Data Encryption Algorithms

Over the past few decades, the internet has evolved from being a conceptual resource to a virtually compulsory tool in running our daily life aspects such as communication, banking, infosec, data storage, shopping, etc. With such a massive consumption arises security threats to how information is transferred from one computer to another or from one network to another. This’s a huge challenge at organization and enterprise levels that need to adopt the best safety initiatives to protect their critical information. Applying data encryption algorithms is a top safety measure for protecting organizational data. Data encryption is the technique of masking data to secure it against bad actors or accidental disclosure. Simply put, data encryption is the translation or scrambling of actual data (plaintext) into a code or other form (ciphertext) that only people with a decryption key can have access to. encryption is meant to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of digital data stored on computers/servers/cloud or data being transferred through networks. Typically, there are two main forms of data encryption: symmetric and asymmetric (public-key) encryptions.

Symmetric data encryption involves the use of a single key for both encryption and decryption processes and sticks to the vintage concept of data encryption. While symmetric encryption is faster and easier compared with asymmetric encryption, the cyphertext cannot be decrypted until the receiver gets the decryption key from the sender. This implies organizations should devise secure methods of managing and distributing large volumes of security keys. Consequently, many users have switched to adopting asymmetric algorithms as they involve the use of two separate security keys: a public key and a private key. whereas the public key is shared out, and the private key is secured. Asymmetric encryption algorithms are popular methods for transferring sensitive information via insecure public networks.

Types of Encryption: 5 Encryption Algorithms & How to Choose the Right One  - Hashed Out by The SSL Store™

Top Data Encryption Algorithms

Today, with the advent of asymmetric encryption algorithms, symmetric encryption has become an outdated data encryption standard. Contemporary high-level encryption techniques include triple DES, Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA), blowfish, Twofish, and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

1. Triple Data Encryption Standard (Triple DES)

The Triple-DES data encryption method was developed as next in line to the once popular Data Encryption Standard (DES) technique. The predecessor technique was rendered obsolete by cybercriminals who repeatedly exploited its vulnerabilities. After succeeding the antiquated DES, Triple DES has become the industry’s top symmetric encryption algorithm. The technique leverages a 56-bit single key where the whole key length adds up to 168 bits. Nevertheless, since it requires successive encryption, an intermediary vulnerability lowers its security to a 112-bit key. Due to its complex mode of operation, triple DES is sluggish, but still very effective that pundits rate it as one of the top encryption algorithms of the moment. Besides, Triple DES is popular for its reliability in financial-related applications and various sectors like hardware and encryption solutions.

2. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

AES is a symmetric encryption technique and an industry-standard chosen by the government of the United States to secure classified data. AES is highly-secure and efficient in its standard 128-bit form and makes use of 192- and 256-bit security keys for sturdy encryption. It’s hailed as more secure and powerful than its predecessors like Triple DES as its decryption process is faster and uses more complex and longer security keys. AES is widely used in firewalls, routers, and all applications that require encryption. It’s regarded as impervious to virtually all cyber-attacks except brute force attacks.

3. Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA)  

Named after its developers: Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman), the RSA encryption algorithm, also known the RSA security is a standard public-key encryption protocol. It’s classified as an asymmetric encryption tool as it uses both public and private keys to encrypt the plaintext and decrypt cyphertext. RSA’s scrambling ability requires any attempted attack to use sophisticated techniques and spent too much time before they can break in; this keeps communication and data resources quite secure. Its ability to encrypt data using either a private key or a public key offers myriads of services to RSA Security users. For instance, where a public key is used to encrypt data, a private key is used for decryption. RSA Security is an exemplary encryption algorithm for sensitive information being sent via the internet/network connections.

Technically, RSA security thrives in the idea that a number (modulus) can be generated from the multiplication of two sufficiently large numbers but the factorization process of the number into individual prime numbers is difficult. RSA keys (public and private keys) are generated from two numbers where one number is a product of two sufficiently large prime numbers. The same pair of prime numbers are used to compute the value of both keys that often have a length of 1024- or 2048-bits, making it exceedingly hard to factorize them.

4. Blowfish 

Created in 1993 by Bruce Schneier, the Blowfish encryption algorithm is a perfect substitution for DES and RSA encryption methods thanks to its high speed. The technique disintegrates data being sent into multiple 64-bit chunks and encrypt them individually. The security keys come with 32- to 448-bit lengths. Blowfish is a great data encryption method: to date, the algorithm has never been beaten. It is extremely popular among multiple users as it is patent-free and can be used by all users in the public domain. It’s widely used in software and eCommerce industries that require a secure transaction and password management.

5. Twofish

As the name suggests, the Twofish encryption method is the superseder of Blowfish and a symmetric encryption algorithm. Like Blowfish, Twofish applies block encryption by splitting data into 128-bit individual blocks and encrypting them individually using a 256-bit security key. The Twofish technique is quite popular among users of low-processing devices.


Hackers are constantly improving their tactics forcing data experts and infosec specialists to devise new techniques to keep them away. Technology companies and regulatory authorities like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are researching modern information security solutions like quantum cryptography, facial recognition encryption, homomorphic encryption, honey encryption, et al. as possible successors of the current encryption algorithms. Meanwhile, whether you’re protecting your email communication, stored information, or sending files via the public internet, including protection as part of your security tool lineup.

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