symmetric encryption

What is Symmetric Encryption Algorithms

Encryption is as essential for your data as a key is essential for a lock that protects your house. Symmetric Encryption uses the  Symmetric Key to encrypt and decrypt information and Algorithms are a part of this whole process that involves the use of data strings. Unlike, most of the modern technical mechanisms that may not give you much trouble, these algorithms are hard to break, and in many cases impossible, if you don’t the have the key to decrypt it. This quality and the faster functionality of these algorithms makes them a popular choice.

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Even though they are known for secure protection, not all algorithms are as safe as the others because of the fact that they can be customized to your needs and different algorithms hold different qualities according to their programming. For example, some of them do not have backdoors which adds up to their strength in protecting your data.

There are two basic types of Symmetric Encryption Algorithms:

  • Block Algorithm
  • Stream Algorithm

The main difference between them is determining whether the method will be of Blocking and retaining the data in the form of blocks or not. The blocking method is used in Block Algorithm as suggested by the name itself while in a stream Algorithm the data continues to flow without being held. Diving into the subcategories, you can have many types of Encryption Algorithms, some of which are listed below;

  • DES – the very first and now outdated cipher, Data Encryption Standard (DES) was introduced by IBM in 1977. Started off with huge success but it soon became incompatible with the new technology, the many attempts to revive it gave it a new life but with a slower speed than before which made clients opt for the newer and totally new standard.
  • AES – the new standard which became a better and more reliable option was Advanced Encryption Standard which is also the official successor of DES.
  • The IDEA was supposed to be the in the place where AES is today but not being popular enough and not used as widely as it was expected to be, the International Data Encryption Algorithm was shunned because of its’ slowness weaker keys. It could not compete in the market where other standards provided more security and speed.
  • Rivest’s Cipher (RC) was named after the person who invented it (Ron Rivest) and is also known by the name of Ron’s Code.

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