Selecting an encryption application to safeguard confidential material of your business can be a huge task. For someone who is not a technical geek or is relatively new to cryptography, it will be damn difficult to find out if they should choose asymmetric and symmetric encryption.
There will be many questions like what their differences are and which one is the best for your needs. But, before we address any of those queries, we’d want to go back to the fundamentals and define cryptography for the uninformed.
What Is Cryptography?
The process of turning human-readable data into unreadable ciphertext is known as cryptography. This data encrypting is the outcome of an algorithmic procedure involving a secret key. Briefly stated, cryptography randomizes your information so that anyone who steals it cannot read it unless they know the key to convert it back to a readable form. Cryptography is important if we desire privacy and want to safeguard our data. In this post, we will talk about the differences between the types of cryptography – asymmetric and symmetric.
Key Differences Between The Symmetric And Asymmetric Cryptography
There are some significant differences between symmetric and asymmetric encryption in aspects of how they function and where they are most valuable:
- How Are The Keys Distributed?
Transferring the encryption keys via a digital public channel is not a problem with asymmetric cryptography. It’s because exchange protocols were created specifically for this purpose. To safely exchange symmetric keys, though, you would need to meet face to face. This is not only cumbersome, but it also negates the point of digital communication in the first place.
Furthermore, exchanging symmetric keys through public channels is problematic since the key is sensitive. It is more secure to use asymmetric approaches in the key exchange procedure.
- Nature, Number, And Size Of These Cryptographic Keys
Asymmetric public and private keys are cryptographically secured but yet unique, whereas symmetric keys are similar. In addition, symmetric keys are generally smaller in size than asymmetric keys. Symmetric keys are typically 128 bits, 192 bits, or 256 bits, but asymmetric keys should be 2048 bits or larger.
- Which Is Better For Public And Private Platforms?
We’ve previously discussed this, but to summarize, symmetric key cryptography is better suited for a non-public channel of your business, whereas asymmetric encryption is best suited for public channels. However, both of these are nowadays being used together for enhanced encryption.
- How Much Time Does Each Process Consume?
Symmetric cryptography certainly can encrypt a huge amount of data quicker and faster since it needs only one key. Asymmetric encryption encrypts and decrypts data using two different keys and more sophisticated algorithms, making it slower for encrypting and decrypting huge volumes of data. However, while evaluating asymmetric versus symmetric encryption, you must also consider the channels through which you will use it.
Due to its slow speed and resource availability, asymmetric encryption is generally used to compensate for the limitations of symmetric encryption. As a result, they are applied in tandem to accomplish ideal safe communication, confidentiality, authenticity, and data integrity.
Want to learn more about where these two methods used separately or in conjunction? Check out the information on KeyFactor.
Also, if there is anything that you wish to mention, then leave it in the comment section!