Encryption is the process of encoding information so that only certain people can see it. To encrypt data, you use an encryption key. Similar to how a key is used to lock something, you use the encryption key to encode or lock plain text into encrypted text or ciphertext.
There are two main types of encryption:
In symmetric encryption, you use the same key for both encryption and decryption. The security of symmetric encryption relies heavily on keeping the key secret. Otherwise, anyone with access to the key can decrypt the ciphertext and see the information, which would defeat the purpose of encryption. Securely distributing the key is one of the primary challenges of symmetric encryption. Here is Alvosec application, that offers symmetric encryption.
Symmetric encryption has the advantage of being fast and simple. Common applications include:
AES, DES, IDEA, and Blowfish are some standard symmetric encryption algorithms.
In asymmetric encryption (or Public-key cryptography), we use a key pair that consists of a public key and a private key. The public key is accessible to everyone, while the private key must be kept secret. There are two popular use cases:
Here you can read, how to create PGP keys to encrypt and sign files.
Asymmetric encryption is more secure than symmetric encryption and is widely used in HTTPS, email communications, and encrypted messaging.
Standard asymmetric encryption algorithms include RSA, DSA, Diffie-Hellman, and ECC.