Today, cryptography is at the heart of business. For the sake of computer security, it protects communications, transactions, maintains the privacy of data and allows secure authentication. New regulations such as GDPR and PSD2, the commercial pressure for digital transformation, the adoption of cloud-based technologies, and the latest trends in IO and blockchain help boost the need to integrate cryptography into practically everything
Which encryption algorithms should we always keep in mind?
In the current cyber risk world, it is important that all the data of a company is protected in its different locations and stages. Having said that, not all encryptions are done the same way. Currently, we have a long list of encryption algorithms that have become obsolete. However, we will review some of the most effective ones.
RSA or Rivest Shamir Adleman
Supports incredibly long bit lengths, that’s why it is typical to see keys of 2048 and up to 4096 bits. RSA is an asymmetric encryption algorithm. This means that there are two separate encryption keys. One encrypts the information and it is public for all to see. The other, encrypts that data and is private. Although RSA is incredibly strong, it is also very slow, which means it is not suitable for encrypting discs or web traffic. As seen lately, RSA keys of 768 bits have been cracked, but currently nobody uses less than 1024 bits.
This advanced encryption standard is actually commonly paired with RSA as its symmetric partner. AES is so strong that it has become the official encryption standard of the US Government. It is similar to Twofish in that it works with 128-bit blocks. It works with encryption rounds. The number of applicable rounds varies with 10 rounds applied to 128-bit keys, 12 rounds for 192-bit keys and 14 rounds for 256-bit keys. It is considered one of the best, although some attacks have been successful in the simplest versions of the algorithm.
We are talking about the future of cryptography. Almost all protocols and applications of quantum cryptography are theoretical. Either the hardware to make it work does not yet exist, or nobody knows how to do it. Within the next 20 years, quantum computers large enough to crack essentially all the key schemes that are currently in use will be built. The most advanced quantum computer currently has 2000 qubits. In 2011, that number was only 128. We are talking about a science that is advancing by leaps and bounds.
In theory, any type of encryption can be broken if given enough time, energy and processing power. Our current methods are safe because they require impractical amounts of at least one of those three factors. Fortunately, those same tools are probably the key to the next generation of encryption algorithms that are impossible to penetrate