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Cryptographic Algorithms, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 330

Research Paper

One the most effective ways to achieve national cyber security involves encryption of information using cryptographic algorithms. These algorithms rely on keys to encrypt data, making it impossible for unintended users to intercept and view information on a network. Based on the nature of the keys, the algorithms can be classified into secret and public. In secret key-based encryption, also called symmetric algorithms, sender and receiver use a common private key to scramble and unscramble communication (Ogletree, 2004). The sender uses a key to code plaintext, while the receiver relies on the same key to decipher ciphertext. This implies the algorithm enhances security of information, as only the sender and receiver can only understand a coded message. However, it has numerous disadvantages. Both parties in a network are required to keep the encryption key secure. It is also inappropriate for distributed environments, as it requires users to have many different keys to communicate in a network. It does not also effectively guarantee data confidentiality because it is not easier to alter the secret key regularly.

Public or asymmetric cryptographic algorithms address some of these problems. They rely on two separate keys: a private key and a public key. The latter is available to all users in a network, while the former is only available to both parties in a communication. This implies that senders and receivers possess two different keys. Data is encrypted using the public key and transmitted through a network. The receiver must have a private key to decrypt and understand the ciphertext. Even though the algorithms work slower than symmetric encryption systems, they ensure high levels of data security and confidentiality. Senders and receivers do not share the private key, which eliminates security risks associated with key distribution (Nemati & Yang, 2010).

References

Nemati, H.R., & Yang, L. (2010). Applied cryptography for cyber security and defense: Information encryption and cyphering. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Inc. (IGI).

Ogletree, T.W. (2004). Upgrading and repairing networks. (4th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Que Publishing.

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