A Guide To The Rise And Fall Of 5 Of The Best Key Encryption Algorithms

Important Facts For Key Encryption Algorithms

Encryption is a complicated affair. Designers of key encryption algorithms need to create something complex enough that it can handle data on a large scale. Furthermore, the system must handle the data in such a secure way that there is no way to hack it. There are times when designers will come up with an unbreakable, fast system that in the pinnacle.

Before long, someone will find a way to beat it, or it will become obsolete, slow and unappealing. This is what happened with DES. Since its inception, several companies have tried to create the very best algorithms and alternative options to replace it. Some have succeeded significantly with some impressive, complicated systems.

This guide will look at 5 of the best. This includes 3DES, which is still respected, the options from RSA, Blowfish, Twofish and 3DES’s eventual successor.

DES Was The “Original” Of The Key Encryption Algorithms


DES has been around for decades. It emerged in 1977 as a successor to IBM’s Lucifer encryption algorithm and approved by the US Government. It used a 56-bit key in a block cipher to decode 64-bit data block. Like most algorithms, it was well respected at its time and difficult to crack. It was large, robust and impressive enough to withstand the worst attacks.

The problem was that it soon became insecure as encryption developed. Triple DES came about in an attempt to replace the system with something more substantial. This means three successive key encryption algorithms with the ability to handled a 168-bit key. This all means that Triple DES is much more beneficial than its predecessor.

Many now consider it as one of the best options around. 3DES, as it is also known, can be unbreakable in some circumstances, making it ideal for e-commerce. Even so, it is slowly on the way out of some systems. Financial services still rely on this option for high-end security, but there is no denying that it is slow.

RSA And Their RC4 And RC5 Key Encryption Algorithms


The lack of speed from DES and its successor means that there is a need for something faster. Encryption experts RSA came up with a brilliant solution in the form of RC4. The RSA approach is different to DES key encryption algorithms because it is an asymmetric algorithm. This is because there is a pair of keys at work, the public key sending the information and the private key decrypting it.

They created RC4 in 1987 for a potentially infinite sequence of key values. That means ten years after the creation of the original DES. The additional benefit of RC4 over DES is that it can be ten times faster than DES. RC5 then came about as a faster, parameterized block cipher, with a variable key size up to 2040 bits.

There was also the ability to reach up to 255. Once again, RC5 is a model patented by RSA. As with DES, it is all about finding the best, fastest option to evade the hackers. However, we should note that despite these improvements, there are still many that prefer to stick with the slower DES.

Blowfish Offers An “Unbreakable Approach To Key Encryption Algorithms

DES was the top dog for a while because of its strength. RSA came along and improved upon it some ways, but not all. However, there are other options out there seen as great alternatives. Blowfish was another option that arose as a way of improving upon, and replacing DES. The major difference with the process is that it uses a symmetric cipher to split messages into blocks of 64 bits.

From there it encrypts every element individually. This may all sound like a complicated method and a potentially slow one. However, it is seen as one of the fastest options out there (although not quite the fastest). That is one of the leading reasons why so many e-commerce stores are turning to Blowfish for their needs.

There is also the fact that there is the claim that it hackers have never broken in, possibly due to its impressive flexibility. Whether it is true or not, there are many people keen to implication these key encryption algorithms into their software.

Blowfish Is Good, But There Are Some That Think of Twofish Is Superior When It Comes To Key Encryption Algorithms

As the name suggests, Twofish came from the same brains that created Blowfish. Many assume that if hackers are yet to break Blowfish, it is unbeatable. However, Twofish is the self-proclaimed successor that uses keys up to 256 bits in length in a symmetric technique.

The reason that Blowfish is no longer seen as the fastest is simple. Twofish has beaten it. As a result, it is now used by countless companies in multiple environments. The additional plus point over other options is that this, and Blowfish, are free to use. This is an excellent benefit for those that don’t want to have worry about fees and license costs.

Then There Is AES, The Key Encryption Algorithms That Truly Replaced DES

RSA created RC4 and RC5 as a way of improving the slow speed and limitations of 3DES. Blowfish and Twofish brought new key encryption algorithms to the public consciousness with even more speed and potential. Despite all of this, neither new option was the one brought in by the US government to replace 3DES. That role went to Advanced Encryption Standard, also known as AES, and it has been in place there since 2002. This option uses keys of 192 and 256 bits for heavy duty decoded in important situations.

The main thing about this option is that AES is that it is set to be in use until 2020. This is because it is such an unbreakable, smart system to protect such sensitive data. There are some that think it will be the benchmark by which all new options are then measured.

The other reason for its popularity on a wider level is that it shares another important benefit with Blowfish and Twofish. The algorithm is public with unrestricted use and no cost. As a result, it is impossible to see AES as anything but the best of the five options.

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