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What is Asymmetric Algorithm
Asymmetric algorithms use different keys to encrypt and decrypt data. One method of asymmetric encryption is called public key cryptography. Public key cryptography uses two keys that form a key pair. These two keys are known as the public key and the private key. Unlike symmetric algorithms, the key that encrypts the plaintext cannot be used to decrypt the ciphertext. Instead, the public key encrypts the plaintext, and the private key decrypts the ciphertext. The public key can be given to anyone, trusted or not, while the private key must be kept secret (just like the key in symmetric cryptography).
Asymmetric keys provide authentication, integrity, and nonrepudiation. They can also support confidentiality when used for key management. Some examples of asymmetric encryption algorithms are Diffie-Hellman (DH) and RSA. The RSA asymmetric algorithm is the basis for public key cryptography.
Some of the advantages using asymmetric keys are as follows:
Provide a secure way to communicate with an individual
Because there is a public key and a private key, the public key can be provided to anyone that you want to send you encrypted information, but only you can decrypt that information. This helps ensure data confidentiality.
Provide a method to validate an individual
You can use a private key to create a digital signature, which can be used to verify that you are who you claim to be. This helps provide an authentication method and nonrepudiation.
Some of the disadvantages of using asymmetric keys include the following:
Asymmetric encryption is relatively slow
Asymmetric algorithms are generally slower than symmetric algorithms due to the increased computational complexity required to encrypt and decrypt data; therefore it is not suited to provide confidentiality for large amounts of data.
Some characteristics of specific asymmetric keys are as follows:
Variable-length key, de facto standard for public key encryption.
Variable-length key, used to securely establish a shared secret.
Elliptic curve cryptography
Variable-length key, currently too slow for widespread implementation.
The purpose of using cryptography is to ensure confidentiality, integrity, identification and authentication, and nonrepudiation. Given enough time, though, a hacker can decrypt the information. The strength of symmetric and asymmetric keys comes from the length of the key (the random or pseudo-random binary number) and the algorithm that is used to encrypt the data.
What is Symmetric Algorithm
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