(also connection encryption)
Link encryption definition
Link encryption is a method of securing the communication between two or more parties. It encrypts and decrypts the information at every network routing point it passes until it reaches its intended recipient. This means that the communication is encrypted at each node or network switch, including the header and routing information, which is what makes it different from end-to-end encryption.
Additionally, link encryption hides the entire data transmission, meaning that a third party cannot eavesdrop and intercept the communication. For example, if a communication travels from LA to New York, it will be encrypted in LA, decrypted in and re-encrypted in Boston, and finally decrypted in New York. However, one disadvantage of link encryption is that you need greater control over the hardware along the path. Otherwise, the transmitted data becomes vulnerable if an attacker can access one of the devices in the way. So, link encryption is not the best solution for sending encrypted communication over public networks like the internet.
Benefits of link encryption
- The encryption process is automatic and reduces the likelihood of human error.
- It makes it easy to securely large and frequent data transmissions.
- Link encryption is not subject to traffic analysis, provided the communications link operates constantly and has a fixed traffic level.