Types of Encryption

Types of Encryption

Symmetric Encryption

Symmetric encryption uses one key that is shared between all parties in order to access the encrypted data. Symmetric encryption is faster but less secure and is considered an older method of encryption. It is less secure because you are trusting all parties to use one key in order to decrypt the secure data. This means that you must trust everyone in your organization to include those who no longer work for that organization. If you think that a certain party can no longer be trusted then you have to change the secret key for everyone in the organization. This quickly becomes very inefficient or insecure depending on your course of action.

Common symmetric encryption standards include the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) which replaced the older Data Encryption Standard (DES), BlowFish, TwoFish, and 3DES or Triple DES. (Say acronym’s by sounding out each letter, e.g. D-E-S.)

Asymmetric Encryption

This type of encryption uses a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption which is held by each individual. This two key system allows for better security but comes at a cost with higher resource consumption and subsequent slower speeds.

Common asymmetric encryption standards include RSA and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC). RSA 2048-bit keys are the current banking standard however Elliptic Curve Cryptography is quickly overtaking it as it is much more complex and secure. Elliptic Curve Cryptography will likely become the future standard for encryption as it exponentially more powerful than RSA.