Security Encryption

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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The majority of modern security encryption techniques are the result of research that occurred during the 1960s and 70s. Prior to that, most of the cryptographic strategies used were based on language patterns. With the introduction of computers and the maturation of computer science, however, researchers began using complex factorization algorithms to generate new kinds of cryptographic systems.

The two most common systems are called symmetric key encryption and asymmetric key encryption. Both use algorithms (or a pair of algorithms) to encrypt a selection of data, either as individual characters, as stream ciphers do, or as chunks, as block ciphers do. The new American standard security encryption method, adopted in 2001, uses blocks of 128-bits in its encryption process.

Symmetric and Asymmetric Security Encryption Keys

The standard, referred to as AES, is a symmetric key algorithm-based method of security encryption. Symmetric key systems use a shared secret key to both encrypt and decrypt data. While this is a relatively fast encryption method, it is susceptible to attacks if the key is compromised.

Asymmetric encryption methods are most complicated. They require the use of two different key algorithms, one for encoding and one for decoding. Commonly, the encryption key can be made public, while the decryption key remains private and unique. In many current software applications, the decryption key is available in the form of a small digital device, such as a USB hard drive.

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