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Symmetric and Asymmetric Cryptography explained

What is Symmetric and Asymmetric cryptography?

Before we get into Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption or Cryptography first you need to know about what encryption and cryptography are you can click here to read more about Encryption and Cryptography.

If you decided to not read the above articles for some reason let’s have a sneak peek into what those words basically mean. The word Cryptography has been derived from the Greek word “kryptós” which means “Hidden or Secret”. Before we get further into it let’s discuss why do we even need encryption in the first place?

Why do we need Encryption?

The concept of Encryption is too old. The Kings used to encrypt their messages so that their messages keep hidden from outsiders and no one can read their messages except the person to whom they have wrote the message for. So the same concept continues till now, We use encryption to hide the original message from the hackers. So that even a hacker manages to get our encrypted message he does not know what is the original message.

Types of encryption

These are two types of encryption.

  • Symmetric Encryption
  • Asymmetric Encryption

Symmetric Encryption

In this encryption method, the same key is used for encryption and decryption. This Encryption method is also known as \”Private Key Cryptography\”. This method utilizes fewer resources for encryption and decryption. In this method, it is necessary to transfer the key through a secure channel. This method uses the same key for encryption and decryption which is why it is less secure. If the hacker manages to get that key then it can read the original message \” Plain-Text\” easily. While encryption, the size of the encrypted message ” Cipher-Text ” will be either equal to the original message “Plain-Text” or less than the Plain-Text. We can transfer a huge amount of data through Symmetric Encryption. Here are a few examples of Symmetric Encryption Algorithms:

  • AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)
  • DES (Data Encryption Standard)
  • RC4 (Rivest Cipher 4)
Symmetric Encryption Diagram
Symmetric Encryption Diagram

Asymmetric Encryption

Asymmetric Encryption is also known as \”Public Key Cryptography\”. This method of encryption is more secure than the Symmetric Encryption Method. The encryption algorithm uses \”Public-Key\” to encrypt the Plain-Text into Cipher-Text. The Decryption Function uses the \”Private-Key\” to decrypt the Cipher-Text into Plain-Text. This type of encryption is suitable for one-way communication.

Suppose that you work in an Intelligence Agency and you want your co-workers to send you their daily routine. You can give them a public key through which they encrypt their message and send that to you and you are the only one who has the Private key. You will be the only one who can decrypt that message. This is exactly how this type of cryptography works.

The size of the Cipher-Text will be either equal or greater than the Plain-text after encryption. The encryption method is suitable for a small amount of data. Below are some examples of Asymmetric Cryptography:

  • Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC)
  • Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA)
  • Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA)

Difference Between Symmetric and Asymmetric Cryptography

Symmetric CryptographyAsymmetric Cryptography
Single Key is used for encryption and DecryptionTwo Keys are used. One is used for Encryption
and the second key is used for Decryption
Known as Private Key Encryption as wellAlso Known as Public Key Encryption
Secure than Asymmetric EncryptionIt is more Secure than Symmetric Encryption
It is Suitable for a huge amount of dataSuitable for small data
It uses fewer ResourcesUse more Resources
Provides ConfidentialityProvides Confidentiality as
well as Authenticity
The size of the Cipher is either smaller or the same Size is Cipher is Either greater or the same

This will be it for this post but you can always visit our home page to read more regarding Computers. But you can read more topics about Networks and Cyber Security by clicking the category tab on the top bar and then clicking on Networking. The Featured Image belongs to Pexels.com.

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Aftab Ahmed

Aftab Ahmed

I am a student of Computer science and I explain the topics of Computer Science in a way that everyone can understand. My job is to make the topics simple for everyone so that they don't have to read through long and difficult books in order to understand the concepts.

Symmetric and Asymmetric Cryptography explained

What is Symmetric and Asymmetric cryptography?

If you decided to not read the above articles for some reason let’s have a sneak peek into what those words basically mean. The word Cryptography has been derived from the Greek word “kryptós” which means “Hidden or Secret”. Before we get further into it let’s discuss why do we even need encryption in the first place?

Read More »
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1 thought on “What is Symmetric and Asymmetric cryptography?”

  1. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick
    shout out and say I really enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
    Thanks a lot!

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