What is an Encryption key in Information Security?

An encryption key is a random string of bits produced explicitly for scrambling and unscrambling information. Encryption keys are designed with algorithms designed to provide that each key is unpredictable and unique.

In cryptography, an encryption key is a string of characters used in consolidation with an algorithm to change plaintext (unencrypted information) into ciphertext (encrypted information) and vice versa for decryption algorithms.

It can change data so that it occurs random and “locks” it so that only the corresponding key can decrypt it. Keys can also define transformations in other algorithms, including digital signature schemes and message authentication codes. An encryption key is also known as a key.

A key can be used to encrypt, decrypt, or produce both functions depends on the encryption software used. The higher a key is, the complex it is to crack the encryption code. 80 bits is treated as the minimum key length for sufficient security and 128-bit keys are the most common key length and are treated very powerful.

Encryption is a type of security that change information, programs, images or other data into unreadable cipher. This is completed by using a set of complex algorithms to the original content meant for encryption.

Symmetric forms of encryption systems create use of an individual password to serve as both decryptor and encryptor. Symmetric types need algorithms that are very secure.

One of such type was unfamiliar by the US Government as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to store classified data. The disadvantage is that since an individual key is shared, it can be crack or stolen. As an element of key management, it is very essential to change the key often to improve security.

Public asymmetric encryption systems create use of hugely secure algorithms as well, but using a different method for encryption and decryption. The asymmetric encryption method uses two keys, defined as a key pair. One is a public key, and the other one is a private key.

The public key can be freely shared between several users as it is only define for encryption. The private key is not shared, and can be used to decrypt anything that was encrypted by the public key.

The algorithms used in the encryption process based on the key pair. It can reverse the encryption process, only the private key of that particular key pair can be utilized. The message or mail is produced to the public key owner.

When the mail is received, the private key requests a passphrase before the decryption procedure. It can support optimal security, and this passphrase should be delivered manually; however, the software allows a user locally save the passphrase therefore that messages can be automatically decrypted.