Encryption is required for information security in digital data communication and storage networks. Encryption programs use encryption algorithms (complex mathematical processes) to encrypt and decrypt the data. Encryption algorithm creates specific strings of data used for encryption – keys that consist of long strings of bits or binary numbers. The more bits in the key, the more the number of possible combinations of binary numbers that makes the code more difficult to break. Then encryption algorithm scrambles data by combining the bits in the key with the data bits.

Encryption algorithms are two types, symmetric encryption and asymmetric encryption. In symmetric encryption, the same key is used to scramble (encrypt) and unscramble (decrypt) data. In asymmetric key encryption, two different keys are required – one for encryption and one for decryption.

Applications of data encryption algorithms include credit cards, laptop data security, computer passwords, computer network security solutions & software systems, and online/internet data security in electronic commerce.

Types of Encryption Algorithms

Symmetric Encryption Algorithms

Symmetric Encryption (also known as symmetric-key encryption, single-key encryption, one-key encryption and private key encryption) is a type of encryption where the same secret key is used to encrypt and decrypt information or there is a simple transform between the two keys. Symmetric encryption algorithms (Symmetric-key algorithms) use the same key for encryption and decryption. There are two types of symmetric encryption algorithms: Stream algorithms (Stream ciphers – that encrypts 1 bit at a time) and Block algorithms (Block ciphers – that encrypts 1 block of 16/32/64/128/256-bits data at a time).

Asymmetric Encryption Algorithms

Asymmetric encryption uses different keys for encryption and decryption. The decryption key is very hard to derive from the encryption key. The encryption key is public so that anyone can encrypt a message. However, the decryption key is private, so that only the receiver is able to decrypt the message. It is common to set up “key-pairs” within a network so that each user has a public and private key. The public key is made available to everyone so that they can send messages, but the private key is only made available to the person it belongs to.

List of Encryption Algorithms

Symmetric Encryption Algorithms (Secret key)

  • AES Encryption Algorithm
  • Blowfish Encryption Algorithm
  • CAST5 Encryption Algorithm
  • DES Encryption Algorithm
  • IDEA Encryption Algorithm
  • RC2 Encryption Algorithm
  • RC4 Encryption Algorithm
  • RC6 Encryption Algorithm
  • Serpent Encryption Algorithm
  • Triple DES Encryption Algorithm
  • Twofish Encryption Algorithm
  • MARS Encryption Algorithm

Asymmetric Encryption algorithms (Public key)

  • RSA Encryption Algorithm
  • Diffie-Hellman Encryption Algorithm
  • Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) Encryption Algorithm
  • ElGamal Encryption Algorithm
  • ECDSA Encryption Algorithm
  • PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) Encryption Algorithm
  • Elliptic curve cryptosystems Encryption Algorithm
  • LUC public key cryptosystem Encryption Algorithm
  • XTR Encryption Algorithm