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Transport-Layer Encryption and End-to-End Encryption: What’s the Difference Between Them?

Transport-Layer Encryption and End-to-End Encryption: What’s the Difference Between Them?
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a type of encryption protocol used to provide communication security over a network.
  • Websites use TLS to secure all communications between their servers and web browsers.

Encryption is an enabler to achieve compliance and data privacy--the utmost requirements of business environment. It helps organizations retain control over data, protect sensitive information and ensure the security of communications. With encryption, even if unauthorized users manage to access sensitive files, they won't be able to read the data.

What is TLS?

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a type of encryption protocol used to provide communication security over a network. Websites use TLS to secure all communications between their servers and web browsers. Careful configuration of TLS also provides additional privacy properties--like ensuring future disclosure of encryption keys cannot be used to decrypt any TLS communications recorded in the past.

How does it work?

When the connection between a client and a server is secured by TLS, it has the following properties:

1) It uses the same cryptographic keys for encryption and decryption of information.

2) The identity of the communicating parties can be authenticated using public-key cryptography.

3) Messages transmitted through TLS security will include integrity check using a message authentication code to prevent undetected loss or alteration of the data during transmission.

What is End-to-End Encryption?

End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) allows only communicating users to access and read messages. No one else--including government, hackers, telecom providers, internet providers and even servers--can read the information.

Difference between TLS and E2EE

While TLS only provides encryption between individual users and service providers, E2EE encrypts communication directly between the users of a system.

For example, with end-to-end encryption, a plaintext message that you sent gets encrypted at your end and gets decrypted only after reaching the recipient's device. However, in TLS, a plaintext message gets encrypted at your end and decrypted at the server. The message further gets encrypted depending on whether or not the recipient is also using TLS.

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