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Cryptography: the key to digital security

Cryptography is a method that aims at the security of confidential data through a secret language that codifies the information making it unreadable to unauthorized persons. The access and reading of this information is only allowed to the real recipients and senders.

This technology, when used correctly, ensures integrity, confidentiality, preventing data from being tampered and read by unauthorized persons.

The technique for the information to be codified constitutes the change of the readable data for an encrypted output applying an algorithm and a key that guarantee all the protection in the cybernetic environment. However, the choice of an algorithm will depend on security needs as well as the size of the data to be encoded.

In cryptography there are some models to be followed that contribute to the advancement of different solutions. However, only two are considered main and have their respective purposes:

· Symmetric Encryption: Includes the use of a single key from which the sender and recipient perform encryption and decryption of information.

Source: SSL2Buy

· Asymmetric Encryption: Two different keys are used and it becomes an additional security that reinforces data protection. The first key called “public key”, aims to encrypt the data and can be exchanged with anyone, regardless of the network they are on. The second key, this one being private, contains elements about how the messages are decrypted.

Source: SSL2Buy

Some examples of algorithms

Note that these are just some examples of symmetric and asymmetric algorithms available, there are other techniques and algorithms also used depending on the need for security, performance and compatibility.

Examples of symmetric encryption:

  • AES (Advanced Encryption Standard);

  • DES (Data Encryption Standard);

  • Blowfish;

  • Twofish;

  • RC4 (Rivest Cipher 4).

Examples of asymmetric encryption:

  • RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman);

  • ECC (Elliptic Curve Cryptography);

  • DSA (Digital Signature Algorithm);

  • DH (Diffie-Hellman);

  • ElGamal.

Advantages and disadvantages

Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages and are often used together to ensure data security. Asymmetric encryption is particularly useful for authentication and secure key exchange, while symmetric encryption is more efficient for protecting large amounts of data.

Advantages of symmetric encryption:

  1. Single key eases deployment and management;

  2. Faster processing due to less complexity;

  3. Ideal for protecting large volumes of data.

Disadvantages of symmetric encryption:

  1. The key must be shared securely between the parties involved;

  2. If the key is compromised, the data is also compromised;

  3. It does not provide a reliable way to authenticate involved parties.

Advantages of asymmetric encryption:

  1. Public and private key guarantee the authenticity and integrity of the data;

  2. It is not necessary to share the private key, which increases security;

  3. Provides a reliable way to exchange secret keys.

Disadvantages of asymmetric encryption:

  1. Increased complexity and slower processing;

  2. Keys must be generated and managed carefully;

  3. It can be more difficult to implement and manage due to the need for two keys.

In conclusion, cryptography is a crucial tool in information security, allowing to protect data and communications from unauthorized access. There are two main types of encryption: symmetric and asymmetric. Symmetric encryption uses a single key to encrypt and decrypt data, while asymmetric encryption uses two keys, one public and one private.

Both types of encryption have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is common to use them together to ensure data security. It is important to mention that there are many different algorithms available for use, and the right choice will depend on your specific security, performance, and compatibility needs. As technology evolves, it is important to be aware of trends and advances in encryption to ensure continued data security.


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