Intuit’s release of QuickBooks Enterprise and other desktop editions for 2024 have a variety of new features, and among them is an improved level of security for your business data. Upgrading from 128-bit encryption, QuickBooks Desktop 2024 now has AES 256-bit encryption.
256-bit encryption is the strongest and most robust encryption standard commercially available. It’s widely used because it’s virtually impenetrable to brute-force attacks.
256-bit encryption is a technique that uses a 256-bit key to encrypt and decrypt data. Using the key, plain text is converted to a cipher, and the encryption key is required to decrypt the data and return it to readable plain text. 256-bit encryption is used in most modern encryption algorithms, protocols, and technologies, including AES in wireless security, processor security, file encryption, and SSL/TLS.
According to Intuit, “You can be confident your data is protected with our enhanced security using industry-leading AES 256-bit encryption. QuickBooks safeguards your reputation by protecting critical customer and vendor data, such as business financials, banking information, and credit card details.
This means we translate your information into a code that only we can read to make sure only you and Intuit have access to your information. The type of encryption we use is called AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard with 256-bit keys) and it ensures the highest level of cryptographic security.”
With a series of robust security steps and a complex 256-bit decryption key, the AES 256-bit standard is nearly impossible to break using brute-force methods and has been approved for the handling of confidential data by the U.S. Government.
A brute force attack is when a hacker checks different key combinations until he/she arrives at the correct combination – the key. The larger the key size, the more difficult it becomes to break the encryption. There are 984,665,640,564,039,457,584,007,913,129,639,936 (that’s 78 digits) possible combination with a 256-bit key. Even if you use Tianhe-2 (MilkyWay-2), the fastest supercomputer in the world, it will take millions of years to crack 256-bit AES encryption.
Breaking encryption with no known flaws is a bit like guessing a password. If you make enough guesses, you might eventually get it right. With strong encryption, this can take a long time. AES-256 is the most secure version of AES and is virtually unbreakable by brute force based on current computing power. It’s also considered quantum-resistant, which means that quantum computers aren’t expected to crack the cipher.
How long will it take to crack 128-bit encryption using a brute force attack? Most security professionals would answer “1 billion years”, but that’s just an estimate. A machine that can crack a DES key in a second would take about 149 trillion years to crack a 128-bit AES key. According to researchers, with the right quantum computer, AES-128 would take about 2.61*10^12 years to crack, while AES-256 would take 2.29*10^32 years. For reference, the universe is currently about 1.38×10^10 years old, so cracking even an AES-128 encryption with a quantum computer could take hundreds of times longer than the universe has existed.
Mendelson Consulting and Noobeh take data security seriously, providing solutions to address access, security, privacy and protection for business applications and data. When your Enterprise needs a solid foundation that offers agility and performance as well as security, we have it. Think of us as your key to IT that works for you.