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Symmetric and asymmetric encryption


The safety of a modern person largely depends on the safety of his private information - personal data, logins and passwords, data on credit cards and cryptocurrency wallets. And to ensure this very security, cryptographic encryption is actively used. More precisely, there are two main ways - symmetrical and asymmetrical. Each of them, however, has its own pros and cons, but each is actively used to ensure data security, including at the highest levels of privacy.

Comparison of the two ways

In short, symmetric encryption provides faster communication, less demanding on computing power, but more on the security of information transmission channels. Loss of one of the keys automatically compromises any information protected with it. Also, due to the unpredictable algorithm for generating keys, it is much more difficult to select them, in contrast to the open method, in which the public / private pair are linked by a certain mathematical algorithm.

Asymmetric encryption is more reliable, since the private key does not need to be transferred anywhere, and knowledge of the open address does not give access to the encrypted information. This, however, is achieved at the expense of a significant decrease in communication speed. Also, with it, the keys must be larger in order to provide the same level of crypto resistance as in the situation with symmetric encoding. To work with such keys, in addition, a lot of computing power is required.

However, only asymmetric encryption can be used to generate digital signatures - assigning unique identifiers to e-mail messages that prove their authorship.

Also, the asymmetric method has not yet been sufficiently studied and tested in practice, therefore it is much less often used by officials and organizations. However, this situation is gradually changing - digital signatures turned out to be an extremely relevant idea for ensuring the security of official correspondence.

Hybrid systems

They use both, but in different situations. A simple example is a conversation between two users. First, using asymmetric encryption, information about a private channel is sent - the so-called "session key", through which data encrypted with a symmetric cipher is transmitted further.

The session key is significantly smaller than the public one - its sizes range from 128 to 512, depending on the algorithm. This guarantees a higher operating speed without compromising burglary resistance.

SSL and TLS protocols are also an illustrative example of the use of such systems. They were originally created to provide secure communication on the Internet. And despite the fact that SSL is no longer considered secure enough and is being phased out, TLS is still actively used. It is it, which underlies the HTTPs secure connection protocol.