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A Guide to AES Keyboards

aes-keyboard-titleHave you ever wondered how safe your wireless transmissions actually are, more specifically how secure are your keystrokes are?

In today’s mobile world, more and more people are using wireless technology to input data in a wide variety of platforms. From PCs to tablets and phones, wireless technology is everywhere.

As you type, huge amounts of sensitive data is being transferred to and from your keyboard to device. Information from passwords to bank details and even your messages are passed through the invisible wireless tether, but have you ever considered that information being stolen?

As wireless tech is so common, most of us simply assume it’s safe, or at least don’t consider it a risk. Many of us use wireless tech it to enter passwords, send personal data, or share confidential business information.

 

However, the reality is that every single point in a wireless communication system is a potential vulnerability, an unguarded door, and without the proper security measures in place, your private information could be at risk.

 

How do you protect wireless communications?

Okay, so you want to secure these wireless vulnerabilities, but how can you cover an automatic connection? Well your answer may be in AES.

 

AES uses a sort of encryption ‘lock and key’ which is only known to the sender and the recipient. AES encrypts and converts your keystrokes by converting them into complex codes, meaning your simple password “Password100” could have hundreds of possibilities per letter.

 

So what is AES?microsoft-900-keyboard-aes

Advanced Encryption Standard” is a specification for the encryption of electronic data.

Established in 2001 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, it was adopted by the United States government and a number of other countries around the world to protect and encrypt confidential data and information.

Microsoft have created a line of wireless keyboards that help protect your communications using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). These AES keyboards encrypt your keystrokes before broadcasting them to your device.

 

Why do I need AES for a keyboard?aes-keyboard-design-microsoft

Well, I’m not exactly a government agency or high-security data manager, why would I need AES?

In a basic sense, anyone is vulnerable…Wireless keyboards transmit information over the open air to their paired device (your PC/Tablet/Phone), which creates a point of vulnerability.

Without proper security measures in place, a cyber-thief could intercept your keystrokes and gain access to you passwords, credit card numbers, and other vital information. It would literally only take a thief to simply be within wireless range of your keyboard to hop onto your signal and intercept anything you’re typing. This could be particularly dangerous on public transport, in a shared office or even at close boarding homes, as these are places with numerous people close by, with access to a PC.

 

Is it 100% safe?

AES is among the most secure electronic data encryption standards in use today, it is literally used by governments. However, there are no guarantees when it comes to security, especially wireless. Microsoft recommend that you stay informed about threats, use strong passwords, and keep your systems and security software up to date.

 

What features keep AES keyboards secure?

To foil hackers from peeking into your keyboard’s secret AES encryption key, Microsoft have created firmware that blocks access to the key once it is installed in the keyboard and receiver in the factory.

In addition, Microsoft AES keyboards use random data generation and unique identifiers for each transmission to prevent more sophisticated hacks, like brute force attacks.

 

This article is a sponsored post by Microsoft UK 

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