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Difference between Symmetric And Asymmetric Key Cryptography

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The process of concealing or coding information so that only the intended recipient can read it is known as cryptography. Cryptography has been used to encode messages for thousands of years and is still used in bank cards, computer passwords, and e-commerce.

What is meant by the term “Cryptography”?

Cryptography is a method of storing and transmitting data in such a way that only those authorized to see and process it can do so. This is accomplished by employing advanced mathematical concepts. Encryption is a fundamental concept in cryptography; it is the process of encoding a message so that it cannot be deciphered by an eavesdropper. This method dates back to Caesar’s time when he encrypted his messages using Caesar’s cipher. If a user’s plain text is encrypted and transmitted over a communication channel, an eavesdropper cannot read it. Decryption takes place at the receiving end, restoring the plain text.

Terminologies used in Cryptography

Terminologies used in Cryptography


Encryption is the process of coding or locking up data or information using cryptography. The data that has been locked is said to be encrypted.


Decryption is the process of unlocking or decoding encrypted data/information using cryptographic techniques.


A password or string of characters used to encrypt and decrypt data is referred to as a key.

Different types of keys are used in cryptography. Only the sender and receiver are aware of the information. For example, symmetric-key cryptography uses secret keys for both encryption and decryption.

Types of Cryptography

Unauthorized access to all types of data is a constant risk in today’s cyber world. Financial and payment system data are the most vulnerable because they can reveal consumers’ and clients’ personal identifying information (PII) or payment card records.

To secure personally identifiable information and mitigate threats, companies that conduct payment transactions every minute of the day must use encryption. As a result, cryptography is extremely important.

Cryptography is classified into two types: symmetric cryptography and asymmetric cryptography.

Types of Cryptography

Symmetric Cryptography

Two popular encryption algorithms are the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and the Data Encryption Standard (DES)

  1. Stream ciphers encrypt digits or letters in a message one at a time.
  2. Block ciphers encrypt a collection of bits as a single entity, inserting plaintext to make it a multiple of the block size. 64-bit blocks are widely used. Both the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm and the GCM block cipher mode of operation use 128-bit blocks.

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What is the purpose of Symmetric Encryption?

Despite its age, symmetric encryption is simpler and more effective than asymmetric encryption, which causes network strain due to data size performance issues and high CPU usage.

Symmetric encryption is commonly used for large-scale data encryption, such as database encryption because it is smoother and faster than asymmetric encryption. The secret key of a database can only be used by the database to encrypt or decrypt data.

Here are some examples of symmetric cryptography applications:

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Asymmetric Cryptography

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What is the purpose of Asymmetric Encryption?

 Asymmetric cryptography is frequently used in digital signature validation. A digital signature is a cryptographic technique for validating and trusting a message, piece of software, or digital record. It functions similarly to a handwritten signature or a sealed seal.

Evidence of the origin, identification, and status of an electronic record, transaction, or post, as well as acknowledgment of the signer’s informed consent, may be included in asymmetric cryptographic digital signatures.

Asymmetric encryption can also be used in applications where multiple users can simultaneously encrypt and decrypt messages, such as:

What is the difference between Symmetric and asymmetric encryption?

So, when it comes to the distinction between symmetric and asymmetric encryption, which is more secure? Asymmetric encryption is slower than symmetric encryption, but it is more stable. They’re both effective in their own ways, and depending on the task, one or both of them can be used separately or together.

The table below compares symmetric and asymmetric encryption in greater detail. Some of these differences can be attributed to the various types of keys used, while others can be attributed to the time required to compute the encryption methods.

Symmetric Encryption Asymmetric Encryption
Private key cryptography or secret-key cryptography are other names for it. Asymmetric key cryptography, also known as conventional cryptography or public-key cryptography, is a type of cryptography.
Key lengths are typically 128 or 256 bits, depending on the security criteria. The key length is even longer; the recommended RSA key size for asymmetric encryption is 2048 bits or greater.
The encryption method can be completed quickly because it is a simple procedure. It is a much more difficult and time-consuming mechanism than symmetric key encryption.
The mysterious key has been revealed. As a result, the likelihood of compromise rises. Because the private key is not shared, the overall process is more reliable than symmetric encryption.

Advantages of Symmetric Cryptography

Advantages of Symmetric Cryptography

Disadvantages of Symmetric Cryptography

Advantages of Asymmetric Cryptography

Advantages of Asymmetric Cryptography

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Disadvantages of Asymmetric Cryptography


Indeed, new algorithms are being developed to keep up with eavesdroppers and secure knowledge in order to improve secrecy. In the coming years, hackers will undoubtedly make life difficult for experts, but the cryptographic world will continue to evolve!

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