Advanced Encryption Options for Extra Data Security
Our last two posts have detailed ways that you can make the data in your documents more secure, starting with some basics and then covering the important strategy of encryption. But what if your sensitive or confidential documents need additional layers of security beyond the standard method of encryption?
Fortunately, certain office suite software packages—like WPS Office—come equipped with Advanced Encryption options for their applications. Let’s review what these options are, and what they can do to provide added protection for your important documents.
Choosing Your Option
To find the Advanced Encryption options available in WPS Office (using the Writer app as an example), begin by using the Application drop-down menu that says “Writer” in the top left corner of the screen, just as you would when accessing Standard Encryption. Scroll down and select “File Information,” then choose “Document Protection and Properties,” and then “Encryption.”
On the Standard Encryption screen, in the upper right corner of the screen, click on the “Advanced” button. You’ll be taken to this screen (see image below) where you can choose from among several different encryption types. Besides Standard Encryption, these are seven additional options in the list you’ll have the option to select from:
- XOR Encryption. This simple type of encryption—also known as a “secret shared system” or “private key system—is based on a symmetric cipher, which means the same keys must be used for encryption and decryption. Messages can’t be decrypted unless the encryption key is shared between two parties. As a symmetric cipher, this type of encryption is significantly faster than asymmetric ciphers. While XOR encryption is simple to implement, because the encryption key can be used for decryption once shared, this type of encryption can be less secure than the types below and should only be selected if ease of use is your goal.
- RC4, Microsoft Base Cryptographic Provider v1.0. WPS Office is fully compatible with Microsoft Office, and thus includes several Microsoft cryptographer service providers (CSPs) among the Advanced Encryption options. A CSP is an independent software module that performs cryptography algorithms for encryption, authentication, and encoding. The initial CSP is the Microsoft Base Cryptographic Provider, which provides a broad set of basic cryptographic functionality. This general-purpose provider supports digital signatures as well as data encryption.
- RC4, Microsoft Base DDS and Diffie-Hellman Cryptographic Provider. This CSP supports Diffie-Hellman key exchange, which is a 40-bit DES derivative, as well as DSS signature verification, SHA hashing, and DSS data signing.
- RC4, Microsoft DH SChannel Cryptographic Provider. This CSP supports the Secure Channel (Schannel) security package that implements authentication protocols for Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). It also supports Diffie-Hellman key exchange and an extended list of cryptography algorithms for encryption, hashing, signing, and key exchange.
- RC4, Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider v1.0. Microsoft’s Enhanced Provider supports the same capabilities as its Base Provider, but allows stronger security through longer keys and extra algorithms. You can use the Enhanced Provider with all versions of CryptoAPI. The Enhanced Provider is also backward-compatible with the Base Provider, except the providers can only generate RC4 keys of default key length.
- RC4, Microsoft Enhanced DDS and Diffie-Hellman Cryptographic Provider. This CSP supports Diffie-Hellman key exchange, RC4 symmetric encryption algorithms, DSA data signing and verification (FIPS 186-2), and SHA hashing.
- RC4, Microsoft Enhanced RSA and AES Cryptographic Provider. This CSP supports the Secure Channel (Schannel) security package and an extended list of cryptography algorithms for encryption, hashing, and key exchange.
Once you’ve made your choice from the Advanced Options screen for one of the Encryption Types above, just highlight it with your curser and then click OK to complete the request. As you can see, it’s a pretty simple process on WPS Office to unleash a powerful capability of data encryption.
And with the suite’s Advanced Options for encryption, you have even more choices to make it nearly impossible for any unauthorized users to decrypt the cipher text that is generated without having your secret passkey. When you use a strong and proven encryption algorithm to protect your documents, there’s no reliable technique to crack the code rather than trying every possible key combination. That reality should give those who care about securing their data sufficient confidence in its safety.
For more tips, guides, and information on using WPS Office, please visit our Online Knowledge Base.