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All Posts by William Dawson

Why Public Key Cryptography Matters

40 years old and as relevant today as when it was first invented, public key cryptography is the unsung hero of modern cybersecurity. Most people take unknowing advantage of it many times a day. So what is it, and how does it work? Let’s start by reviewing the concept of symmetric encryption, which allows you to encrypt information using a shared secret key. It’s not a modern idea—even Julius Caesar used it to code his...

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Hashing Techniques for Password Storage

Picture yourself a year from now. Someone just put your entire password database on Pastebin. User accounts are being hacked by the thousands and your local privacy regulator just called to have a chat. Depending on the hashing algorithm you were using to store your user passwords, you could be in a lot of trouble. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so how does hashing work and what...

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TLS Client Authentication for Internal Services

If you’re like me, the most aggravating thing is finding a Stack Overflow question that exactly describes the issue you are facing, only to scroll down and see that it has remained unanswered since 2011. I was recently trying to configure Transport Layer Security (TLS) client authentication (also referred to as mutual SSL) between two internal services at Okta and found the lack of complete examples astonishing. I hope that this blog post provides a...

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