Encryption has been around for many years now but has become a huge topic of conversation in recent years; with the rise of social media sites and the massive amounts of data we share and use every day, encryption is a hot topic.
In short, encryption is a type of tech used for protection by many emerging online businesses. Although, in gaming, encryption isn’t used as much as you might think, but we will dive into what encryption is and how it can help and change gaming.
What is Encryption?
In simple terms, data encryption is the process of taking data, a word document, for instance, and scrambling it into unreadable code. The person who did the encryption will then have a key that can be used to unscramble the data and reread it.
Encryption can also be done in layers, where you can encrypt once, twice, or three times, scrambling the data more and more each time. You are also able to encrypt any data that you own, whether it be a simple word document or something more important and personal.
The benefits of encryption are fairly obvious. Considering we store so much data on our computers, laptops, or external hard drives, you want this data protected in the event that your hardware gets stolen or hacked.
Encryption becomes even more important when you start transferring data over the internet. Considering public WiFi networks are often vulnerable to data thieves, you want to know that no matter where you are sending your data to or from, it will stay confidential.
You are also able to encrypt your emails, meaning one of your primary forms of electronic communication is protected too. In short, encryption is used to ensure all your data is only read by those you give permission to.
Encryption attacks are rather simple in the world of hacking; it is often called a “brute force” approach. Potential data thieves will try hundreds of encryption keys until they find the one that works.
Another alternative that data thieves use is a side-channel attack; when they attack the cipher system itself, not the encryption. Hence, choosing the best encryption system you can find is essential if you will be using it to protect your data.
What it Does for Gaming
Encryption and gaming have a strange relationship. On the one hand, you would think encryption is excellent; it can protect the code, stop it from being stolen, and, more importantly, stop it from being hacked.
Encryption would also make the file sizes of games smaller, meaning they will run quicker and more efficiently, and in a world where games are getting bigger and bigger, it will save space on your hard drive and on your console.
On the other hand, though, encryption will scramble the data and make a game a buggy mess. There are also numerous examples of games having encrypted data but still regularly being hacked.
This is because developers allow their data to be open to modifiers. These modifiers create mods, different game modes, skins, etc. If they didn’t have access to the data, they wouldn’t be able to do this. Developers are also comfortable with this happening.
Instead, developers create anti-hacking engines, like Warzone uses Ricochet to stop hackers from illegally modifying data. These types of systems pick up the activity, trace which system is doing it, and instantly ban them.
With regards to data thieves attempting to steal the data of a game’s player base, developers use the best cyber-security systems on the market. They also have large, experienced teams of cyber security experts protecting their games and networks.
As you can see, encryption is a brilliant piece of tech but also something that is still trying to find its way into the world of gaming. While some games use end-to-end encryption to protect your gaming data, the games themselves don’t use it.
It is most likely just a matter of time before games are able to implement encryption across the board properly. Until then, it will stay as a secondary consideration in gaming, with developers using it more to protect your data instead of using it to protect their own.