First of all, let’s talk about keywords:
Encryption is the process of converting human-readable data (plaintext) into unintelligible ciphertext. Simply put, encryption takes your data and makes it random enough so that anybody who steals it can’t read it unless they have the key to turn it back into a legible form.
2. Symmetric Encryption:
In the case of symmetric encryption, the same key is used for both encrypting and decrypting messages. Because the entire mechanism is dependent on keeping the key a shared secret meaning that it needs to be shared with the recipient securely so that only they can use it to decrypt the message it does not scale well.
- There’s a single shared key that’s used for encryption and decryption.
- It doesn’t scale very well because the secret key must not be lost or shared with unauthorized parties, or else they can read the message.
3. Asymmetric Encryption:
Asymmetric encryption uses a pair of related keys public and private keys. The public key, which is accessible to everyone, is what’s used to encrypt a plaintext message before sending it. To decrypt and read this message, you need to hold the private key. The public and the private keys are mathematically related, but the private key cannot be derived from them.
Read my previous article for more information: What-are-the-public-key-and-private-key?
What Is the Difference Between Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption?
when we talk about symmetric vs asymmetric encryption, which is more secure? Asymmetric encryption is the more secure one, while symmetric encryption is faster. They’re both very effective in different ways and, depending on the task at hand, either or both may be deployed alone or together.
Though they’re both exceedingly different based on varying mathematical constructs, they’ve both found their application in numerous scenarios. For instance, symmetric encryption is used to protect file content or comes into the picture in disk encryption, and asymmetric encryption is used with digital signatures.
Messaging applications such as Signal or WhatsApp use end-to-end encryption where asymmetric encryption is used to initialize the encrypted communication channel, and the rest of the conversation proceeds using symmetric encryption.
I hope it was useful for you.