Encryption is the process of transforming plain text (data send) into cipher text (data received) to prevent unauthorized access. This is done by using encryption algorithm such as RSA (Rivest-shamir-adleman) algorithm. Encryption is done by using an encryption key based on which plain text is convert into cipher text. The purpose of data encryption is privacy. Encryption is needed to protection the data confidently as it is stored on the internet during transmission.
Decryption is the process of transforming the cipher text back to the plain text so that it become readable. It is the opposite of encryption. Cipher text can be decrypted with the help of decryption key. Encryption and decryption key both can be same or different depending on the type of encryption technique used.
Types of Encryption
There are two types of encryption: Symmetric and Asymmetric.
- Symmetric Encryption (also known as private key encryption): In symmetric encryption, the same key is used for encryption and decryption. Therefore, it becomes critical to transfer the data using symmetric encryption because if the key is hacked, the entire encryption gets corrupted.
Some commonly used symmetric encryption algorithms are DES, IDEA, Twofish, Blowfish, Serpent, RC2, RC4 and Triple DES.
- Asymmetric Encryption (also called public key encryption): Asymmetric encryption uses a pair of keys. One key for encryption and decryption each. Both the keys are different. Between two, one key is a public key and the other is a private key. Public key (kept with the sender) is used for encrypting the messages and private key (kept with the receiver) is used for decrypting the messages. Data encrypted using a public key can only be decrypted using the corresponding private key. This method enables transmission of data without the risk of unauthorised or unlawful access. The process is slow and complex but more secure than symmetric encryption. Some of the asymmetric encryption algorithms are RSA, Diffie-Hellman and XTR.