By Darren McBride, CEO of Highly Reliable Systems, ASCII Group Member Since 2005
Encryption is becoming a more significant topic as many companies struggle to meet compliance requirements and keep their data secure. It is in demand more than you might expect, including for various website security functions and backups — which are another important area to consider using encryption on. To completely protect data and backup, you should consider encrypting both the data in motion and at rest. Here are a few facts about encryption that will help you understand the landscape.
There Are 2 Types of Encryption: Symmetric And Asymmetric.
Symmetric encryption means the same mathematical “key” is used for both encrypting and decrypting. A common example of symmetric encryption is AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), which is used for data at rest such as on hard drives or to encrypt private networks.By contrast, in asymmetric encryption 2 different keys are used — a “public key” for encrypting and a “private key” for decrypting. This type of asymmetric encryption is often referred to as public key infrastructure (PKI), or public key cryptography, and is often used for encryption of data in motion over the Internet.Asymmetric encryption key lengths must be longer than symmetric key lengths to provide similar protection. A key length of 2048 bits is considered a very secure standard when using asymmetric encryption. However, a key length of only 256 bits using AES is considered all but unbreakable when using symmetric encryption.
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