 August 2011 11:03
To: Thomas, Kevin
Subject: Encryption

Hi Kevin,

Encryption is the process of transforming information using an algorithm to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, usually referred to as a key. The result of the process is encrypted information. In many contexts, the word encryption also implicitly refers to the reverse process, decryption to make the encrypted information readable again.

Thanks,

Javvad

From: Thomas, Kevin
Sent: 24 August 2011 11:09
To: Malik, Javvad
Subject: Encryption

If I wanted the Wikipedia description I would have copied and pasted it myself. I need a more business-speak definition.

From: Malik, Javvad
Sent: 24 August 2011 12:52
To: Thomas, Kevin
Subject: Encryption

Sorry Kevin, I assumed that senior technology managers would have half a clue about technology. I have thought long and hard about this and think the easiest way to explain this would be to replace the word encryption with witchcraft. It too is misunderstood by the masses at large, but conveys a clearer message.

Witchcraft is the process of transforming information using an algorithm to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, usually referred to as a key. The result of the process is witchcraft-ed information. In many contexts, the word witchcraft also implicitly refers to the reverse process, de-witchcrafting to make the witchcraft-ed information readable again.

Regards,

Javvad

From: Thomas, Kevin
Sent: 24 August 2011 13:24
To: Malik, Javvad
Subject: Encryption

stop messing around!!! I need this urgently to finalise the presentation.

From: Malik, Javvad
Sent: 24 August 2011 14:20
To: Thomas, Kevin
Subject: Encryption

Hi Kevin,

You’re right, it was naïve of me to think simply replacing one word would make it simple and easy to understand. I’ve now also amended the other words accordingly.

Witchcraft is the process of transforming a prince using a spell into a frog using special knowledge, usually referred to as a spell. The result of the process is witchcraft-ed prince who looks like a frog. In many contexts, the word witchcraft also implicitly refers to the reverse process, de-witchcrafting to make the witchcraft-ed frog a Prince again.

I’m sure you’ll find those senior managers who have daughters will particularly like this analogy and be able to understand it in its correct context now.

Regards,

Javvad

From: Thomas, Kevin
Sent: 24 August 2011 14:43
To: Malik, Javvad
Subject: Encryption

Has anyone told you that you can be a right D1CK. Sort it out NOW!

From: Malik, Javvad
Sent: 24 August 2011 15:21
To: Thomas, Kevin
Subject: Encryption

Hi Kevin,

Not, to my face to be honest. But thanks for the feedback. I assume that you are alluding to the fact I should include a pictorial description as senior managers love charts. I have corrected this for you below.

Hope this helps

clip_image002

Javvad

From: Thomas, Kevin
Sent: 24 August 2011 15:37
To: Malik, Javvad
Subject: Encryption

I don’t want your stupid diagram!!!! THIS IS URGENT. Get it done NOW! I have to send this off today.

From: Malik, Javvad
Sent: 24 August 2011 16:00
To: Thomas, Kevin
Subject: Encryption

Hi Kevin,

Encryption is the process of transforming information using an algorithm to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, usually referred to as a key. The result of the process is encrypted information. In many contexts, the word encryption also implicitly refers to the reverse process, decryption to make the encrypted information readable again.

Thanks,

Javvad

From: Thomas, Kevin
Sent: 24 August 2011 16:02
To: Malik, Javvad
Subject: Encryption

Was that so hard? Why couldn’t you have sent this the first time I asked instead of wasting my time. 

From: Malik, Javvad
Sent: 24 August 2011 16:43
To: Thomas, Kevin
Subject: Encryption

I did…

 

Cross-posted from J4vv4D

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Richard Stiennon My first year at Gartner I took a call from a client that wanted to "hear about encryption". I began to sweat when the team on the speaker phone said they were from the "Canadian equivalent of the NSA". I went into my spiel. I relaxed when I realized they had never heard of AES.
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shawn merdinger Javvad just may be the David Thorne of infosec :)

http://www.27bslash6.com/
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Allan Pratt, MBA Darn, now the secret is out. Infosec pros also need to be comedians!
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