What is Symmetric Encryption, Symmetric Key

What is Symmetric Encryption, Symmetric Key

Can you imagine leaving your house unlocked when you go out and not getting robbed because of your stupid mistake? Chances are you are not likely to escape a theft on your property if you do such a thing and the same goes for your computer device and network. In your house, your jewelry or money is counted as one of the most valuable possessions but inside your computer the same value is given to your personal and financial information like credit card details, log in credentials or any media containing personal and private property which, if leaked can lead to the same kind of effect as a robbery on your resident.

The personal information of yours that needs to be protected is locked inside your device using Symmetric Encryption which functions the same way as a lock for a house.

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All the information that has been encrypted using Symmetric Encryption will be decrypted only with Symmetric Key. This is the oldest ever method to be used for encoding and decoding your personal information which provides a key to both the sender and the receiver. It is a simpler method than Asymmetric Encryption or Public Key Cryptology which provides two different keys; one for encoding and one for decoding. Making a method simpler also means making it vulnerable.

The symmetric key is easy to operate but since it requires a common key, it might compromise your network security. International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation describes Symmetric Key as inexpensive and valuable which comes with a set of responsibilities as you share they key on your own risk.

As an entity, the Symmetric key is made of five parts which are briefly described below:

Encryption Algorithm is one of the main parts of the mechanism of the Symmetric key because it encrypts the message. For example, when you send a message it is transformed into the number as to make it non-understandable until it is decrypted by the key.

The plaintext is the message that has been sent which is needed to be protected through encryption.

Through the Encryption Algorithm, the plaintext is converted into ciphertext which is unreadable and thus safe to be transmitted without worry. Reciprocal Cipher might be needed to decrypt the ciphertext as well as the for the encryption of the plaintext.

A decryption key is needed for decoding the ciphertext and convert it back into the plaintext so the receiver can read and understand without any difficulty.

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