Meet Tink: Google’s New Gift to Reinforce Encryption

Data encryption has always remained a tough nut to crack. Adding fuel to fire, the recent years have reported several data leakages worldwide. Strengthening encryption is even harder considering the huge amount of academic literature to be digested by the developers. Most of them don’t have time to go through extensive documentation to bolster their encryption tactics. Thanks to Google, the tech giant’s latest encryption library comes as a relief. In order to support developers to ship secure cryptographic code, Google has introduced Tink, a multi-language, cross-platform cryptographic library.

What is Tink

Tink is an open source cryptographic library that provides a secure, simple and agile API to perform common cryptographic tasks such as message authentication, digital signatures, hybrid encryption and symmetric encryption. Google has been working on building Tink for the past two years and has announced its first version- Tink 1.2.0. The primary version will support cloud, Android, iOS, and more! Currently Google is using Tink to secure data of their products such as AdMob, Google Pay, Google Assistant, Firebase, and Android Search App. This is not the first time Google has contributed to encryption. Its previous encryption library Keyczar was launched in 2009. Keyczar’s development was stopped a few years back.

Features of Tink

Tink’s APIs are secure, easy-to-use in the acceptable way and are harder to misuse. It tries to minimize common crypto pitfalls by offering user-centered design, careful implementation and code reviews and extensive testing on Android, iOS, and C++.

Tink provides support for key management and integrates easily with popular cloud-based key management systems like AWS KMS and Google Cloud KMS. It aims to avoid as many misuses as possible. It is highly extensible and customizable, and allows users to build upon the core architecture and key management abilities without having to fork the library.

Since the early days of development, Tink has been hosted in GitHub as an open source community project that has attracted several external contributors. It is a significant milestone in Google’s efforts to transform the world of encryption.

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