5 Commonly Used Encryption Algorithms
5 Commonly Used Encryption Algorithms
Many people still ignore how important encryption is. Most internet services use encryption to keep your information safe. Encryption, however, is a bit hard to figure out. There are many types and they have different uses. How do you know what type of encryption algorithm is “best”? Let's take a look at some of the encryption algorithms that are commonly used by many people.
Differences in Encryption Types and Encryption Strength
One of the biggest encryption language fallacies stems from the difference between encryption types, encryption algorithms, and the strength of each. Let's explain:
* Encryption type: The encryption type concerns how the encryption is completed. For example, asymmetric cryptography is one of the most common types of encryption on the internet.
* Encryption algorithm: When we discuss encryption strength, we're talking about a specific encryption algorithm. Algorithms are where the catchy names come from, like Triple DES, RSA, or AES. Encryption algorithm names are often accompanied by a numeric value, such as AES-128. The number refers to the size of the encryption key and further determines the strength of the algorithm.
5 Most Common Encryption Algorithms
The types of encryption form the foundation for the encryption algorithm, while the encryption algorithm is responsible for the strength of the encryption. We are talking about encryption strength in bits.
Also, you probably know more encryption algorithms than you realize. Here are some of the most common types of encryption algorithms.
Triple DES (sometimes written 3DES or TDES) was designed to replace the insecure Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm. Originally Triple DES was the recommended standard and the most widely used symmetric algorithm in the industry.
TripleDES improves the encryption procedure by running DES three times.. Data is encrypted, decrypted, and then encrypted again, giving an effective key length of 168 bits. It is strong enough for most sensitive data. However, while TripleDES is more powerful than standard DES, it has its drawbacks.
Although slowly being phased out, Triple DES still manages to create a reliable hardware encryption solution for financial services and other industries.
RSA (named after its creators Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman) was one of the first public key cryptographic algorithms. It uses a one-way asymmetric encryption function.
Many sides of the internet use the RSA algorithm extensively. It is a key feature of many protocols, including SSH, OpenPGP, S/MIME, and SSL/TLS. Additionally, browsers use RSA to establish secure communication over insecure networks.
RSA remains very popular because of its key length. RSA keys are usually 1024 or 2048 bits. However, security experts believe that it won't be long before 1024-bit RSA is cracked, prompting many business organizations to migrate to more robust 2048-bit keys.
Blowfish is another algorithm designed to replace DES. This symmetric cipher divides the message into blocks of 64 bits and encrypts each one.
Blowfish is known for its incredible speed and overall effectiveness as many claim it has never been beaten. Meanwhile, vendors have taken full advantage of its free availability in the public domain.
Blowfish can be found in software categories ranging from e-commerce platforms for securing payments to password management tools, where it is used to protect passwords. This is definitely one of the more flexible encryption methods available.
Computer security expert Bruce Schneier is the mastermind behind the creation of Blowfish and its successor Twofish. The keys used in this algorithm may be up to 256 bits long and as a symmetric technique, only one key is required.
Twofish is considered to be one of the fastest of its kind, and ideal for use in both hardware and software environments. Like Blowfish, Twofish is available free of charge to anyone who wants to use it. As a result, you'll find it bundled in encryption programs like PhotoEncrypt, GPG, and the popular open source software TrueCrypt.
5. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is now the trusted encryption standard. It is based on the Rijndael algorithm developed by two Belgian cryptographers, Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen.
Belgian cryptographers submitted their algorithm to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with 14 others vying to become the official successor to DES. Rijndael “won” and was selected as the proposed AES algorithm in October 2000.
AES is a symmetric key algorithm and uses a symmetric block cipher. It consists of three main sizes: 128, 192, or 256 bits. In addition, there are different rounds of encryption for each key size. Loop is the process of converting plaintext into password text. For 128-bit, there are 10 rounds. 192-bit has 12 rounds, and 256-bit has 14 rounds.
There are theoretical attacks against the AES algorithm, but all require levels of computing power and data storage that are simply not possible in the current era. For example, a single attack required about 38 trillion terabytes of data more than all the data stored on all the world's computers in 2016. Other estimates put the total amount of time needed to brute force an AES-128 key in billions of years.
As such, encryption guru Bruce Schneier doesn't “believe that anyone will come up with an attack that will allow someone to read Rijndael's traffic,” outside of theoretical academic encryption. Schneiers' Twofish encryption algorithm was a direct challenger to Rijndael during the competition to choose a new national security algorithm.
So those are some common types of encryption algorithms. But what is certain is that encryption is important because cyber attacks are constantly evolving. Expert observers also hope that a new method called Honey Encryption will prevent hackers from serving fake data for every wrong guess of the key code.
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